Man, these little guys grow fast!

I keep holding off to get my next set of pictures up, because I am desperately trying to clarify the water in my 5 gallon aquarium.  Note to self – next time do more research ahead of time on the Nitrogen cycle of aquariums before starting (if you want a reference article from About.com here).  I knew the background information, and had thought that I had cycled my tank before I put my fish in, but it looks like 1) I didn’t have it fully cycled; and 2) working in aqauponics, with constantly adding water from the plant side, is going to play havoc with my water clarity, as I effectively will be putting “new” water into my aquarium constantly, which is a no-no with standard aquarium maintenance.

Updated Picture of my system, with comments –

Changes since last post:

I added an in-tank filter for solids and to try to help with water clarity.  I went with a Terta Whisper 10i, mostly from the little research that I had done on reliability and trying to keep cost down.

I also decided to make the jump and get a more powerful tank water heater (far left of tank, with red light).  This mostly came from the fact that we had a cold swing here in Duluth, and I leave my windows open quite often because it gets really HOT in my apartment.  Well, when the temperature when I woke up read 65 Degrees Fahrenheit, I felt really bad with the image of shivering fish, even though they didn’t seem to really notice it, by the look of them.  I went with an Aqueon 50 watt, again with cost in mind, but wanting to get something that would be able to scale somewhat to a larger tank as well, if and when.  (And, as a side-note, my smaller heater is now heating the water in my Emily Garden, so when I pull the water from the plant side, the temperature change isn’t as much a swing.)

From other perspectives, I have also added my second Emily Garden into the mix, as this will allow me to cycle water for longer in each garden before exchanging it with the aquarium tank.  At this point, I’m doing a water cycle from the plants and the tank every other day or so, so the water from the fish will have approximately 4 days of plant feeding before it is cycled back (hopefully cleaner and less nitrated) to the aquarium.

As far as the fish themselves go, they seem to be thriving.  I ran an experiment in the area of fish transport that was successful, and my original crew of fish was joined by a less traumatized cohort, as I brought back another 5 or so tiny fingerlings from the same batch that I took from the first time.  The experiment part of it was that I wanted to see if I could get by with less care being taken of the fingerlings in transit, for my future convenience, and a more “secure” method from my perspective.  Enter the ever popular Ball canning jar.  I really should have gotten a picture of them in transit as it worked really slick, but I was so worried about killing the guys that I forgot.  Anyone watching my stress level would have thought that I was transporting either highly illegal drugs or moonshine in the jar, but in the end, they transported fine and were transferred into my tank with ease and success.

Once my tank clears a little more, it is my intention to post a slightly better picture or video – hopefully one that Judy can take and actually do justice to (my iPhone/picture skills leave something to be desired).  But for now, a really brief video (to save bandwidth and because of it’s lack of quality) can be found below.

Fish Video (Short) Click to play…

Categories: Aquaponics

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