Monthly Archives: September 2012
Its been a long road to get to this point.
Just over five months.. of planning, saving, building, redesigning, saving, building, sweating bullets and then saving and building again.
As with all projects, this will always be a work in progress, but at this very moment in time I’ve been able to cross that threshold of wanting to build an Aquaponics system to actually having a full fledged system up and running with all the elements that make a system whole.
Hoop House build.. check..
Fish Tank build and installation.. check..
Grow Bed build.. check..
Plumbing and Pump install.. check..
Adding in Water and Cycling Start Up.. check..
AND finally.. FISH!!!.. uber check!!!
I purchased 40 Talapia Fry to start up my system up with (20 per growbed). These little guys measure about an inch in length and I was able to find a local breeder to purchase them from. Transport was pretty simple. Used a 5 gallon kitty litter bucket that had an air stone and a cap full of Hydrogen Peroxide to make the 1 hour trip. All arrived safe and sound. Did a last minute check on the water (Ph still a bit high, but will be working to bring that down to around 6.8 to 7.0 in the next few days).
We introduced the fry into the system at night as we picked them up mid-afternoon. I had placed the bucket into the water to equalize the tank/bucket water temperature for a couple of hours. All Fry made it in with no floaters to speak of. So we thank our lucky stars for that little miracle!
Added in a splash of food for the night and left them to explore their new surroundings. Will be checking in on them over the next few days and see how well they have taken to their new home.
Wanted to provide a bit of an overview on the entire setup since my cycling is almost complete and fish will be going in tomorrow…
Last week I was ecstatic that I was starting my cycle and this weekend (i.e. Labor Day) I was able to get my second grow-bed completed and get some shade cloth put up on the greenhouse.
I also made some small modifications to the siphon outflow pipe by adding in another section of 4″ PVC that I custom cut to cover the areas where the outflow pipe merges into the main drain. I did this to help reduce algae, evaporation and potential bug issues.
This day was a bit taxing as the heat has just been murder lately 😦
It was also the reason for the shade cloth being put up. My good friend John has noticed a marked improvement on his plants health since he put up some of the stuff himself. It screens about 85%, which may sound like a lot.. a lot that is till you’ve lived in Phoenix in the middle of Summer. Plants that are not native to this region will burn just as sure as you will in the Valley of the Sun, I guarantee!
- Ph – 7.6 (about a .8 drop in less than a week and I have not added any Muriatic Acid to produce this result, all natural)
- Ammonia – .25 ppm (I went ahead and added another dosage today as that reading is getting a little on the low side.. and for good reason..)
- Nitrite – 5 ppm (the natural bacteria that produces Nitrites have been going to town! These hungry little buggers have been eating it up!)
- Nitrate – 2.5 ppm (the secondary bacteria that help produce the Nitrates that the plants will use as food are starting to take residence quite nicely!)
I should have a full cycle in the next week or two. As I’ve just added a second grow-bed I’ll be looking the numbers over to see how that addition has affected my readings tomorrow.
So exciting!!!! 🙂