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?
you can top up with a little bit of water at a time without messing up the cycling unless your water has a huge amount of chlorine or chloramine.
Sounds to me like your pH may be really high.
You might want to experiment some with your top up water to see if you can adjust the pH down a bit before you use it in your system while you are dealing with the chloramine anyway.
Thanks, I will work on that this weekend.
as long as you take care of the chlorine, definitely a good idea to keep the system topped up.
If you are able to collect any clean rain water (or snowmelt) for topping up, that could help you with the pH issue.
and using water from a pond you don't have control of, you never know what will be in the water.
ah when the regular range pH test is that blue, you have to check with the high range test.
When the nitrites drop (and they may do it quite suddenly) you may also see a sudden drop in pH (not guaranteed but my pH dropped suddenly when my nitrites dropped on my first barrel system.)