Monday, 26 November 2012

What I Think...

Over two month now, I think I should document what I have done right and what is done wrong...I think.

Done right...I think:

  1. Stones in the fish tank - I put white stones in the fish tank because my tank is black so I can't clearly see the darker fish. It is similar to what I use in the grow bed, only much bigger in size. The stones promote phytoplankton (green algae) growth providing more food for the fish. It also provide place for nitrosomonas bacteria to hang out which helps breaking the waste that settled at the bottom of the tank. Seeing the fish nibble on the stones is common in my system.
  2. Pump with variable pressure - with no experience, you might need to experiment on water in and water out from the grow bed to get the automatic syphon working, this kind is invaluable.

Done wrong...I think:

  1. Fish count - I should have bought more fingerling when I started this project. They will provide more waste to the grow bed thus could mature it faster. However when the fish grew, I might need to move them into separate tank(s) to avoid over crowd. Less/ smaller fish caused slower grow bed maturity.
  2. Different kind of fish - weeelll this could be right depending on what you have in mind, and that was on my mind too when I first planned this. I want a mix of edible fish and ornamental fish at the same time. But I found out that some fish should never be mixed. Tilapia can be gruesome at times, especially on weak and smaller fish. DON'T mixed them unless with bigger fish. They even nibble on my one year old son's fingers when he put his hand in the tank.
  3. Pre filter - I should have wait for the grow bed to mature because of (1) above. Then only it is suitable to start using pre filter.
  4. Using pebbles in grow bed - you might found many people using pebbles with no problem. BUT it actually depends on where you live AND where you set up your system at home. I live in tropical country, we get over 300 days of sunlight a year and my system is exposed to the sun from as early as 7 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. The sun goes down around 7. Imagine how hot the pebbles is going to get even with shades.
That is all I can think of for now. I will update this post when I can think of something else.


  1. Your fish count seems fine. How much nitrates are you getting?

    White pebbles reflect lots of sunlight, so i don't think that is the cause of the heat problem. As long as the rising water doesn't touch the hot sun bathed surface pebbles, you won't get heating problems. I think the main concern is the black fish tank. Black is a very good light absorber! Cover or paint it with something white or silver.

    Fluctuating water temperature can kill fish as well as well as plants.

  2. Thanks for your comment William.
    Yes the fish count is fine but their size isn't :-). If all were fully grown fish I think is the ideal fish count for my tank size.
    You should feel the pebbles yourself. It is really warm at mid day as oppose to the water. The water is surprisingly chilly all the time.
    I didn't have nitrates kit yet, still contemplating the necessity :D