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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '19, 03:43 
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Hello Aquaponic people!

I have recently finished building a newly revamped system at my GF’s house. She used to have a simple chop and flip system that her sister built a few years ago but it crashed. They had their trials with it but ended up dismantling it. Then I came along and I brought it back to life. Now I have built an expanded chop and flip system with two GBs, solids collection and sump tank.

Basic Rundown of System

~400 gallons
Constant Flow
Pentek Big Blue Carbon Filter( For top off)
Pondmaster PondMag 1200 pump
2” plumbing
2x 6.5Gal RFF plumbed in sequence
IBC Tote for FT
IBC Tote split in two for GB (Media and DWC)
55 Gal barrel (Sump)
Reusing Hydroton Media from first Chop & Flip ( I dont know if this was my best choice/decision. Having some interesting water tests during fishless cycle, more to come)

Image

Since picture has been taken, I added bubble insulation to block light out of tank and grow beds.

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2 RFF plumbed in sequence

Image

Walkway to command center

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Command Center (Left to Right)

Green Globe Valve: Regulates water pressure from main into carbon filter for top offs
Blue Ball Valve: Solids blow off/ removal
Pentek Big Blue Carbon Filter
Red Ball Valves (Top to Bottom)
Water inlet to GB with bypass to Sump
Water inlet to FT

Image

Manifold (From Sump/Pump to FT)
2 expansion Slots
1st Slot- Return to sump
2nd Slot- Empty (Thinking vertical NFT, above DWC, in future)
Water inlet to FT

I need to add two check valves to system in order to cover all bases if power cuts out. But other than that, it runs smoothly, cant wait to have it cycled!


Started the fishless cycling process on the 2nd of November. Dosed water to 2ppm ammonia. Was a little weird since my nitrites spiked in the first few days and havent dropped since. Did a few water changes. I do not have the optimal water temp right now, as they sit in the mid/high 50s. So I have that going against me...

Image

One of the first water tests

Question on reusing Media

Could this be from using media from previous system that crashed? For a year or so hydroton sat in buckets/containers and probably didnt fully dry out? Then adding ammonia kicked bacteria into overdrive? This is my train of thought currently.

I know of the nitrite spike but it usually doesnt happen this quickly, right?

Ive been chatting with a good friend/old boss who builds and maintains koi ponds, and even he is stumped... I have tried a few things hoping the system wont crash with such high nitrites... Did a few large water changes and buffed water with kH booster( curious of peoples thoughts on this as well). Ive read that you want a high pH during the cycling process to help the bacteria.

Here are my test results ( Some times its hard to tell what the colors are on the API test)

Image

Thoughts?

My current plan of action is to wait it out and see what happens. My friend has a few 250w water heaters, so I might see if I can get my temps up in order to speed up the process. I welcome any feedback.

Looking forward to growing fresh produce in my backyard!

Cheers :occasion5:

~OEP :pirate:


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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '19, 07:07 
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Quote:

Thoughts?

My current plan of action is to wait it out and see what happens. My friend has a few 250w water heaters, so I might see if I can get my temps up in order to speed up the process. I welcome any feedback.

Looking forward to growing fresh produce in my backyard!

Cheers :occasion5:

~OEP :pirate:


I agree wait it out. Nature will sort it. I really like the thought in your design.


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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '19, 00:45 
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I've gone with damp media out of a system for at least 6 months, stored in the sacks it came in and when I reused it, the system didn't need to be cycled, it already was. Your media went longer but I'm sure some of the bacteria survived. I think what's going on is that some of the bacteria die and provide food for those that remain - just another source of ammonia.

Everything is fine, just wait it out. As you know it will take longer for the bacteria to grow and multiply at those temps but then again with the previously cycled media it's hard to say how long.


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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '19, 00:59 
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Quote:
I agree wait it out. Nature will sort it. I really like the thought in your design.


Thanks! It was a little hairy with the confined space I was working in. The bypass to sump, the ball valve, barely made it past my filter plumbing. But, nonetheless, it works and looks pretty damn good IMO. Now to work on siding for system, dont want to have white frame exposed and IBC cages seen. Plus should acts as thermal mass to heat up tanks/ help insulate.

Got 2 250w heaters so going to chuck them in during the day.


So now I have a second system... haha... Pond friend told me about him removing some bluegill from pond and asked if I wanted them. Quick like thinking I threw this together. He brought bluegill over with water from that pond, which was established so no stressing there...

Image

Version 1.0- Going to make a wetland filter and larger media bed today. Trying to keep these fish alive for their permanent home.

Image

Had to get some oyster shell to help the pH


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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '19, 01:03 
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scotty435 wrote:
I've gone with damp media out of a system for at least 6 months, stored in the sacks it came in and when I reused it, the system didn't need to be cycled, it already was. Your media went longer but I'm sure some of the bacteria survived. I think what's going on is that some of the bacteria die and provide food for those that remain - just another source of ammonia.

Everything is fine, just wait it out. As you know it will take longer for the bacteria to grow and multiply at those temps but then again with the previously cycled media it's hard to say how long.
Thanks Scotty for your input! Didn't cross my mind that the bacteria itself could be putting off ammonia, which ramped everything up in regards to food for bacteria.

I'll toss in water heaters and I shall play the waiting game.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '19, 02:49 
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Morning Folks,

Tossed in two 300W submersible water heaters yesterday. Cranked them to 11. :headbang:

In less than 24 hours, temp is high 60s. I'll take that win.

Did a water test as well and nitrates have risen a good deal. Nitrites are still pretty high. Bacteria hasnt been shitting their brains out yet, but in good time!! :lol:

Image


Quite content with results, probably let water get to 70s and let it sit there.

Stay tuned!


~OEP


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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '19, 09:17 
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I assume you mean 70degf ;)


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PostPosted: Nov 20th, '19, 03:03 
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You are absolutely right, 70degF. Haha

Tank is 73F now. Going to get into high 70s then take heaters out or lower temp gauge.

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PostPosted: Nov 25th, '19, 06:02 
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Update.

System has been cycling for 3 weeks now.

Water temps for last week have been in the low 70s after adding heaters.


Image

Last nights water test above.

Kinda expected this but then i took a water test of expanded bio filter for bluegill (which I upgraded 3 days ago)


Image

(3days after upgrading filtration in bluegill system)
Now the bluegills system is funky. I did use a little media from other system. I rinsed it with tap water and added it to bog filter when I upgraded filtration

Image

bog filter and media bed. Emptied small filter into bog filter and filled the rest up with new lava rock.


So now I am thinking something is up with my Peeponic meda that i am reusing in my main system. I did rinse it a few times before using but it was used in a peeponics system for two years then sat in buckets for 2 years. I am assuming that humans and fish have different minerals in their urine. kinda makes sense why their fish died all at once when they added them to the aged pee system....must be some thing living on the media that is inhibiting the growth and proliferation of nitrifying bugs....?

Last ditch resort is microbe lift, which is arriving tonight.

I dont want to toss all of this media. Damn vegans.( a poke at my gfs sister who ran the peeponic system) haha

Anyone have any thoughts?

how long should nitrites be present when in the cycling process? Ive read it just flips in a week or so...


Anyways, bluegill are happy and we are just going to plug away at this.

Cheers!


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PostPosted: Nov 25th, '19, 18:19 
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Worst case the media can still be sterilized. No need to chuck it out. It is a growth substrate afterall. Back in the day i have kicked off a system with the odd cheaky pee. But a system fuel only by it :? I hear ya pain :support:


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PostPosted: Dec 4th, '19, 04:39 
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Update...

after talking shit about my system not cycling, it cycled. :lol: :cheers:

Dosed with another round of ammonia to see if it was established, 5 days later.

BAM

Image


So moving bluegill to their new home today. pH in bluegill tank is lower than what the system is running currently, so slowly acclimating to new pH.

Image

On to plant seeds.... which I should have done 2 weeks ago :lol:


Loving the process!

Cheers!

~OEP


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PostPosted: Dec 5th, '19, 09:56 
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:cheers: :cheers: Ohh yeah! :cheers: :cheers:

The real fun begins.

Great looking fish btw


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