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Hello everyone.

I am a soil gardern.  This is my first aquaponics system.  I am so exited.  I put the system together and it is mechanically working.  I used "amonia" solution that I purchased til I ranout before I saw any Nitrite or Nitrate.  Now I am using peetology to supplement.  The five days numbers are as follow:

                                     Amonia          Nitrite         Nitrate       PH

Day 1                             2                     5               160            6.0

Day 2                             2                     5                160           7.2

Day 3                            2                     5                  160          6.8

Day 4                            2                     5                  160          6.4-6.6

Day 5                            2                    5                   160            7.6

 

 

everyday I added about 2-4 ozs of very aged stuff.  Can any one tell me what the numbers above indicate and what I should do next?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Thanks Rob,
Fyi, i am adding fishless cycle stuff for the last three weeks.
What are you suggesting by number 3? That i add the fish now?
Thanks

DO NOT ADD FISH UNTIL your ammonia is below 2, your nitrates are below .5 or preferably less and your nitrates are less than 200, your PH should be 6.6 -7.2, and your KH should be above 4dkh or 74ppm depending on your test kit.. Also make sure since you have had WAY to much nitrogen in your system that you didn't burn off all of your alkalinity you may need to dose your KH back up with potassium bicarbonate or another carbonate booster. This is a common issue after something like this where you made alot of extra nitrogen it destabilizes your PH and while it may read ok when you go to sleep your PH could change and kill all of your fish if your KH has been burned off. make sure to check that as well before your put your fish in.

Moe, how much ammonia are you adding every day? When you are cycling, you should bring your levels to 2-4ppm and then record the amount of ammonia that took. Once nitrite appears, then add half that amount ever day until you see nitrate. When ammonia and nitrite both drop to zero and you have nitrates, then you are finished and ready to add fish. Your plants may be eating up the nitrate as well if you have seen it in the past, but don't see it now.

I add about 250 drops if it was 1 ppm. the following day it is 2-4, I added 250.. may be I should cut this in half.  As a beginner, I did not think that too much amonia would hurt.  however, when it got to be 8ppm, I stopped for couple of days till it came down.  with all that the Nitrite is always zero, not even the next level.

Someone suggested that the bacteria will grow in PH around 8.  Since mine is 6, I added some PH-UP.  Just a tiny bit.  I also installed a heater in the water since in the morning where I live, the water is around 60F.  The heater is proving to be useless as it is undersized.  The water may be heat up to 70F during the day, but for next couple of weeks we are expecting very cold weahter.

Thanks

 

If your ammonia is always dropping to zero and you aren't seeing any nitrites or nitrates, it's possible that you are cycled, but your plants are just eating up the excess. Since ammonia is the waste product you are trying to get the nitrifying bacteria to deal with, and as long as you aren't seeing any nitrate either, then you shouldn't have to worry about. Since there is no waste product in your system, it would seem reasonable to go ahead and add the fish. My personal opinion, anyway. Even if your system isn't cycled for some reason, you can cycle with fish as well as without, so it really doesn't matter. Just watch your water levels closely for the next few weeks after you add the fish. And yes, bacteria do prefer a pH of 8ish. By the time your pH is down to 6, they are growing and reproducing at 10% efficiency.

So, was there a period of time where you were unable to test your water that you might have missed the nitrite/nitrate spikes? And have you always had plants in the system?

different kinds of Bactria grow at different temps i think vlad posted recently a chart of the species and there temperatures but i can't seem to find it now. 

Moe said:

I add about 250 drops if it was 1 ppm. the following day it is 2-4, I added 250.. may be I should cut this in half.  As a beginner, I did not think that too much amonia would hurt.  however, when it got to be 8ppm, I stopped for couple of days till it came down.  with all that the Nitrite is always zero, not even the next level.

Someone suggested that the bacteria will grow in PH around 8.  Since mine is 6, I added some PH-UP.  Just a tiny bit.  I also installed a heater in the water since in the morning where I live, the water is around 60F.  The heater is proving to be useless as it is undersized.  The water may be heat up to 70F during the day, but for next couple of weeks we are expecting very cold weahter.

Thanks

 

I have checked the nitrite and nitrate several times.  They are consistently at zero.  However, the amonia decline from 4 to zero in 10 days or so.  I went out and bought 10 small goldfish.  I dropped them in the fish tank last night.  I will see how they are doing.

The only reasons that may cause me not to get any nitrate reading is:  bad test kit, which I eliminated by buying another test kit.  The media I am using is bad which I will try to change to small rocks next year and the barrels I am using which I will change.  The water is filtered through a soil filter and is 7PH out of the facuet. I do not know what else could be causing this.  The plans I have in the media is doing good!  I cut lettuce from it and make salad every day.  I have some kale plants that are growing normally-slowly.  Any idea "where does the amonia go" ?

Hi Moe,

Looks like your ammonia bacteria has finally caught up to the nitrite bacteria. You should be ok with your test form now on. Keep a check on the test and report any new developments if they may happen


Hi Harold,

As you already know I am new to this.  I like to know that you mean by "ammonia bacteria".  So far, I am familiar with terms such as nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, and ammonium.

Please educate me, I searched it with no success.

Thanks


Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Moe,

Looks like your ammonia bacteria has finally caught up to the nitrite bacteria. You should be ok with your test form now on. Keep a check on the test and report any new developments if they may happen

Hi Moe,

There are two specific types of nitrifying bacteria which does the work of converting nitrogen in our AP. The first bacteria is responsible for converting ammonia to nitrite. The second one converts nitrite to nitrate. So if you have a large population of nitrite converting bacteria and a smaller population of ammonia converting bacteria, your test will show, a close to or a zero nitrite/nitrate reading, and a noticeable reading for ammonia. Because of a larger amount of "nitrite bacteria" as soon as the ammonia converts to nitrite it will quickly change it to nitrate and plants will remove that just as speedily. Because of a smaller amount of "ammonia bacteria" conversion will be slower here and so we register ammonia in the system for a longer time. All this seems to be the logical line of thought for what may be happening with your AP.

Thank you.

How do we encourage the "ammonia bacteria" to increase?
 
Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Moe,

There are two specific types of nitrifying bacteria which does the work of converting nitrogen in our AP. The first bacteria is responsible for converting ammonia to nitrite. The second one converts nitrite to nitrate. So if you have a large population of nitrite converting bacteria and a smaller population of ammonia converting bacteria, your test will show, a close to or a zero nitrite/nitrate reading, and a noticeable reading for ammonia. Because of a larger amount of "nitrite bacteria" as soon as the ammonia converts to nitrite it will quickly change it to nitrate and plants will remove that just as speedily. Because of a smaller amount of "ammonia bacteria" conversion will be slower here and so we register ammonia in the system for a longer time. All this seems to be the logical line of thought for what may be happening with your AP.

Hi Moe,

These bacteria exist in the atmosphere, all around us. They require a source of ammonia and nitrite as a their food. The best we can do to encourage them to grow, is by providing the following optimal conditions. For the ammonia  converting bacteria :

1. Temperatures between 75 F - 85 F

2. PH 7.8 to 8

3. High levels of Dissolved Oxygen.

4. A presence of Phosphates.

5. Cycle with mineral containing water. Avoid RO water.

6. Water must not contain chlorine/chloramines.

7. Natural lighting is ok but direct sunlight  not. No Ultra Violet light.

8. Ammonia levels 2ppm - 4ppm.

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