Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I just sent in samples on my fish tanks and water coming from my sink to see what I had. I have 2 separate fish tanks and raft systems. My potable water had no coliform present. Then I sent in 2 samples for E.Coli and Salmonella. Both fish tanks had not detected on the Salmonella and on the E.coli it was >1600 MPN/100ml.

The test they did for E.coli was called ESCHERICHIA COLI SM9221 F.

I called them and asked what it meant and the lab person said that all of the test tubes had greater than 1600. They cannot go higher than 2 he said.  I am completely confused.

There is no way that I have not been careful with any animals in the greenhouse or using anything other than worms in one of my beds. Washing my hands all the time and not using anything in my system.

Now what do I do?

Views: 811

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I called the lab and they said that it was a generic e.coli not the H. number that is all talked about.

Does anyone know how to get rid of it?

I was told during a tour of Sweetwater Organics that redworms have something in, and on them that kills E. coli. Not sure if this helps, but I don't think it will hurt.

I have red worms in my system

Joe, did you have your source water tested?

Yes it was fine with no coliforms found.

If your source water is e-coli free... then the e-coli is being introduced into the system from some other source... and you need to identify the source..

Could your fish feed be contaminated by vermin faeces or urine

Were the worms from a bin of yours that you've had for more than 6 months?...Or from a source that you trust to have not used any manure in their rearing of the worms? If so, is it possible that mice or other warm blooded vermin exist in the GH?

Another possibility... indeed Vlad.... perhaps vermin either gaining entry to the fish tank... or contaminating the grow beds...

Rupert, say Joe does identify the source and is able to take care of it (for example if it's the feed, or mice), is there anything that you know of that he can do (short of the drastic and obvious) to rid the system of e. coli yet not annihilate his bio-filer? 

Hey Rupert talking about fish feed.. I just went through a time where I was feeding my catfish 6 quarter cups of Purina Fish chow and they were pigs eating multiple amounts of pellets and boiling the top of the water to eat and I ran out and purchased a new bag of the same thing and they are not eating at all. I had another post about that and I ended up salting 2 tanks down for 3 days. They stopped swimming into the sides and looking terrible. I lost over 25 fish during that time. They looked like they were not getting enough oxygen, the one swimming into the sides,  but my DO tests were okay not high but okay. They are still not eating like they were, I switched to Aquamax 600 and they still are not eating that at all. My fish guy said to keep an eye on them and see how they do and that it could take a week before they start eating again. I have Perch in the same tank and they are eating a Aquamax 300 sinking pellet but not as fast as they used too. The cats could be eating leftovers underneath them but it is not the same at all.

I could have bad feed and the fish are just getting over it. I gave the bag back, and got my money back, but should have kept some for my own testing.

Vlad as far as my worms I got them from an outside source and have no idea if they were contaminated. They were put into the system about 4 months ago and they could have had it. As far as mice I do not see anything around the fish tank. Rupert, It is below grade and covered and my rafts are full with rafts and I have a lava rock bio-filter up 5 feet off the ground.

It is also possible that the lava rock I used could have been contaminated. I purchased it from a landscaping yard were it is out in the open. I washed it before I used it but not sterilized it.

I read or thought I heard on a video from Glen Martinez that he had this problem and he used EM or BEM or BIM not sure though.  I emailed him but have not heard yet on what he did. I am still trying to find the video I saw. If one of those will work and not crash the bio-filter I will give it a try. I want to get my own test kit for E.Coli to see what results I get now so I can see them and then when they get removed not see them and get my system tested again from the lab and make sure they are all gone.

Well, the worms are a good candidate then. It is very prudent to rear your own or know the source. The lava rock would certainly be in the running as well. Much of lava rock sold in the US to landscaping companies and big-box stores, first did duty at water treatment facilities, either chemical or waste treatment before being sold off for use in landscaping. Lava rocks sold for landscaping were and are intended to be used as such...for landscaping purposes, and not in a re-circulating soil-less food production system. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. 

I'm not saying that it's the rocks...just that you should know what the deal is with them.

Reply to Discussion


© 2024   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service