Aquaponic Gardening

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Aloha,

I'm just getting into Aquaponics and this is my first experiment.  I am running a 20 gallon fish tank (FT) and a 21.5 gallon grow bed (GB).  My auto siphon is set at the 20 gallon level in the grow bed leaving roughly 1 1/2 " of dry gravel on top.  The total GB depth is 15".  I started cycling the system three days ago using the Peemonia method.  Two days ago I added a hefty amount of bio active water from filter squeezings from my local fish store.  Within the last 24 hours my FT has turned a very cloudy yellowish color and my GB is starting to smell like my kids diaper pail.  I haven't begun to heat the tank but I'm considering it because the outside temp is sub zero and the room the tank is in is around 60.

My levels are:

pH = 7.4

Ammonia = 4ppm

Nitrites = 0

Nitrates = 0

Is this stink normal in the cycling process?  Can I expect it to subside as the bacteria colony establishes?  Will the tank clear up during the process?  I'm afraid that the stink may get me and the system kicked out of the house and into the cold.  

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There you go Keith. I'd listen to Jon on this one...pints, pounds, gallons and all

I did measure out some salt for you in a couple of different teaspoons I have...in one type of teaspoon a slightly rounded spoonful weighed 8.25grams...in the other type of teaspoon the same type of salt weighed 5.03grams. Quite a variation. Better to go with Jon's 1 cup measurement for your 20 gallons than some unknown teaspoon sizes.

Lost three more today.  9 of the original 21 are still swimming.  I hope this attrition abates soon.  6 of the nine living are large (3-5 inches) and very strong.  They haven't shown any signs of ICH, eat voraciously, and swim non-stop.  The three (of 15) little guys (< 1 inch) are not as energetic as their large cousins. These are the fish showing ICH symptoms.  They are still eating but mostly they are lazing around in the tank. The crawfish hides all day. Though I think he is pissed at me, I reached into the tank to adjust the pump flow rate and he came at me with kung fu claws.

Water temp is up to 82- 84 (so is the entire room, it is actually nice to hang out in there with Alaska being firmly in winter's grasp) Salt is in per Jon's formula. Waiting continues.

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