Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi there,

I've got some tilapia fry who died recently, for no clear cause.  They system is stable at just about every level right now, for the past few days.  So I'm just kind-of wondering: other than ammonia/nitrites, what are the top reasons fish die with no obvious cause?

For my fish specifically, I've put them through some mild pH changes and not-so-mild temperature changes over the last couple of weeks.  I have some food made myself from the following recipe from RD Aquafarms.  They ate it excitedly when it was fresh, but since I've frozen and thawed it they seem less enthusiastic.

  • Soften 1 quart of dry fish food in water
  • Mix 2 eggs into food
  • Boil 2 cups of water and add 1 ounce of Knox gelatin, sir until disolved
  • Mix gelatin with egg/food mixture, an old food processor or blender works well
  • Recipe can be cut in half. Store in refrigerator!

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No need to be embarrassed; sometimes you just don't know something exists. I don't have any recommendations because our water system removes the chlorine out of our well water before it gets to the hose. But here's an example of one on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Rainshowr-GG-2010-Garden-Filter-System/dp/B00...

Looks like they're gonna run you about $50 :/



Gregory J. Showalter said:

Alex I feel a little embarrassed. Just NEVER thought of a dechlorinator on my garden hose. I've never seen one. Can you recommend? I jumped right on. Your Uncle Jim's worms suggestion!
Just placed my order Alex, thank you for the direction!

Hi Harold, went out this morning and purchased a pool test kit for Chlorine. The kit tests to the lowest at 0.4 ppm. The good news is that I got no chlorine reading (all clear, no tint at all) in the FT. Tested my kitchen tap water and it registered at least 0.4, hard to tell the difference between 0.4 & 0.6. Bad news is I pulled another fish out of the pond dead. when I thought about it, because of the rain we were getting in the few days after I added the fish, I did not water the garden from the garden hose. Just yesterday for the first time after adding the fish, and no chlorine reading today. I'm down to 20 out of 25 fingerlings. Water temp this morning 65 degrees F, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and very disappointed that my nitrates have went on vacation 0 ppm down from 5ppm. I think I know now why my greens were starting to turn brown- no nitrates. Hope they come back soon! I'm hoping the fish loss is for the reasons you've previously stated, the stress of transport and those various factors.

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Gregory,

I have a friend with an in-ground FT who experienced the same, but his comes from a nearby river when it becomes flooded. He put in a concrete filled trench and on top of this, a one row height of concrete blocks all around the FT, which solved his problem. Your guess about the fish deaths and this occurrence is a plausible enough assumption. Dealing with rainwater affecting the PH is not such a big problem and should not be the cause of fish death. Chlorine could be entering the FT and you could do as Alex suggested as a temporary fix. Notice a bucket under a dripping faucet overnight and you'll get an idea of the effect of the trickle y6ou're getting now. Unfortunately in AP we learn more from our mistakes than anything else

Hi Gregory,

Its probably a good idea not to feed the fish for about one week, till things settle down, or at least until the temps get a bit higher.

I will do that Harold. Thanks again!


Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Gregory,

Its probably a good idea not to feed the fish for about one week, till things settle down, or at least until the temps get a bit higher.

It's weird when a post takes on new life 3 months later.  Anyhow, if it's ok to bring it back around, does anyone have a top-ten fish death causes?  

I've been surprised how many red tilapia died from the water just being at 75 over time.  At 80, happy as clams.  Some websites list that as the bottom of their "optimal" range.  Apparently not for mine.

Related to chlorine, I found this link about chlorine and gardening.  Apparently that's not so bad, so they say: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1548.html.  I use a filter when filling my tanks and it's working well.

Hi Jeremiah,

Yes, its still alive dealing with the fish death topics

Got this from a search 

http://voices.yahoo.com/10-reasons-why-fish-die-ways-keep-them-2150...

Sometime fish die for no apparent reason, or so we think. If fish are exposed to ammonia/nitrite/temp swing spikes, periodically over time or all at once especially when they're young during cycling, I believe their life expectancy will be shortened, and they succumb more easily to disease/stress. I experienced a few Nitrite spikes onetime and 8 months later had a couple of fish deaths. They were generally weaker than the rest of the pack and were eventually bludgeoned to death. Nature removes weakness for the stronger gene to survive.

Notice when it rains how your plants grow as compared to watering with the city water

You made me feel a whole lot better Jeremiah about the chlorine with this link!

Jeremiah Robinson said:

It's weird when a post takes on new life 3 months later.  Anyhow, if it's ok to bring it back around, does anyone have a top-ten fish death causes?  

I've been surprised how many red tilapia died from the water just being at 75 over time.  At 80, happy as clams.  Some websites list that as the bottom of their "optimal" range.  Apparently not for mine.

Related to chlorine, I found this link about chlorine and gardening.  Apparently that's not so bad, so they say: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1548.html.  I use a filter when filling my tanks and it's working well.

Hmm, good to know. Thanks for the chlorine information!

Jeremiah Robinson said:

It's weird when a post takes on new life 3 months later.  Anyhow, if it's ok to bring it back around, does anyone have a top-ten fish death causes?  

I've been surprised how many red tilapia died from the water just being at 75 over time.  At 80, happy as clams.  Some websites list that as the bottom of their "optimal" range.  Apparently not for mine.

Related to chlorine, I found this link about chlorine and gardening.  Apparently that's not so bad, so they say: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1548.html.  I use a filter when filling my tanks and it's working well.

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