Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello everyone!

This is my first post here and I need some advice. I just put together my first aquaponics system, chop-style. I will soon start fishless cycling. During this time, I will keep koi carp in a separate aquarium until I can safely add them to my AP system.

So my question is not really about the AP system but about my separate koi-tank.

The tank with koi holds about 20 gallons of water. At the moment I only have a cirkulation pump connected to provide oxygen for the fish. I feed the koi once a day and they poo quite alot. So my question is; do I need to buy a filter for this temporary koi-tank or is it enough if I just do 1/3 water changes once a day as I have been doing now for 3 days since I got the koi.

The koi seems to be happy, they are eating and love swimming against the current from the cirkulation pump.

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Water changes should be just fine. Although, I would go ahead and test your tanks water parameters so you know what's going on in terms of ammonia and whatnot. You might not even need to be changing your water every day. 

Maybe I'm missing some information, but I feel like you might be missing the point of fishless cycling. The point of cycling without fish is so you can establish a healthy bacteria population before you introduce your fish. It's less stress on you as a person and slightly less risky for the fish. However, if you're already taking care of a bunch of koi for the express purpose of using them in your aquaponic system, why not just put them right in and cycle with fish? You are already having to take care of your koi just like you would have to if you were to cycle your system with the fish in it. Might as well put them right in and cycle with their waste. Why take care of two separate systems?

Hi Alex and thanks for your answer.

Im still waiting for my water test kit so I can't make any tests yet, but I will as soon as it arrives. And I don't have anything to change PH levels with yet either. I'm a bit unsure on which products to buy. As I live in Sweden I don't want to order phdown- and up products as the shipping costs are higher than the product itself...

Yes maybe you are right... I should give the cycling a try with fish..

Is this guide written by Sylvia the preferred choice or are there others even better?

My tap water is 7.3pH here in Michigan. If you know the pH of your supply water you can keep yours up by just doing the water changes. The lower the pH the better the fish can deal with elevated ammonia levels and ammonia is probably going to be your biggest problem until you are cycled or somehow filtering the water. PH somewhere between 6-7 will be safe for your fish and turn the ammonia to ammonium which will be more tolerable for them. Get the kit and TEST.

I'm sure that one will work fine (although, it is a little old, and I know Sylvia re-vamped her fishless cycling technique since then....there may be something better). Personally, I've only ever cycled one system, with which I did not use fish during the process, so there are a few details I'm not certain about.

Now that we're on this subject, I actually have a question now: What level should you keep your ammonia at when cycling with fish? Depends on pH?

Martin Sle said:

Hi Alex and thanks for your answer.

Im still waiting for my water test kit so I can't make any tests yet, but I will as soon as it arrives. And I don't have anything to change PH levels with yet either. I'm a bit unsure on which products to buy. As I live in Sweden I don't want to order phdown- and up products as the shipping costs are higher than the product itself...

Yes maybe you are right... I should give the cycling a try with fish..

Is this guide written by Sylvia the preferred choice or are there others even better?

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