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Hi all, I am new to all of this, Aquaponics and blogging, I need HELP, fast, I thought my tank was cycled, I was lucky enough to get a small fish pond, gold fish and all the good bacteria, I bought a larger tank, 180 gal and put the fish, water and filter into it, all looked good, nitrates where there, low ammonia, and nitrites..... I removed the goldfish and added 40 catfish fingerlings 4 -6 inches... thats when it all turned bad...my pump from the tank to the grow bed failed and I was not aware of this for at least 14 hours...I thought that with tthe timer going on 15 min and off 45 I was just missing it...My grow bed is expanded shale... I was already filtering through the bed when I added the fish... but bed was not planted... I got my worms and fish on the same day... nice warm 70 degrees..what a happy day :) but now it look like I might lose it all... :(..my ammonia shot up to 2 ppm, nitrite 2 ppm and nitrate over 160 ppm ...I got the pump fixed...ran the water through the newly planted growbed continuesly for 14 hours to try and clean up the water...did not help... my fish where gulping at the top of the tank, jumping out, and not eating....then to make it all worse .. the temp changed to 45 degrees... I was and am not prepared for such a quick change...had hoped to make it through summer and build a greenhouse by fall... luckly we had a huge rain storm and I was able to collect enough water to change about half my tank...did not use tap water... now more than 36 hours later and my water has dropped to 55, ammonia has lowered to 0.5 ppm but nitrite is still 2 ppm and nitrate has dropped to 80 ppm...fish still show no signs of wanting to eat, are no longer jumping out or gasping for air but seem to just be staying as close to the pump as possible and not moving around much... what do I need to do... I don't want to lose it all and sure don't want my fish to die... also to add more stress to it all my husband was not into this and now I am hearing "I told you so" I have to make this work so I can get in the last I TOLD YOU SO..  lol   ...really HELP

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lol Charlotte, it sounds like you are well on your way to being the one saying I told you so, hang in there.

add air if you dont have it, let them relax, they will eat when they get hungry, and get some plants growing. go to bell siphons if the timer is the problem.

Fish not eating is not a problem. Feeding fish while they aren't eating is. Uneaten food messes up water quality quickly. When you see a spike in ammonia and nitrites stop feeding and do a 50% water change. Also provide lots of aeration.

Charlotte, your fish were probably "jumping out" due to the ammonia and nitrites...

 

Doing the 50% water change has saved your bacon... but the fish have been severely stressed.. and may take some time to settle back into feeding.... (you could still lose some fish)

 

Your nitrites are STILL a problem...salt to 1ppt.. to mitigate against the nitrite poisoning... it regulates the osmotic balance in the blood... preventing the intake of nitrogen from the nitrites.... which interferes with the iron/haemoglobin in the blood... turning the blood (and gills)... "brown" rather than crimson red...

 

Nitrite poisoning is often referred to as "brown blood disease"... it is the equivalent to the "bends" that divers suffer ... same thing nitrogen intake into the blood...

 

1ppt is 1kg of salt in 1000L... 2.2lbs in 270gall....

 

Pump continuously, and boost your aeration if you can... don't feed until the nitrites fall back to zero....

thanks Rupert ..."1ppt is 1kg of salt in 1000L... 2.2lbs in 270gall"....   thats a lot of salt ...is that the same advice for raising the mag in the system? some one was asking just last night.

 

"is that the same advice for raising the mag in the system? "

 

sorry Rob... what's the "mag"???

I think Rob means Magnesium. As in Epsom salt, or in case it's not called that in OZ...   MgSO4 7H2O

are we talking epson salt aquarium salt or just regular salt, and will that hurt my grow bed???? I read somewhere that salt kills the plants and contaminates the media... this morning after another 25 % water change last night....my ammonia is 0.25 but darn nasty nitrites are still 2.....and to think I got soooooooo happy when the darn things first showed up....I though this would be a productive, relaxing hobby.... wrong so far... ty for all your help

RupertofOZ said:

Charlotte, your fish were probably "jumping out" due to the ammonia and nitrites...

 

Doing the 50% water change has saved your bacon... but the fish have been severely stressed.. and may take some time to settle back into feeding.... (you could still lose some fish)

 

Your nitrites are STILL a problem...salt to 1ppt.. to mitigate against the nitrite poisoning... it regulates the osmotic balance in the blood... preventing the intake of nitrogen from the nitrites.... which interferes with the iron/haemoglobin in the blood... turning the blood (and gills)... "brown" rather than crimson red...

 

Nitrite poisoning is often referred to as "brown blood disease"... it is the equivalent to the "bends" that divers suffer ... same thing nitrogen intake into the blood...

 

1ppt is 1kg of salt in 1000L... 2.2lbs in 270gall....

 

Pump continuously, and boost your aeration if you can... don't feed until the nitrites fall back to zero....

I added 3 pounds of swimming pool salt to my system, 300 gallon fish tank and 3 IBC grow beds and had no ill effect whatsoever. My nitrites are a little high (between .25 and .5) but not a problem. I put the salt into the sump tank and not directly into the fish tank. 

allways Epsom salt, never sodium. ...you have to get through the difficult part to better enjoy the relaxing part. ...trust me Charlotte, soon you will spend more time braging about your hobby than managing it. 

Micheal, do you know what type the "pool salt" is? im not fimilliar with that option. i know you can buy 40lb bags of epsom at a good garden supplier, but never asked the pool guys.

It's in Sylvia's book. She suggests either pool salt or water softener salt.I went to Home Depot and they had 40 pound bags of the stuff. It's called pool salt and pool owners use it when they are using chlorinators.  I used three pounds, kept another three for potential future use,and gave away the rest. Best of all it's very cheap. I think I paid about $5.50 for the 40 pound bag. 

Crap, I thought pool/solar/sea salt was all OK. I understood that it was the Iodine and anti-caking agents that need to be avoided and not necessarily the Sodium? 

It'd sure be nice if Rupert or someone could confirm this... 

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