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My 8.5 PH has not dropped for 7 weeks of fishless cycling. Have hoped it would drop as have heard many times will be high for cycle up. Yesterday added fish. Have been running with low ammonia and Nitrate 40ppm. Seems to be cycling through good. My tap water is 8.4, when I originally tested it was 7.4 so though I would be ok. My river rock did not foam up with vinegar when originally tested. Have added muriatic dosing to drop ph about .2 ocassionally. Yesterday dosed to 8.3, today down to 8.1. Will probably buffer back up though. My ferrocement tank is pool painted so should seal? With luck maybe will drop later as I've heard theses systems can run high at first. Had algae 1 month ago, pretty much gone since then. Any ideas or input appreciated? Hope I'm not dead in the water after all this project build.

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You measuring pH with a digital meter apparently.  I am using the old die and color chart. Not all that accurate.


Ya Bill, Money well spent quick, easy, and accurate. Really want a DO meter but will have to wait a bit.

Bill Moore said:

You measuring pH with a digital meter apparently.  I am using the old die and color chart. Not all that accurate.


Im having the same exact problem, today i checked my ph and it was at 8.4ish,


it was down for awhile and it keeps going back up again, the algae just keeps getting worse in the system.


Algae keeps growing in the FT even though its im going to purchase a algae eating fish and just put 1 in there.


still havent been able to collect rain water, so i top it with RO water.but ph keeps coming back up after a week.


but i kind of got an idea what is it from. when i topped the water the surface of the GB started getting wet so i think i need to make my syphon shorter :/  so the surface can stay dry,thats going to be alot of work.


Algae is being a real problem for me, but im sure in time things will be good, the plants seem be growing good and the fish dont seem like they are doing bad, i have not yet seem them gasping for air at the surface.



Danny, Yes the algae seems to make it bounce up, especially if you test during daylight. When I trimmed my standpipes I used a Dremel with a tiny circular saw blade attached. Very easy and fast, found it very helpful on trimming other pieces of PVC also. Once we get some plants established they would help shade the gravel. Is you FT shaded?

Nice good idea :),


ya my GB is sitting right on top of the FT, also the algae eating fish idea did not work for me, the water is wayyy to cold and the fish i bought just kept dieing.

If you can see through the water, then don't worry about surface algae.  String algae can be annoying but you can simply grab that by the hand full and toss it in the compost.  Again a green coating on the inside of the fish tank is not a bad thing it is only when the water turns green enough that you can't see through it that algae is really a problem.

It feels like little by little it keeps getting worse, so im trying to find something that will balance it out :). i understand  some algae is ok but if it keeps growing and growing it will eventually get worse, but if i find something that will balance it out then ill be happy :). i might end up putting the FT under ground to keep the water warmer, or some type of cheap way to keep water warm so i can keep an algae eating fish to help balance out the algae and not let it over grow.

Can you get a picture of the algae to give us an idea of how bad it is?  As I said, if you can see the bottom of the tank, I wouldn't be worrying so much about it.


Putting the fish tank in ground will only help a tiny bit to keep the water warmer since if you are doing flood and drain and/or towers and/or NFT, the act of circulating the fish tank water through the grow beds, towers or NFT will act to chill the water during the cold part of winter and it will heat the water during the hot part of summer.  Switching to constant flood  might help but I expect that if your water is already too cold for those fish in a greenhouse and it isn't even December yet, you are not gonna keep them alive through winter without putting some money into heating the water.


Just so you know, algae blooms often happen in a new system but once the system settles in and some of the algae dies and starts decomposing in the grow bed, it will help reduce future algae problems.

well its not super bad its not even in the water, its on the walls and some of it is a brown color already, and was growing on the rockwool, but i covered them all up with the grow media. but the FT seems like little by little it keeps growing.


Well the Catfish seem to be ok with the water being cold, but if i see that its way to cold, i will either heat the greenhouse up or just the FT, but im thinking it might be better to just heat the whole greenhouse up , might as well go all the way. but what would i use to heat it up i dont know yet,


I will try to take pictures and post them on here tomorrow.

They make heating units that use propane for heating greenhouses and stuff.  It gets costly to do so might only be worth it for the really really cold nights.


If the water is cold and the fish are not too interested in eating, don't feed them.

its been over 1 day that i have not feed them, when i feed them they never run to the food, its like they are never hungry.

That is to be expected if the water is cold.  You might feed them every few days instead of every day this time of year and only when the water is over 55 F.

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