Aquaponic Gardening

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Right after getting my poor little 10 gallon community into the partially filled 55 gallon I was happy to see that everyone was doing well and nothing had died - despite a night without filtration or an air pump.

Last night I also added sand & some malaysian trumpet snails + 2 other filters (see new video I just added) using just lava rocks & plants in hopes to create as much space for bacteria to grow as possible.  I have to say as a side note, the filters are incredibly efficient at clearing any kind of cloudy from the water, even after adding the sand last night, the water was crystal clear this morning.

Here comes the question about pH.  The 10 gallon was around the 3 month mark before it leaked.  The last time I tested the water the pH was holding a steady 6.8, the water was between soft and hard on the strip, I had excellent buffering capacity (total alkalinity?) and no sign of nitrites or nitrates.

After a day or two of seeing the fish looked OK - I got another test kit and the results were a pH of 5.5, soft water, good buffering capacity (though not excellent, I forget the number) still no sign of nitrites or nitrates.

I am concerned about the low pH because I do not want my bacteria to die off if it drops any lower.  The fish seem OK, so I'm not worried about pH shock with them, I haven't even had deaths since the 10 gallon leaked, so I'm assuming they've adapted just fine.  Since my buffering capacity still reads OK, I'm not worried about a wild pH swing either.  I should also note that the plants seem healthy and some have already shown signs of new growth, plus the roots are all growing and healthy - so that combined with no nitrite/nitrate is telling me the bacteria are breaking down waste.

I'm wondering if any of you have had similar things happen with pH, or if you think this is just because the tank is technically new and things will slowly slide back up the scale? The gravel, rocks, and main filter are all from the original tank, but only about a gallon of the water (there is currently about 20 gallons in the tank, 19 of which is from the tap, though it is dechlorinated) is original. The other thing I was thinking was if the dechlorinator could have something to do with this pH drop? I always let my water sit for 48 hours before adding it to de-gas, but as starting this one was an emergency, I had to buy dechlorinator so I could fill it right away.

I've been contemplating getting a hold of some crushed coral and sprinkling it on the sand so the water washes over it and slowly dissolves to help with the pH - but wanted to wait a bit and see if the tank adjusts on its own...I'm so "need it right now" sometimes, LOL, but don't want to shock the fish either and want to stay away from pH up & down products. OK, that's the end of my pH rant :) Any suggestions or shared stories are welcome.


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I was on the first floor, lucky no basement. I had to use a steam cleaner to suck up all the water and some fans to help dry things.


The water under the carpet and the weight of the tank where enough to warp the floor about a quarter of an inch over the 4 foot length of the tank. You could just barely tell if you knew it was there when walking. A tank is a large water level, so looking at that, it's easy to see.

The whole cause of it was my playing with putting a tank on top of the tank.


I had made a weir siphon overflow box for the small tank on top. The first time, I think my drain lines moved or maybe just weren't long enough of something so they came short of fully draining into the tank, and I pumped all the water from the big tank into the little tank and flooded the floor. & (missing it's photos, sorry)

The second time, my drain tubes air-locked I think. They ended up forming an S shape, but there wasn't enough elevation to push the air clear of the 2nd curve in the drain tubes.  1 big drain is better than 2 small ones in this case.


Needless to say, I now build stuff so that they want to flow back into a container, rather than the floor.


I think that's all my flood related blog posts, I edited this post 3 times now as I found more posts.

Ricky Flickenger said:

Hey Mike, I meant to ask you, what happened that your tank dumped twice? Hopefully no damage anywhere - my place makes me nervous because it's an apt and there is carpet everywhere, also on the third floor.

Mike Creuzer said:
...a bunch of stuff...

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