Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project - Journal 11th Sept 2014

One of the growbed that was full of mint redo and clean all the roots out, this growbed going to be the next area where Strawberry going to be in.
All the mint were cut last week, today the roots are removed. If not removed they will decay and cause the system to swing towards acidic, it could be a good thing for Strawberry but I feel it's best to start from a known baseline.
The single parent plant from this ornamental set is removed and potted, I takes my chances by cutting the runners from the parent and letting them grow on their own. I will know tomorrow how many survive being independent. Six in all, these are all new plants.
Potted the parent plant in 6 inch net pot and it will be replanted into a bigger growbed.
I scoop some LECA along with the roots so that it will experience less of a shock, topping up with LECA from matured growbed.
Growbed is flooded by using a taller extender, this makes it easier for getting out the roots and level the LECA.
This parent plant placed in a central position of this growbed so that it can start to colonized this entire growbed with runners. I'm giving it ample space to reproduce.
The plant is raised from LECA level to give it good drainage, I'll monitor it closely this next couple of days to ensure it survive the replanting. I try not to give any shade and let it expose to full sun and see what happen.
So far this trial of planting Strawberry looks promising, until it can produce fruit only then we'll know whether it is successful or not.

Slotted Pots - For Potted Flood & Drain Aquaponics

Starting to do more of this potted flood & drain style of aquaponics since it is very convenience and use less LECA. There are pros and cons for doing it this style, however for smaller plants it is ideal and could be one of the best way to do it.
Slotted pots, not sure whether it is a net pot or not but its look good for what I going to use it for. At Rm 2.50 each,  they have slots that is better at draining away water and root growth.
Six inches across with no other sizes available from nurseries at Selangor Green Lane, for what I am doing it is sufficient.
Compare to the normal plastic pots, these has more holes and it is just nice for LECA since the slots are narrow but many it will give good drainage.
Just nice for LECA
These are not recommended for large plants, most leafy greens is okay.
Doing one Strawberry since yesterdays almost all I had redo to pots. I'll use this for future potted flood & drain style aquaponics.
Now just wait for these to grow.

Fresh Water Red Claw

Visited nearby aquarium shop to get some fish for my Ornamental Set Prototype No. 2, so happen that this place stock many of these Red Claw Crayfish of various sizes. Price range from Rm 4.00 to RM 10.00 each. The smaller one at RM 4.00 is a good buy, but I refrain from getting any because I am not prepared for these yet.

Below are just some photos of those Red Claw for show.









Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project - Journal 6th Sept 2014

Few of the plants didn't make it after three weeks they died, four pots in all. Redo the plants, fill up one growbed with six pots and the other growbed left a couple to let them produce runners.
It's easy because I have the plants in pots, just remove from one growbed then replant to another. This way plants experience minimum transplanting shock. The pots I lower it further down to get as much water as possible to the roots.
The three pots was taken from this growbed which I left two since they are producing runners. Three runners produce from each of the parent plant. I will put those into pots to manage and transplant to another growbed.
This is how the runner looks like after about 2 weeks, with roots forming. Eventually all original plants will be replaced with these runners and then I will try to get them to grow.
More runners, this small with roots not established that well yet.
Another with more roots forming.
Parent plants with runners drooping down once the pot are lifted up.
The two parent plants each has three runners, removed from growbed for a redo. If it is not potted no way I can remove without damaging these plants.
Same runners planted to pot within the growbed. Once it has established I will move them to another growbed to start producing runners for that growbed.
With this style of planting, the runners has more chance to survive and they experience only minor transplanting shock.
Propagating Strawberry this way is so easy to do.
All these pots are not to be disturb otherwise the roots will not hold and plant may die, just leave them for another three weeks before doing any major work in the growbed area. Wait for them to produce about 5 or 6 mature leaves before cutting them from parent plant.
Only one runner not potted, because the umbilical is too short, I just let it grow next to the parent pot and once bigger, I'll transfer to pot after cutting it from the mother plant.
These Strawberry multiply very fast, and I guess all my growbed in the front will be fill up with strawberry plant before end of the year.

That's it for the time being, will update how these Strawberry doing in my Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project.

Sponge Bob Square Pants

Received few sponge and net pots yesterday from Thailand ordered from ebay and good time to sow few more seeds.
Use this sponge with precut holes ready to accept seeds. I do egg plants one in each sponge and strawberry, few seeds in each of the sponge.
Strawberry seeds above was kept in the freezer for two weeks and I took out a few to sow.
To try out, those strawberry seeds I use sponge with net pot and for egg plant only sponge. Both I place in the new ornamental set that I'm testing. No nutrient yet in the system. I place one starter fish and dissolve few table spoon of organic chicken manure to get system going. We'll see how's this sponge do and whether the strawberry seeds can germinate.

KLIA Solar Farm

Happen to pass by this area at the back road of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) which has rows upon rows of solar panels.
These panels are for the airport lightings, I believe it is for the taxiways and guidance lights which requires 24 hrs light up.
Anyway it doesn't matter as long as they are saving energy it must be good.
Wish I could have something like it, even at a home scale to power up my aquaponics.

Ornamental Aquaponics Set - 2nd. Prototype

After more than 6 month trial of the 1st prototype, today a second unit was made. It is using plastic pot as the fish tank which is larger than earlier porcelain pot.
This set will be further tested for few more months then I will make it for others. That stand is temporary, final product the stand will be outside the fish bowl.
Filling growbed with LECA, before letting it cycle.
Siphon media guard cut to length with extender adjusted to get water level below LECA surface. Water inlet is a simple 15mm PVC piping with 1000 liter per hour pump feeding the set. Water head is about two feed that reduce the pump capacity to about 800 liter/hour.
First and second prototype, undergoing actual test to ensure trouble free operation. Ideal small unit for apartment, condominium, town and link houses. This set is also suitable for growing Strawberry using aquaponics method.

20 mm StrainerBell Installation Instruction

This post is showing how the 20 mm Strainer Bell Siphon is install to a typical growbed, it is a straight forward installation and video instruction is at the bottom of the page.
Step 1
Make a hole in the center of the container, a 26 mm hole required for a 20 mm StrainerBell. The second smaller hole is optional for water feed.

Step 2.
Get hold of the stand pipe and ensure that it has two black rubber seal and a gland nut. Remove the gland nut and one of the seal.

Step 3.
Install standpipe to strainer guard and follow with the removed seal. The seals must be on both side of the strainer guard.

Step 4.
Install the standpipe assembly to the growbed.

Step 5.
Secure tightly the standpipe using the provided gland nut, there is no need for a seal on the underside of the growbed.

Step 6.
Install standpipe extender to adjust water level as needed.

Step 6a.
Additional extender provided to adjust for thicker growbed. You can cut extender to suit your growbed height.

Step 7.
Install media guard to strainer.

Step 8.
Put the end cap on the siphon top, this can be done last and do not jammed this end cap otherwise it will be difficult to remove. Hand tight will do just fine.

Step 9.
Install siphon outlet to the underside of the siphon.

Step 10.
Hand tight will do, and the parts can be swap to get the best out of your installation. The illustration below is a baseline installation that work for most setup.

Step 11.
Complete, this siphon is made for growbed from six to twelve inches in height and it can handle a 4' x 6' growbed size without problem, no alteration needed to be made on the outer media guard for different growbed height. The extender need to be adjusted by using different size or by cutting it to length.
Video of the installation follows.