Aquaponics Adventure Mark II part IV

Aquaponics May 17th, 2008

This is a continuation of my photo blog of my aquaponics project. See part III to get up to speed on the story so far.

In my last post I said we’d keep an eye on this guy:

Well this is what he looks like now:

He’s healed, but dead. My girlfriend unplugged the bubbler in the hospital tank to charge the batteries for her electric bike. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice and I think this guy died of a lack of oxygen. I was pleased to see that the wound had healed though, but then I saw this fish:

Either it’s a transvestite, or it’s got bleeding lips. I queried the knowledge banks of the BYAP forums and the people there seem to think that it’s just fish fights. Nothing to be worried about.

Anyway, I decided that I should revamp the hospital tank to be like a little mini-system. Why do you need a hospital tank? Well, when you first get a new batch of fish, you want to isolate them somewhere and make sure they arn’t introducing disease into your established tank. So you put them in the hospital tank for a few weeks and monitor them. Also, if fish get sick, show signs of fungus, bacteria or even fish attack like this one, you can pop them in the hospital tank and hopefully give them a speedy recovery. There are few things that you must do to the hospital tank for it to be healing for the fish.

  1. The salinity levels must be higher than the main tank. The difference in salinity level helps kill off parasitic single celled organisms, as explained here.
  2. The water hardness should be comfortable for the fish.
  3. For diseases like ICH, the water needs to be heated to a temperature which speeds up the breeding cycle. Salt water won’t kill it while it’s in the fish, but if you speed up the breeding cycle, as soon as it hits the open water it will die. Since it needs to go to open water to develop, it will eventually die off in the body and won’t have reproduced, therefore your fish is healed. This is explained much better here.
  4. Lots of O2. According to the BYAPersSalt will slightly decrease the amount of O2 that water can hold.” And there isn’t a fish that complains about too much O2!
  5. Water conditions similar to the main system. One thing that seems to really knock fish around is changing water conditions. So if I drop my fish that are used to water of pH 7.4 into a pool of water with a pH of 6.0, they’re going to really struggle. So it’s quite important to get the systems in sync.

So here is my hospital tank:

The pump is pumping water up onto the roof of my shed, the idea being that it will collect a bit of heat from the sun to warm up the water. At the moment, the tank sits in full shade, all day, and is about 2 degrees colder than the main system. So the water gets pumped up onto the roof as a kind of dodgy solar heater:

And then returns back through a mini bio-filter:

It’s all covered up to stop it collecting leaves, and I’ve got the air stones for the bubbler in as well.

The main system seems to be doing OK. I got a reflective surface setup at the back of the bathtubs in the hope that it’ll help the veg, I am yet to angle it so it reflects the light down, but it should be reflecting some light as it is:

And the plants still seem to be growing slowly:

One Response to “Aquaponics Adventure Mark II part IV”

  1. A Thought Adrift » Blog Archive » Aquaponics Adventure Mark II part V Says:

    […] is a continuation from part iv […]