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PostPosted: Oct 12th, '19, 11:25 
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Hey all,

So I’ve finally started the build of my 2 IBC AP system.

It will be expanded in the near future, but to start with I’ll have a fish tank, sump tank,a media bed and a wicking bed.

Here is my progress so far:

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PostPosted: Oct 24th, '19, 19:46 
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Hey folks,

I’ll post up some photos soon of my progress.

I had a bit of trouble getting the auto siphon to stop but added a short piece of pipe to the outlet which did the trick.

I’m cycling without fish using seasol power feed. I’ve got the ammonia between 1 and 2 ppm but no nitrites yet. It’s only been a week or so it’s been running so early days.

As I’ve added seasol, I’ve also put in some plants. The first lot (mainly corn, beans and peas) were going well so I added some kale, spinach and broccoli plus a few tomatoes. I’ve researched companion planting and tried to put things together or apart as recommended.

I’ve noticed this morning that I have yellow leaves on some plants and the kale have gone limp. I tested the pH and it was 8.2. The water was at a pH of 6.4 when I filled the system. I’m guessing the pH was too high - perhaps I overdid the seasol? I dumped just over half the water in the fish tank and refilled it. After cycling through for a few hours, I tested the pH and it had only dropped to 8.0. I was expecting mid to high 7’s given the volume of water I replaced.

My FT holds about 680l water, the sump has about 250l which feeds both the FT and single media grow bed. I used canna leca clay pebbles in the bed.

What should I do next to get the pH to a better level. I was aiming for between 6.5 and 7.2 or is that not right?

I don’t want to lose the plants in the AP system already, and have more seedlings ready in my greenhouse to go in but am worried I’ve messed up somewhere.

All advice from those who’ve gone before me will be appreciated.

Cheers,
Paul



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PostPosted: Oct 25th, '19, 06:59 
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Don't stress too much about the pH. It will come down as system matures and you will then be trying to hold it up.


Everyone goes through this. Depending on your local temps it will take 4-6 weeks for your system to cycle. The hard part is to not try and micro manage your system.

The plant issues could be anything. Photos will help those experienced with plant diagnosis to assist you.


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PostPosted: Oct 25th, '19, 09:10 
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Brian wrote:
Don't stress too much about the pH. It will come down as system matures and you will then be trying to hold it up.


Everyone goes through this. Depending on your local temps it will take 4-6 weeks for your system to cycle. The hard part is to not try and micro manage your system.

The plant issues could be anything. Photos will help those experienced with plant diagnosis to assist you.


Thanks Brian for your words of wisdom.

I am going to put some shade netting over the plants to see if that helps. We’ve had some hot weather this week (over 30C) and with the orientation of the bed, the plants that get more shade are looking better than the ones that get the most sun.

I’ll get the water tested at the local pet shop as it’s free and it wouldn’t hurt to see what they make of it. If they say it’s ok to, I am tempted to put a couple of goldfish in to assist with the cycling instead of powerfeed. If they survive, I’ll release them into my large pond/dam on my property and then add some edible fish to the AP system when its is fully cycled.


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PostPosted: Oct 27th, '19, 09:16 
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A couple more pictures...


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PostPosted: Oct 27th, '19, 10:13 
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Looks great, good idea covering the ibc's. You can eat goldfish, if ya game! But i agree with the plan to move them on. :pukeleft:


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PostPosted: Oct 27th, '19, 17:53 
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Asitis wrote:
Looks great, good idea covering the ibc's. You can eat goldfish, if ya game! But i agree with the plan to move them on. :pukeleft:


Thanks for the comments :-)

There are lots of things that I could potentially eat but won’t. Gold fish are on the no eat list. Ha ha.




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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '19, 19:17 
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A quick update...

I’ve added 5 goldfish to the FT about 4 days ago. Got ammonia and nitrites on Friday and today almost zero ammonia and nitrites but about 30ppm nitrates. The plants are suddenly growing and looking a lot better. I also adjusted the standpipe in the bell siphon - i added another 10mm so the water is now 25mm from the top of the media before it empties.

My FT went a dark pea soup green with algae, so I put some of the silver wrap over the top of it on Friday. The algae is already dying off and the water is looking much better. I can also see the fish now :-)

I changed the SLO from a 1” pipe to 2” and it’s working much better. I measured the flow in and out of the FT - about 750l/hr so a water change for the fish every hour.

My darling wife has said I need another 2 IBCs for grow beds to fit all the plants she has grown from seed in the greenhouse. Will post a pic of the plant growth when it’s light.

Cheers and thanks for reading.


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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '19, 03:40 
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Some photos...
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PostPosted: Nov 4th, '19, 07:22 
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All coming on well Capncoke.
Everyones system goes through a pea soup algal bloom until the ecosystem settles/matures. Don't stress over that too much so long as you have enough air being supplied. Keep posting the pics.


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PostPosted: Nov 8th, '19, 16:32 
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Amazing what difference a week makes...

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PostPosted: Nov 12th, '19, 09:32 
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Looks like a small forest, awesome. I love seeing so many varieties of plants in the one bed. Definitely my style. :headbang:


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PostPosted: Nov 13th, '19, 16:10 
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Looking great. Nice progress you've worked on.

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