View Full Version : Algae

12-19-2012, 11:14 AM
Still trying to decide which fish I'll use, but read that talapia eats algae. Anyone know how good a job they do? I'd like to have a pristine clean looking system.

12-19-2012, 08:19 PM
Still trying to decide which fish I'll use, but read that talapia eats algae. Anyone know how good a job they do? I'd like to have a pristine clean looking system.

They do an excellent job of eating algae. I have about 100 pounds of tilapia in an 800 gallon system. The water is crystal clear. With very heavy tilapia stocking densities, the algae seldom becomes problematical, but the water can get really muddy looking from suspended tilapia excrement.

12-20-2012, 03:56 AM
Hey bsfman, thx for that, all part of planning for my first aquaponic attempt. I'm planning on a round fish tank. When water enters the fish tank from the grow beds, the pipes will be set to create a whirlpool, which as you know has a great effect on bringing waste to the bottom center. The standpipe will be located in the center of the fishtank, and about a quarter inch from the bottom, with little holes in the endcap. The pipe goes up top to a tee, which branches off to the swirl filter. Besides water being pumped to the growbeds, a line will enter the standpipe about a few inches from the bottom, and water will be directed upwards, hopefully creating a stronger upward pull in the standpipe. The idea is to pull the poop as quickly out of the fish tank as possible. So instead of water simply rising up, from water entering the fishtank, there will be a bit of a vacuum. This is an idea I've been thinking about, and wanted to share with everyone for some time and hopefully get more insight, on if it is a good idea, or how to make it even better. I believe it is very important to remove the poop as fast as possible, from everything I have read, and you even mentioned some muddy water in your tank. What do you think? Thx.

12-20-2012, 06:09 AM
Hi aquahealth... :)
My fish tank at home, was 3 ft by 9 ft long. My water returned to one end, and the SLO was at the other end. I never had a problem with the solids making their way to the drain. The fish seemed to keep it stired up enough.

At one point, I had about 300 fish, that most of were over a pound. The swirl filter, that I had made out of a 55 gallon barrel was geting a work out.

Bsfman already mentioned fish density. The food you use, can make a differece on the amount of solids too.
I normally use purina aquamax feed.
When I had the 300 fish, I was raising 200 of them for for two different people. They were buying feed for me to use. One of them went 'cheap' and bought a bag of purinia 'pond feed'. It must of had more fillers...?..I had a lot more solids.

You mentioned you wanted pristine clean water. I don't mean to discourage you...If your picturing water like in an aquarium, it most likely won't happen.
I've seen in person, about a dozen different AP systems. They were all mature and had a varing amount of a tea stain to the water.

I'm helping my friend maintain 5 seperate systems. Like bsfman mentioned, the one with the lightest stocking , is the clearest. It 'looks' very clear, but put it in a glass and hold it up, it's not like city water.

One of the guys here was using 'quilt batting' in a mechanical filter. I remeber he said that made a big difference.

12-20-2012, 09:06 AM
Hi David, I just feel that the speed at which the poop is removed is critical to the entire system. The less time it is floating around is less time for it to break down in the fish tank, and that can only be good.
Now what about light, do the fish really need it as I'm thinking of limiting it so as to also help keep algae low, or perhaps prevent it to begin with.

12-20-2012, 11:09 AM
solids removal is critical.. one thing about algae, i had a big bloom a few weeks after i added my fish, so,
i kept a tarp over my outdoor tank that i removed at night, also used a little 4 watt "pond light" to attract bugs... i put the light just under water pointing up, right by one of the growbed drains, anyways, the bloom died out after a few days, and from what i've found, the decomposing algae release something that inhibits future algae growth.. i'd keep at least a shadecloth over my tank anyways
now that my system is in the basement, i have a flourescent light over the big tank that is on about 14 hours a day

12-20-2012, 01:14 PM
Keith, with your system in the basement I'd be interested to know what the basement condition is as far as humidity, because if you do have a problem with it, I have something really worth trying. I'd actually like to know what all basement setups experience as far as humidity, so I'd like everyone to share their story on this, if even only a short blurb.

12-20-2012, 01:49 PM
i live in an old house, the oldest half of the basement has clay walls, so i always had seapage,,, when it rains, i have water flowing in channels built into the floor.. since i put my ap system down there, it actually dries out quicker, and is less humid than before i put 1300 gallons of water down there.. the only time i've had any humidity is in the summer, when we have high humidity outside..a small fan recirculating the air helped that

12-20-2012, 07:29 PM
Keith, water flowing in channels? Holy cow that sounds horrible mate. But, here is what I did. First of all, my basement used to be damp and smelly. I replaced a small window with plywood, cut out a round hole, and installed a six inch fan that is mounted in a cylinder shaped piece of ductwork, from Home Depot. Actually it is supposed to be used to draw heat from a heating system in to a room that is to cool. Anyway, I attached a six inch flexible hose to it and let it hang down to the floor, about four inches off the floor. So it sucks air from the floor and prevents humidity from building up. Usually hot summer air hits cold basement walls, and when it reaches the dew point there is dampness. But this system changes the air in my basement two times an hour, so humidity never has a chance to build up. Believe it or not, after 30 years of using a dehumidifyer, high electric bills, and emptying pans of water twice a day, and suffering with the smell, within one hour the smell was gone, no more pans of water, no maintenance, quiet, and it runs 24/7/365, and uses maybe $10 a year of electric, if that. The motor is the same one they used in the old record players, and the air passes over the motor keeping it cool. The basement is now a beautiful place to be. One quarter is for storage, one quarter for exercise equipment, and one half for jogging, rc car race track, and airport for my electric rc helicopters. Instead of using a window a hole can be put in the wall. But the trick is to draw the air from the floor, and then displacement draws air from every square inch of the floor, which draws air down all the walls. This also takes care of any radon. It is now so comfortable down there that it is my favorite place, my man cave. Been running it for five years non stop now and I still can't get over how thrilled I am about it. And, it actually smells nice, you know, fresh. So I can't see why it wouldn't help if an ap system was in your basement.

12-21-2012, 08:19 AM
yeah, it's an old house the channels in the floor are only a couple inches wide..
i already have a dryer vent in one of the basement windows, and have been planning on doing just what you did with a fan.. but the only time i spend down the basement is on the AP system, if i spend lots of time down there, i end up with a bunch of bumps on my head, because the ceiling is lower than 6' in many places..
gonna try to get some more pics over the next week or two