The system seems to have mellowed out in terms of it’s chemical make up. I used to have trouble with the alkalinity being too high and there being almost too much nitrate and nitrites in the water, but they seem to have disappeared with the new goldfish. I think this has to do with the fact that what I had in it before was feeder fish, not decent sized goldfish.
There seems to be a new issue that the alkaline levels have dropped to almost nothing, but Goldfish are so alkaline anyway I don’t know how big a deal that is.
Other than that, the bigger problem is I’m still having is water hardness. Right now, it’s way too soft. It says on the testing bottle that it’s recommended to have a hardness of 50 to 100 and right now I think I’m closer to zero. (My strips only say “this color = 0-50” so???)
The limestone is what I initially ordered to take care of it, but the pet store guy said that would take forever to filter into the system. What he suggested is to use clam shell chips, picture below.
I rinsed them then put little piles under neath the water spigots that feed to the grow beds. He said that having them over flowing water would work best.
I’m going to test the water daily as I play with how much of the clam shells I should have in there. I really want to get one of those fancy meters that tests the water chemical levels constantly, but that will have to wait till I get a new job.
Something interesting is happening with some of the radish seeds I sprinkled on top of the rocks. The roots are just growing out into nowhere right on top of the rocks like plants on a rocky hillside near the ocean. Interesting.
As for the piping, it’s all installed and ready to go. According to the guy at Urban Farmer where I buy most of my parts now the gate valve I got will help to better control the exact flow of the water, so I can set a better time limit until we get the fancy timer working. I’m a little concerned because I can here the motor having to pump harder because of the restricted flow but once the timer is in I won’t have to restrict at all.