Okay I'm completely plumbed and ready to start recycling. While I await my fish and their cycle, I'm going to feed with Maxicrop. My issue is what ratio to use?
I have a 600 gallon pool and right now am thinking of putting in all my remaining Maxicrop (96 oz) in it. However that will be substancially weaker than the plants have been getting. I've been going with 1/2 oz per gallon but too get that ratio in the pool would call for 300 ozs (2.5 gallons) - putting what I have in would give me .15 oz to the gallon. Seems pretty diluted
I could raise the ratio some by draining the pool down to 300 gallons
Give me some thoughts folks.. I'm second guessing myself at this point.
I am going through a fishless cycle in a very small system as it's my first (55 gallons) with a media bed that flows into a plastic down spout (4"x3" gutter - cheaper than 4"PVC) as a NFT style that then dumps back into the (future) fish tank. I have been working on this for a few weeks using clear ammonia. All is going pretty good, I think. pH is between 6.5 and 7.2 normally - a little low the last couple of days, nitrates are up there (5 ppm for over a week now) and nitrates are coming around (30 ppm today, 50 yesterday - rain water diluted??) In the meantime, I've planted in the media bed an all are doing pretty ok. Am I on the right track? Shouldn't the nitrites be decreasing by now?? Ammonia is slowly and steadily decreasing as well. Currently adding 1 tbsp every morning (down from 2 the first week or so.)
Also, is there a solution for mosquitoes?? I didn't realize they could breed in continuously moving water, but seems they can (little bastards). I'm going to start with Molly's or any other fish you can recommend (hopefully soon). Will they eat the larve in the fish tank? Also have a holding tank that has turned into a breeding ground but I've tried to seal of the open areas to prevent access, so we'll see...
I want to start some spouts for the gutter and need good, 4" roots to reach the stream. I've been reading that you recommend Maxicrop in the system to help feed the plants during the cycling, however, prior to my aqua endevour, I was looking into hydro gardens and have some nutrients from that. One is Maxsea 3-20-20. I also have floralicious that was recommended for root development which is a 1-0.7-0.6 I was considering ramping up my mini hyro system and getting the spouts good and strong using a modified bubbler system, but wanted to see if anyone knew if these (most likely Floralicious) will hurt the fish/bacteria once" transplanted" (using 2" net pots). I can also consider flushing the rooted spouts for a few days with fresh water before transplant. Just worried I'll mess it all up this first time and have to start from the beginning which would be very detrimental to all, especially me. :) Thanks in advance! Sorry for all the questions in one post.
I'd just simply use a little maxicrop (few cap fulls perhaps) in the AP system and start your seedling directly in the system. Just get yourself a rayon mop head (goodwill mop from the grocery store perhaps) and use the stings as wicks to bring moisture up to the germinating seeds and the roots will follow the mop string down into the water so you don't have to mess with transplanting tiny seedlings into the net pots later.
I probably wouldn't mess with the other nutrient mix since it has probably not been tested out with aquaponics, it might be just fine but as you said, you don't really want to mess around after spending all this time getting the system cycled up.
Patience on the cycling. You might go without an ammonia dose for a day or two and see if the nitrite starts comming down. Then dose the system up to only 1 ppm ammonia and then measure the time it takes for both the ammonia and nitrite to get to 0. Then dose again and once the system reaches the point where you can dose to 1 ppm of ammonia and then both ammonia and nitrite reach 0 within 24 hours, your will be fishlessly cycled up. I would then say continue to dose small amounts of ammonia until a couple days before you hope to get fish. Keep an eye on the pH since it sounds like you may be nearing the "cycled up" stage and the pH could drop suddenly. Don't let the pH get below 6 as that can crash your bacteria and cause the ammonia to spike again. A pH of between 6.5-7.2 is fine and many would say 6.8 is ideal. Many people will take action on the pH when it gets down to 6.5.