I started my system again after killing all my fish. I have a total of 180 gals and grow media with expanded clay. I did have a float system but have taken it out and replacing the liner. During the recycling now for 5 days I have added ammonia each day and it as been consumed each day. I have no nitrites that I can measure but after 5 or so days I decided to test for nitrates and found that they were at least 40ppm. Is it possible that the chlorine bath only killed the fish and the bacteria in the grow media survived? Where would the nitrates be coming from otherwise? I used irrigation water from the river to start the system this time and avoided tap water. If in fact the system survived can I replace the fish? Do the nitrites come and go so fast that I can measure them? Questions, questions. All from a new grower. Any comments would be great. Len
To be sure you can test for Nitrites a few hours after dosing ammonia, every hour, for about 4-6 hours. The next day test after dosing from the 6th hour to the 10th just to be sure. Could be the river water was preloaded with a fair density of bacteria, could be your system is cycled already. Give it a few days and test as suggested, it won't be long before you'll know all the facts.
You need to hold the ammonia level at 4ppm, so no more dosing. Yes the plants have enough Nitrates, good for growth. Please continue testing for Ammonia and Nitrites each day from tomorrow. If your ammonia starts to decrease and you still don't get a Nitrite reading I'll have to suspect a faulty test kit. But, at any rate lets just wait and see
When you tested the irrigation water before adding it to your system what did the numbers say? Testing your source water before hand is always a good idea so that you have a baseline to work from.
A flowing river ecosystem probably won't show much on the test, but it sure will have bacteria alive in it. You should still be keeping an eye on the Nitrites especially, see if they peak or flatline. My guess is, as you haven't had any nitrite reading previously and are now registering some, it'll probably rise, peak, and subside. But we still have to wait and see
Thanks for that. I will watch this week.