Aquaponic Gardening

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I am still having problems with my 1300 gallon tank water clarity.  The filter is simply not clearing the suspended coloration caused by food and waste.  Any one have a good plan that I can use to build a clairfier?

Are chemical clairfiers safe for fish and any good?

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The water should always have a brown tinit

Coloration is going to be hard to get rid of and in aquaponics a healthy system has amber to brown tinted water like weak tea and this is just fine for normal aquaponics.

The fish don't mind brown or amber water.

Is there a reason you are trying to get rid of the tinted water?

If you are going for totally clear water without any tints or tannens in it, that will probably require some really extreme filtration and it will probably be a constant filter change out job since the bio-slime will foul most any filters that are going to do any good for your situation.

When you talk about clairifiers those are usually for settling out solids and unless you are talking about particles in the water I don't think any chemical flocculation or settling tanks are going to help you out.

Hello Phil,

Rob and TCLynx are on the ball re brown or amber tint in AP water. You notice this more when you have IBC's or other transparent fish tanks and less if the tanks are rubbermaid black or other darker non transparent color (eg. blue). Having a bio filter tank along with media beds connected to the AP System will also assist in further clarification of the water...however it all depends upon your personal preference as to how clear you want your fish tank water to be :-)

God bless

I "Polish"  my water in the swimming pool with a product which emulates diatomaceous earth. This is just filtering out very fine particles. However even if fish safe: this would remove everything the fish are contributing except ammonia. 

Thank you all, my mind is more easy about this.

Brown water good, unless you are aiming for crystal clear display tanks.

Heck many types of fish prefer the tinted water.  Trout might be an exception but as long as you keep the water quality really good I doubt it bothers them either.

My converted jacuzzi has a red colored fiberglass, now lined with a thin bio-film the tilapia graze on like cattle. The water is tinted and except for the glare on the surface or water motion from the flow of the water, I can still see the fish hanging out 3 feet deep. Seems like trying to make it anymore clear than that defeats the biology of the system. Would be nice to have a "clear" view tank connected that I could watch the fish in, but they would probably hang in the darker area, happy not to be seen.

Exactly Jim!

In a lighter color tank you can usually see the fish well but as algae and stuff grows on the sides it gets a little harder to see the fish depending on the light angles.

In my big dark blue tanks, it is really difficult to see fish like my bluegill or catfish.

Actually, it doesn't matter what color the tank is, bluegill are almost always difficult to see since they seem to change color to blend into their surroundings.  In a dark tank, they are dark and in a white tank they are light.

Thanks for the input

Hey phil, Why don't you circulate your pond water constantly. If im remembering correctly, you don't have grow beds,so you dont need the water for plants.

Maybe you could build the de-gassing unit that we have been chatting about. I believe it could help, the foam removed from the unit should carry away alot of solids that would normally be returned to the fish tanks.

You could also try a modified version of a protein skimmer used for salt water aquariums.

Good morning Tony and thank you for the post.

I would luv to circulate the pond water, but this is the rub.  I do not have enough water in the pond at this time for the pond to be doing its natural filtration and balancing act.  See this pic:

I lowered the level of the pond to change the plumbing from having the rain catchment water come into the pond at the bottom,  to having it come in at the top of the pond.  See the horizontal white PVC pipe on the left, mid-picture behind the tree?  That is the outflow of my sump system at the end of all the rainwater collection system.  [If the sump stops working the water backs up from the sump and runs off into a creek that is in that row of trees on the extreme left of the picture.  By this changing over to surface entry, I get more water in the pond.

The rains have not come yet to fill the pond!

My other challenge is the pumping and return distance.  It is about 400 yards from the pond to the grow house where the tanks are located.  No sense in the expense while the pond is so low.  However, the pump cage is done and when the water levels return it and the pump and the 3'' PVC feed will go in the pond.

However, when I get the pond filled, I am going to re-visit your idea.  This is the 3-horsepower Tsurnami pump that I have to accomplish the trick:

Now if I can stabilize my water  quantity in the pond, I will be in business.

If I can use pond water, with its natural filtration and water quality system, I can do away with filters.  After installing the pond system to my tanks, I can leave the old pump/filter system in place.  If the pond goes down or if the pond pump craps out, the 1-way check valves will prevent the tank water from running back into the pond.  Then I just bring the old pump/filter system back on line for the grow tanks, and address what ever the pond issues are.

Thanks Tony for bringing up the pond water idea.

Just a quick note (you may already know this or have thought about it so don't be offended I'm saying more for the other people reading this who will get the idea that you can leave a filter system idle just in case and just pop it on and expect it to be able to cope.)

Anyway, keep some water flow and aeration going through the old filter system so it can stay live and aerobic.  If you leave a filter system to dry out the bacteria will die off or if you leave it wet but not flowing it will go anaerobic.  Either way if you start it up again for "emergency" it won't be very effective till it re-cycles up! 

I once had a sand filter that I had had the system water running through but then I diverted the flow away from it for a time and a few days later when I went to send flow through it again, it had gone anaerobic.   OOOHH the smell was bad!!!!!  This isn't something you suddenly want to start flowing into your fish tank, especially during an emergency type situation.  So if you want to keep a backup filteration system on hand, I recommend making sure you keep it live and aerobic even if you are not depending on it for your filtration, keep a trickle of water circulating through it and keep the aeration going for it, otherwise suddenly turning it on into your system could be ineffective (if it was dried out) or actually detrimental (if it was allowed to go anaerobic.)

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