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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Jan 24th, '12, 21:20 
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Thanks Rupert.
Even by my weights the amount they are eating is way down on what it should be.

The lengths of the fish are fairly accurate as I have some 100mm rings in the tank that I use as reference points for sizing. There are the odd "monster" fish that are more than 2 times the size of a ring so I make that 200 to 225mm and some that are only just bigger than the ring so I make that 100 to 125mm.

Today the water temps was up to 26.5 as we are having a run of 39 to 42C days (in Perth) and my new beds (more on that later) are in the full sun. Even at that temp I had trouble getting 50gms of feed into them over 3 feeds.

Oh well at least they are growing and its not costing me as much in fish food.

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 20th, '12, 16:43 
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Firstly I have a confession to make. I started out with 100 SP - 25 were to go to some friends. I only had 2 beds so I was overstocked but had every intention of putting in the extra bed or 2 ASAP. The best laid plans... as they say. Well work took off and the friends did not take the fish and I was in no position to put 2 extra beds in. So I added 2 extra drain holes to the inner standpipe and changed the pump cycle to 15 mins on and 15 mins off. It drained perfectly with the extra holes in the 15 mins. My theory was that if I increased the water throughput I would increase the filtration and buy me some time until I could get the 2 or 3 extra beds in by Christmas.


It's getting hard to find the time to keep the updates coming. The fish and plants are growing quicker than I can update :mrgreen:

With some time off over Christmas I manage to get an extra bed in. This bed was not one of the BYAP beds but a propagating tray I had lying around. The maximum depth for the hydroton is about 120mm. All up it holds 250 litres of hydroton so exactly half the size.

I finally got it in by mid January
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Given that it is so shallow the bed fills to just below the surface. As the hydroton is almost to the lip of the bed it made for some work getting the standpipe the right height so it did not overflow. Well after a few HSM due to the overflow I got the height right.

I was going to limit the bed to lettuce and salad greens but enthusiasm got the better of me and I planted it up with lettuce, broccoli, egg plant, chives and basil.

Now just over 5 weeks later look at the growth.
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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 20th, '12, 16:47 
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and some more photos.
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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 20th, '12, 16:51 
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just to give an idea of size, here are some pics with secaturs for reference.

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the lettuces have been harvested and the egg plant is flowering.

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 20th, '12, 20:23 
Looking good Marc... :cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 20th, '12, 23:35 
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Great stuff Marc, keep the pics coming :)

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 22nd, '12, 21:00 
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thanks guys

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 23rd, '12, 04:05 
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Awesome :)
I'm still amazed at how fast things grow..

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 25th, '12, 20:33 
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OK so I have covered my third bed. Just back tracking a little. The pictures below are from my original 2 beds. They were taken a day or 2 before Christmas.


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The celery was doing ok but the rest were not that impressive and a bit disappointing.

The PH of the water was around 7.6 as I had put a bit of shell grit in the tank as well as some stocking filled with shell grit. (The stockings were removed in October.) I added the shell grit to buffer the water to prevent PH swings as the water has no carbonates in it as it is rainwater.

Anyhow I put the poor growth down to the high pH and new system.

To compensate a little for any nutrient lock out due to Ph I sprayed weekly with eco rose to provide potash and kept the iron levels up, sometime sprinkling a little around each plant. That got rid of most of the obvious nutrient deficiencies but growth was still fairly ordinary. These plants are growing in a green house so should be growing fast and luxuriant. The nitrates were around 60ppm so that was no excuse.

Having grown plants and vegies all my life the results were, to say the least a tad disapointing. Sound familier? I must have read dozens of posts that say similar things.

However...

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: Feb 25th, '12, 20:55 
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However...

Come February, the pH dropped to 6.8 to 7 and the plants bolted, well most of them.

The photos below dont do the plants justice as I have been harvesting. But its not hard to see the growth.
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As the add says "it wont happen overnight but it will happen". I still spray the fruiting plants with eco rose weekly to fortnightly (depending on how busy I am).

A quick digression.
A few posts ago I showed a picture of a tadpole that had lost part of its leg (probably due to a SP having a snack).

Anyhow during the recent heat wave when we had a run of 40C+ days I found this little frog up near the house. It was very dehydrated in the heat. On closer examination The lower part of its right leg missing. Could this be the same one as the tadpole that I took a picture of earlier?

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The pictures also gives a good idea how big the frogs are shortly after metamorphosis.

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: May 22nd, '12, 22:39 
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Trout have been in since early April and doing real well. The odd HSM but all in all they are doing what they do best eat and crap. :-P

Anyhow tonight i noticed one of the fish near the surface and he did not seem to have good boyancy although he swam OK. Later tonight I noticed that he was getting worse so rather than waste a good fish I took the initiatve and euthanised it. :mrgreen: for the pot.

it was a tidy 10 inches or 250mm and 250gm intact and 180gms gutted and no head. Not bad for this time of year.
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I'm no expert but I would guess that with the shape of its body perhaps it had a swimbladder infection. Or perhaps it was the huge black beetle lavae they were eating on the weekend.

All the rest are doing fine. It's not so bad 'cos I get to have an early feed.

I've not had this problem before but with my aquarium fish they rarely recover without medication. Has anyone had trout recover from symptoms like this?

The SP are doing fine and I'm feeding them at night when they are out and about. I'm still feeding sinking food as I can control what they are eating. With the ralativly bare floor I can see what they do or dont eat and what they dont eat is easily fished out. The floating food just gets caught up in the plants and sits there rotting.

I still prefer my SP as they are way more interesting. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: May 22nd, '12, 22:56 
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I know everyone raves about a refractometer for testing salt in their tanks so on impulse I lashed out and bought one. Like Charlie and others have found at the levels we are looking for it is hard to get an accurate reading. I was using the pool salt testing strips but as no one thought they were a good idea I thought the refractometer would be the go.
Nup back to the good old strips. They are expensive, about 70c each but they are accurate and so easy to use.

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In the photo the top of the white bit in the centre brown strip is on about 2 which equates to about 550ppm or 0.5ppt. Time to add more salt. This was a test solution that I made up to 0.5ppt to check the accuracy of the strips as well as on the electronic testing equipment at work (which said 590ppm)

Now I use the refractometer to test the pool water and it doubles as a paper weight. :shifty:

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: May 22nd, '12, 23:18 
Marc de Woose wrote:
In the photo the top of the white bit in the centre brown strip is on about 2 which equates to about 550ppm or 0.5ppt. Time to add more salt. This was a test solution that I made up to 0.5ppt to check the accuracy of the strips as well as on the electronic testing equipment at work (which said 590ppm)

Is your refractometer an "auto temperature correcting" model Marc???.... and/or is it calibrated....

Really... that's not a huge discrepancy ... 550ppm comapred to 590ppm...

And easily explained by either a temperature correction... or a slight degree of calibration...


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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 08:54 
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The 550ppm vs 590ppm was the strips compared to the electronic testing equipment at work (laboratory). I agree that the difference for our purpose is not significant. The Refractometer is auto temp correcting but seeing the 1000ppm/1ppt line at the very bottom is for me hard to distinguish so tend not to use it. I can appreciate that for others especially those that that may run higher salt levels (I run 1ppt) that the refractometer would be fine.
Just for me the strips are convenient and accurate; and perhaps an alternative to those that dont want to use a refrectometer or would like the convienience of something simple (although for me a refractometer is simple just hard to read at the low concentrations I am using)

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 Post subject: Re: Marc's System
PostPosted: May 23rd, '12, 09:04 
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When I want to do a salinity check (senility check?), I just take a water sample to one of my friendly local swimming pool shops and they do it for me for free using their digital thingy-whatsit-magic-machine. (They charge a small fee to do a "full" water analysis.)

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