Monday, 28 October 2013

Bio-filter Crash of a Hybrid Deep Water Culture and Grow Bed Aquaponic System: Diagnosis and Handling an Aquaponist’s Chlroamine Nightmare—Part 7

Summary: Aquaponic system bio-filter crash likely caused by chloramine poisoning of bacteria, which then led to buildup of high levels of ammonia. Subsequent treatments to reduce ammonia in the system ultimately proved ineffective. Follow us through our trials and tribulations as we tried to avert an aquaponist’s nightmare scenario.

Epilogue and Lessons

There is a Chinese proverb that states a boat will straighten when it reaches the dock. It certainly did not seem that way as we used every treatment we knew to ameliorate the system. There were times we felt we should not have intervened and let the system self-correct. This was an viable option given that tilapia are very hardy fish. But we had not the heart to acquiesce.

The story does not end here. We still need to monitor our system to ensure that all key chemical indicators are at optimum levels for all residents. We are happy to report that ammonia levels are continuing to drop and nitrites are kept under control. Hopefully the Nitrospira will come to gobble the nitrites and bring back the nitrates. Soon our plants will give us a bountiful harvest just in time for Halloween.

There are lessons from this story of course. As surely as winter comes after autumn, one who does not learn from history is bound to repeat the same mistake(s):
  • Have an action plan ready so that you're not scrambling when a problem arises. 
  • Don’t let past conditions become axioms instead of assumptions when it comes to ruling out causes. 
  • Make sure your aquaponic system design allows you to handle contingencies and that you have the proper supplies on hand to handle problems. 
  • Time spent on research can save your wallet and energy. Not all products are equal. 
  • Use family, friends, and the world wide community for support, strength, and wisdom and be sure to give back. 
Previous Chapter

Bio-filter Crash of a Hybrid Deep Water Cultureand Grow Bed Aquaponic System: Diagnosis and Handling an Aquaponist’sChlroamine Nightmare—Part 6: Chapter 4—In Aquaponics, the Solution Finds You

Go to Chapter:

Bio-filter Crash of a Hybrid Deep Water Culture and Grow Bed Aquaponic System: Diagnosis and Handling an Aquaponist’s Chlroamine Nightmare—Part 1: Prologue—Part 1

Bio-filter Crash of a Hybrid Deep Water Culture and Grow Bed Aquaponic System: Diagnosis and Handling an Aquaponist’s Chlroamine Nightmare—Part 2: Prologue—Part 2

Bio-filter Crash of a Hybrid Deep Water Culture and Grow Bed Aquaponic System: Diagnosis and Handling an Aquaponist’s Chlroamine Nightmare—Part 3: Chapter 1—System Crisis, Ammonia Bailout

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