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Fast Fish Less Startup

This list of steps below is a compilation of what I have researched on the web.
I am following it to take my new system through the Nitrogen Cycle.

Measurements

You must monitor and record levels during Start up

  • Ammonia
  • Nitrite
  • nitrate
  • pH
  • measure your water temperature

Fast Fish-Less Cycling Steps

These are the steps I am following to build the Nitrogen Cycle in my system.
Fast Start-up is said to take 3-4 weeks which is 21-28 days.
Theory says it can be done in 16 days. I’ll report my findings back here.

My list is compiled from my web research. Credits are at the end of this post.

  1. OPTION: Transplant your 2” to 3” seedlings that you have in net pots into the rafts and grow them while you startup your system. This will allow them time to develop their roots to help with the biology going on during startup.
  2. Others recommend starting the plants when you start the startup process, so that plants are well rooted when the “nutrients” arrive.
  3. Day 1:
    Add Ammonia: See Note on Ammonia Below
    Add the ammonia to the tank a little at a time until you obtain a reading from your ammonia kit of ~5 ppm.
    Record the amount of ammonia that this took, and
    then add that amount daily until the nitrite appears (0.5 ppm)
    Clint says use pure ammonia from Ace Hardware (no surfactants or other additives)
  4. Put in Proline Nitrifying bacteria concentrate, one-quart, catalog # 239210 Aquatic Eco Systems.
  5. Keep water and air pumps on 24/7, bacteria needs lots of oxygen
  6. Test once a day for about a week
  7. Day 2-3:
    Nitrites show up 2-3 days at about 2-3 ppm
    Day 2: add “recorded amount” daily
    Day 3: add “recorded amount” daily
  8. Day 4-5:
    Day 4: Nitrite Spike: Nitrites go up to 5 to 10 PPM
    Once nitrites appear, cut back the daily dose of ammonia to half the original volume, i.e. ½ my “recorded volume”.
    Day 5: Nitrite Spike: Nitrites go up to 5 to 10 PPM
    Once nitrites appear, cut back the daily dose of ammonia to half the original volume, i.e. ½ my “recorded volume”.
  9. Day 6-…:
    Day 6: Nitrite Spike: Nitrites go up to 5 to 10 PPM
    Once nitrites appear, cut back the daily dose of ammonia to half the original volume, i.e. ½ my “recorded volume”.
  10. Day 6-13:
    Nitrites should come down to about 5 and stay for less than 10 days
    add daily dose of ammonia at half the original volume, i.e. ½ my “recorded volume”.
  11. Day 13-16:
    When Nitrites go down to 2-3 ppm
  12. Add your fish
  13. If you don’t have plants in the system, plant sprouts you started 2-3 weeks ago, into your rafts.

End Fast Fish-less startup

Ammonia:

Ammonia used should be free of surfactants, perfumes, and colorants.
Shake the bottle if you’re not sure about it; ammonia with surfactants will foam, while good ammonia will not.
http://www.malawicichlids.com/mw01017.htm

 

Resources & Credits:

Friendly Aquaponics newsletters, etc.

http://malawicichlids.com/

http://theaquaponicsource.com/starting-up-cycling-your-aquaponics-system/

http://theaquaponicsource.com/2010/11/01/starting-your-aquaponics-system-using-fishless-cycling/

http://theaquaponicsource.com/2010/03/04/speeding-up-cycling-starting-an-aquaponic-system/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrifying_bacteria

http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/images/stories/webpagestuff/nitro.jpg

 

Sunlight (or grow lights) for photosynthesis

Water to top off the system from evaporation (minor)

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