Aquaponic Gardening

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Lessons learned when moving Aquponics set-up from Colorado to Lincoln,NE

   Well I made the big move from Centennial,CO. to Lincoln,NE. to begin Doctoral studies in Plant Health this fall. I thought-out my move of my AP set-up in great detail and still made some very serious rookie mistakes which have resulted in a 60% mortality of my precious fishes.  UGH- heavy sigh. The following is my tale of woe/shame and mistakes made which now seem quite obvious.


   Lesson #2 . Test the tap water bozo!

   Lesson #3. If you are not going to test the tap water read the latest water report from from the local water utility. This would have made me realize.. yes you guessed it.. test the bloody tap water source!

   Lesson #4 If you own a 5-stage R/O unit ( I do) plumb it up first thing before all other unpacking!

   Lesson #5 When a mature AP set-up that can hold 100+ fish in 150 gallons, the new setup will become quickly overloaded with ammonia and nitrates no matter how much bacteria culture you bring with you.

   Lesson #6  If you do not test the damn tap water your beautiful and abundant bacteria culture will quickly be wiped out by the chloramine that was reported in the local water quality report!

   Lesson # 7  DO NOT PANIC, gut, process and cook the dead and dying mature fish (55 in total so far) and use the other as fertilizer in your garden. Corn plants should thrive:)

   Lesson#8  Little to no sleep will be had for 2-4 nights as you are checking the tanks every couple of hours for dead fishes to remove as soon as possible. And doing water exchanges as fast as the R/O unit can make it(not very fast I'm afraid).

   Lesson#9 Pray to the gods and wait out the cycling period with a 1/3 of the fish I started with.

   Lesson# 10 Good thing thing I had starter plants (64) to put into the beds right away which should help with nitrate cycling.

   I also added 8oz each to the tanks of Microbe-lift PL and 2 capfuls of Prime to help bring down toxic levels.

  The remainder of the stock has perk-up considerably and color and vigor are returning.  Another additional point is that I have tossed out a dozen rather large gold fish that did not seem to be bothered one bit but I felt they where adding more ammonia to the systems that they could do with out.  







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Thanks for sharing your Experiences. 

Hopefully you have saved some one else from needing to learn these lessons the hard way as you have.

And rest assured, you are not the only seasoned fish keeper or aquapon to make mistakes.  Dang that is a lot of fish to move for a 150 gallon tank!

Thanks for the kind words TCLynx. That 150 fish was from both set-ups after selling off around 100. Now down to a rspespectable 20 per system and die offs have been nada for 2 days now. *crosses fingers*

Sorry for the losses but 20 fish per seems like a good number for a "re-newed system"

10 valuable points, thanks Kenneth.

Worth carving into stone!

Wow, great sticking points to watch out for, sorry you got this lesson the hard way but hey thats how we learn the most right??? Thanks for sharing.

Wow Tilapia are really resislent! Watched the dominant male nest build the last couple days in one of my 100gallons tanks and this morning woke-up to two female with eggs in their mouths. I'll collect them in 2 weeks and hatch them out in a 10 gallon.  

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