Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I was wondering if there are any Ideas how to balance my system without any expensive tests. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to afford a test kit. Maybe it's not possible but I thought maybe someone has had success with something that I could glean from. I started my system with goldfish as I have always had success with them living long in just a bowl that we keep clean. Well why would they all die when the plants are helping me? Too many? - I've never had so many (15 or less) but I've also not had a 55 gallon aquarium either. I've had little one to two gallon bowls before. All of my fish died.

Views: 657

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

yea, I have posted the results and causes of some of my bigger mistakes online so hopefully others will learn from them.  People did warn more about some of the things I tried but I did it anyway so now there are pictures to go with the warnings.

On the quail, I think some people want to have a connection to the food they eat.   I definitely wanted my kids to understand that meat doesn't come from the grocery store, it's just a distribution point.

As for my first prof of concept system, I'm building my system with recycled 55gallon barrels (Blue, used to have fruit juice concentrate).  I have two that can hold fish and one sump tank.  I split a single barrel for grow beds.  I'm planning on starting with a few Tilapia once the weather warms a bit.  I plan on running it without fish for 2 to 4 weeks, water should be flowing by next Sunday.  I live in Riverside CA, day time temp is mid 60's to low 70's right now, but night time temps drop to between 35 and 45 at night.  I'm not sure what the water temp range would be yet.  From what I've read, I should be able to raise Tilapia without a heater as long as I wait for the weather to warm.  Keeping them cool in the summer will likely be an issue, it can get to 110, so I'm planning on building a removable canvas canopy for some shade.

 

I will be able to add more grow beds down the road, I realize I can't have too many fish without adding more grow beds.  I also ordered a test kit so I can monitor the water.


Adam Black said:


It always better to ask am question then learn the hard way, when some of us have already been down that road.

Adam Black said:

Lots of knowledge, along with a few mistakes, whether your open to listen, is another. How big of system do you have, or building?


Moses Gonzales said:
What an awesome community.  I'm building my first system now, but I get the feeling that I'm going to make some new friends on this site as I start my new hobby (and not just virtual ones, although they are valued as well).  I fully expect to meet several of you in person in the years ahead.
Most certainly. good to let the kids think it's weird to buy eggs rather than think it's weird to collect them!

Moses Gonzales said:

On the quail, I think some people want to have a connection to the food they eat.   I definitely wanted my kids to understand that meat doesn't come from the grocery store, it's just a distribution point.

As for my first prof of concept system, I'm building my system with recycled 55gallon barrels (Blue, used to have fruit juice concentrate).  I have two that can hold fish and one sump tank.  I split a single barrel for grow beds.  I'm planning on starting with a few Tilapia once the weather warms a bit.  I plan on running it without fish for 2 to 4 weeks, water should be flowing by next Sunday.  I live in Riverside CA, day time temp is mid 60's to low 70's right now, but night time temps drop to between 35 and 45 at night.  I'm not sure what the water temp range would be yet.  From what I've read, I should be able to raise Tilapia without a heater as long as I wait for the weather to warm.  Keeping them cool in the summer will likely be an issue, it can get to 110, so I'm planning on building a removable canvas canopy for some shade.

 

I will be able to add more grow beds down the road, I realize I can't have too many fish without adding more grow beds.  I also ordered a test kit so I can monitor the water.


Adam Black said:


It always better to ask am question then learn the hard way, when some of us have already been down that road.

Adam Black said:

Lots of knowledge, along with a few mistakes, whether your open to listen, is another. How big of system do you have, or building?


Moses Gonzales said:
What an awesome community.  I'm building my first system now, but I get the feeling that I'm going to make some new friends on this site as I start my new hobby (and not just virtual ones, although they are valued as well).  I fully expect to meet several of you in person in the years ahead.
I see now... it is coming more clear

TCLynx said:

Well is a $25 test kit really that expensive if it takes care of all the different tests that are needed and will likely last you at least a year?  If you were to buy each test separately, you would probably be paying around $7 each or more and you don't get the handy test tube holder.

 

Now I don't know too much about the test Chi linked to.  I had one of the pH tests like that but I don't think it was working properly.  Also the test strip kits tend not to be as accurate as the test tube kits.

 

Why would they all die?  Well even if the plants are helping you, the plants are also dependent on the bio-filter.  The only way for us to really know what the bio-filter is doing is with water tests.

So if I see remnants of food that came off my pump and fish poop all still in the water does this mean I may still have a bio filter active? My water has cleared up since all the fish died. maybe they still have the amonia they need?
What indication would I have that my plants were suffering besides obvious wilting or something. they slowed in their growth but this just may be my anxiety telling me this, u know? I will be testing my water more soon. my pH at about 12:45 pm Fri was around 7.6 as far as I can tell. these colors are hard for me to interperate. I've never been very good at getting the right color swatches, people!  So yes, I have received my test kit from Sylvia. How helpful!
could still be some ammonia being converted.  Check with the test kit to know for sure.
I'm hoping this is a positive! you have given me some comprehensive knowledge that I am excited about. Tomorrow will be a long day of basketball for my kids and testing water and feeding poultry and journalling...

TCLynx said:
could still be some ammonia being converted.  Check with the test kit to know for sure.

how much do I need to aerate the water? currently it's just as the water drains back down into the tank.

is there a way to test for oxygen in the water?

Also- some of my plants look to have light colored leaves... what could this be?

Probably an iron deficiency related to pH... add some chelated iron... or Maxicrop + Iron...

Adam Shivers said:

Also- some of my plants look to have light colored leaves... what could this be?

Adam, to accurately test for oxygen you need a mete which is a few hundred dollars.  It's hard to over-oygenate a fish tank so if you can get a small aerator with some airstones in there your fish will be all the more happy.  Plus it becomes a backup in case your pump goes down your fish are still getting air.
Hey Adam, the light coloured leaves are very possibly an iron deficiency. It is very typical in new systems and iron is something that needs to be added periodically. It wont hurt the plants but they will look a bit light and splotchy. You can get iron on line for about $30 for a five pound bag. I know you are tight on cash so shoot me your address and we will send you a half pound to get you started!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2024   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service