I recently (system completed on 7/25) got my freindly style raft system going. I added nitrifying agents to the system to get the nitrogen cycle moving quicker. However, I have no type of testing materials to see where levels sit in the water. I introduced plants into the system on the 10th and am seeing good growth with lettuce, cucumber, and squash. Tomatoes are having issues, but I am thinking this due to the heat. The grow trough has algea growing on the sides which i believe is due to about 3 inches of open space at one end of the rafts. I am using goldfish currently in the main fish tank. I transfered 10 of them into the grow trough to help with algae. They are doing well on algae alone and while it seems the trough water and walls are not getting greener, they are not getting less green. So, my question is, how much should I be concerned with the algae, and what can I do to get rig of or reduce it?
I had the same spaces on the sides of the Styrofoam. I cut strips and wedged them between the sides, cuts the light out completely and there's no more algae growth. However this amount of algae will not adversely affect the AP in any appreciably way. So solution would be left to the question of how picky the operator is!
I run my 3/4 main airline down the edge of the troughs in that extra 3" gap. The mainline has branches every 4' pointing down. The 3/4 line is attached to the top of the trough and suspended just below the top of. This makes it like a bumper the crowds the rafts over to the other side. I leave 1/2 slop so I can push rafts down the line to the harvest end. I cover the space from the top of trough to the 3/4 line with some recycled vertical blind strips. This method cuts out light and there is very little algae growing now. The skeet fish eat what does grow.
Algae = tilapia food if in tilapia tank.
Having a little play is a definate plus on a large system, and a little algae doesn't hurt.
I have moved some goldfish into the grow trough and they are enjoying the algae. I have also improved coverage so the algea isnt so much of a problem.
Thanks for the feedback.
Using 51" wide and 12" deep makes a 6' wide liner work perfect to build in the proper belly in the liner. If you build troughs that are less then 51" then care must be taken to ensure the proper belly is maintained so the weight of the water does not bow out your sides.
Beware of the fish you put into your troughs!! Goldfish will eat your roots if they run out of other food. If you notice that your plants are not growing much it is likely due to the goldfish. Getting unwanted fish out of a trough is a big hassle and best done in the dark with flashlights. ALL rafts need to be removed so there are no easy hiding places. Goldfish will hide in the muck on the bottom if they feel threatened.
Will the shrimp do anything to the roots of my plants??? Can you get them at any fish store???
Chi Ma said:
A Shade your troughs as much as you can. Algae needs light to grow. Plant more plants to starve the algae. Get some algae eating shrimp.
putting duckweed in the tank will shade the water from the sun and produce a good food source of food for your tilapia.