Aquaponic Gardening

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Day one was Saturday the 7th

Washed the hydroton the added it to the grow bed.

Funny how the siphon worked differently without the media in place :)

Also learned that the hydroton I bought has some pretty fine particles in it and can clog things up. and that 100 liters wont fill up a 25 gallon grow bed all the way to the top.

So removed almost all the hydroton to clear some of the clogs and redesign the outer 3 inch strainer pipe.

I also reduced the length of the stand pipe to give me about 1 - 1/2  to 1 - 3/4 dry area above the water height.

The hydroton is still damp on the top, not sure if that is normal or its just hasn't dried out from being washed.

My first test from last night

PH - 7.8 - 8 ppm

Ammonia - .25 - .50

Not sure my original baseline test was correct at 1.0ppm on the ammonia, if so it has dropped some for some reason.

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Nitrate - 5 ppm

So pretty much the same as the baseline test other than the ammonia.

Should I had some ammonia? or just let what is already in the system work.

I have a 40 gallon fish tank so when I do have to add some ammonia how much should I add?

Do I need to test daily or just once a week or so?

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What kind of ammonia are you going to be adding?

Here is a blog post that might maybe give some insight

Mystery of the Missing Ammonia

I bought some ACE janitorial ammonia, which I think is pretty much just ammonia and water if I remember correctly.

So reading that post, 2 drops per gallon then?

re-read because I'm not sure.  Anyway, you could always add a couple drops per gallon and let it mix then test to see if it's close.

Will do.

Thank you for the link.

She has another link there "Starting your Aquaponics System Using Fishless Cycling" it looks pretty straight forward so I will follow that.

Now just need to find an eye dropper to measure this out.

Thanks again.

I use a turkey baster for measuring water into my test tubes for water tests.  So you might get one of those and have it serve double purpose but you have to rinse it out really well before using for testing water again after measuring ammonia.

I picked up an eye dropper yesterday morning on my way to work, and they gave me two syringes that are 5ml, they also gave me two that were larger.

I put 8 drops in last night from the eye dropper, checked this morning but no change in the ammonia level.

I did some more reading at the link you provided and she put in 5ml for 60 gallons to get to 4ppm, so this morning I used the syringe and added 4ml since I only have 40 gallons, well more like 30 - 35 since I dont have it filled to the brim, 4ml might be to much, I guess I will find out tonight if the ammonia level has increased to where we want or is sky high.

Checked the ammonia level before I left for work and it is right at 4ppm maybe a little less but pretty close.
I only had time to check the ammonia level, I will get a better picture of things when I get home tonight and can do a full test.

Now you know the measure.  You will probably be dosing much less from now on.

I tested again tonight and all figures are the same except for ammonia which still shows 4.0ppm

I think I will wait to dose again to see if the nitrites will come up with this initial dose.

There's a lag time before nitrites appear... I wouldn't dose again until they do... and ammonia falls back to at least 2...

Then you could redose... with a small amount .. if you really think you need to... personally, I think an ammonia reading of 4 is sufficient to allow the rest of the cycling to proceed...

Thank you, I will wait and see what happens from here.

My water temp is holding right at 60 and sometimes a little below, so I ordered a small heater to warm things up a bit and maybe that will speed the process up some, plus 60 and a little below might not be good for goldfish when I put them in.

So added Ammonia on the 10th and nitrites seemed to have showed up already, seems a little early for them.

1-22-12
ph - 7.8 - 8
ammonia - 4.0 ppm
nitirite .25 ppm
nitrate 10 ppm

1-23-12
ph 8.2(maybe hard to tell)
ammonia - 4.0 ppm
nitrite .50 - 1.00 ppm not blue, but hard to tell which shade of purple it is.
nitrate 10 - 20 ppm

Not quite sure on the PH anymore, the color looks red/dark red not sure what that is?

At some point I am going to need to add some water to my tank, with 3 inches staying in the grow bed, its making the fish tank to low.
I am guessing that it would be best to wait until I get it completely cycled first but I am not sure when the best time would be?

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