Aquaponics - PH Test 21st Aug

Last did PH test was about a month ago, its been raining these past few days. Water condition high in the tank I have to drained out to maintain a comfortable level for siphon to work.
Plants not doing well due to wet condition, I am replanting the tomatoes and clearing the beds for different plants.

PH tested its on the high side about 7.5, I need to monitor or best pour some vinegar to adjust PH value.

Grow beds need to be raise about 3 inches, to ensure high water did not cover the siphon outlet, this can be done by putting bricks underneath the grow bed support. Only problem its too heavy and need to be emptied before I am able to lift it up.

Its now coming to fasting months over here, and most activities will be at a slower pace. I'll sow new seeds, get some Mint and Basil cuttings.

Aquaponics - Updates 16 Aug

Tomatoes, not that encouraging. There are few fruiting, I will need to try different variety. Over here most tomatoes are grown in the highlands where its cool and more sunshine.
The right variety will do well, I grown tomatoes on soil before and they do well. Its a challenge now to do it Aquaponics. I have a seed package will try that one next.
These particular tomatoes I use fresh tomato from the supermarket and sow them, so their origin may be different from what I wanted.
The growbed was new and haven't cycle or mature, I do not want to waste a packed seed yet.
There are sign of "White Flies" I don't know what the English name but over here we call it Bena Putih, Putih = White and Bena is the equivalent to Flea,, So "White Flea" if I do a direct translation.

I can't use pesticide, the fish will be affected. There are traditional remedy for this that is totally save for Aquaponics. I'll try to make it and see whether it work, then I'll post the instruction.

Aquaponics - Iron

Comparison on these 2 photos showing, vegetable cutting from my earlier setup and present.
Above is the present setup Water Celery, show healthy growth.
This one are from my previous setup. The different is yellowing leaves in the later picture this is due to lack of Iron, the present setup I'm using nails and Iron rods to provide Iron to the plants.

Aquaponics - Updates 14 Aug

A bit of an update, not much happening. Home kit that I'm building should be ready by this weekend. That steel rack that I ordered still in the making.
Chinese Celery above germinating, its not that encouraging looking at it growth. It going to be tough for these guys to survive.
Chives also germinating, this is worst nothing to shout about. Will it grow, I don't know.. we'll see.
This is easy to grow, we call it Kesum (Vietnamese Coriander) kind of herb, good for variety of Asian dishes. Its a must for most kitchen over here. Kesum grow from cuttings.
Chillies doing fine, some shots of Chili, still green and they are quite large and each plant have on average have 2 or 3 Chillies.
Another shot of those Chillies. Tomatoes are forming but I'm not happy with it. I could have choosen a wrong variety for my locality. Will try another next time.

Aquaponics - Fern

Fern do so well I had no choice but to trimmed them. I planted 24 Fern out of that only one didn't make it. That's a good survival rate.
Trimmed Fern, this will let the young ones grow and gives even more fern.
Close up shot of young ferns, once the bigger fern gone they will start to grow better.

My in-law stir fry those fern, just a handful but its good for one helping. The way to identify the edible leaves is by looking at it upper surface. If the leave show sign of shiny waxy look then its good. Dull leave is no good and it may be unfit for consumption.

I love the smell of fresh Fern.. when I was growing up, we stayed near the jungle and undergrowth area full of Fern and we do pick a lot as vegetable.

Fresh smell of Fern never fail to bring back memories of childhood days - Its priceless.
Trimmed Fern, this gives chance for Chillies to have better growing space before they start to get wild again.

Aquaponics - Climbing Perch

Climbing Perch (Puyu) is a very hardy fish. These guys can live in water with low oxygen and high in everything. This is one of the reason I am a bit reluctant to have this fish for my Aquaponics setup.

To learn about water quality and Oxygen content will not be possible with this fish.
However, my in-laws came over from the village and brought about 100+ Climbing Perch. I didn't put them in my present tank, I prepare a tank specially for them.

This tank is for my new "Home Kit" that I'm assembling, looks like Climbing Perch will be the "Temporary Resident" in it.

Tank need to be covered with netting to prevent fish from jumping out, yes this fish is famous for jumping out and escaping to nearby drains.

This fish is a favorite among locals to rear indoor, usually one or two fish is put in small aquarium and place it inside the house.

Folklore and belief is that, this fish will ward off Vampire (Pontianak) due to its spike which were use to poke the neck of Vampires.

Another one is some belief fish never sleep, so this prevent Black Magic spell from being cast to a house where all its occupant sleep. This Black Magic is call "Pukau" which will cause all occupant to continue sleeping while people coming in and steal their belongings.

As I said its Folklore and beliefs.

There are too many fish, so yesterday I give away some to kids in the neighborhood, they came over with buckets and tupperware and each kids I gave 2 fish for them to upkeep.

Maybe this can make them interested in Aquaponics later on.
Fish tank all cover up, and a shade provided to give some protection from the sun. My grow beds will be over this tank once the steel support frame ready.

Aquaponics - Tomato Pole

Tomatoes finally tied up and need lots of pruning. Some of the plant I remove because its too close together and didn't do well.
I use the PVC electrical conduit, this is the best value to money solution I can think of.

They are low cost and cheaper than wood, each PVC conduit is RM 1.60, that about USD 0.45 each and they are 9.5 ft long.

I use raffia string to tie up those tomato plant to the pole.

I need to do video update soon... just waiting for few more tomatoes to form.

Aquaponics - Home Kit

Below diagram of Aquaponics Home Kit that I'm fabricating. The Blue container are those fish tank that readily available from Aquarium supplies.
Bottom tank is bigger then the top which I normally use for my grow beds. I have ordered steel frame to suit tank sizes that I am using.

In a few days time it should be ready, and my intention is to carry out study on number of Red Tilapia capable to be rear in this tank and improving Bell Valve design to suit beginners.

Setup must be reliable and easily maintain, a 20 watt pump, a Bell Valve and an optional aeration pump will be the other parts required for this.

The fish tank and grow bed are waiting.. :)

Aquaponics - Water Celery

First pick of the new grow bed, Water Celery (Selom) picked earlier today. This plant easily grown from cuttings and can be eaten raw or finely chopped into soup or salad.

I am waiting for chillies to ripen then I'll update, it'll add color to my somewhat less colorful blog. There are about 10 chillies last counted.

No sign of yellowing leaves, those rusty nail do it job perfectly - Don't waste your money on Chelated Iron.. :)


Aquaponics - Lonely Tomato

It must be very lonely being the only Tomato in an Aquaponics setup.

So far this is the only Tomato in my setup, slowly more will come. I just got to get the balance right. Lack of sunlight may also be one factor that contribute to this low yield.

Aquaponics - Updates 2nd Aug

Finally I can say my Backyard Aquaponics setup completed. Just finished doing the electrical wiring part of the set.

Plants doing well, tomatoes need to be tied up that next to be done. Its flowering but not fruiting. It may be due to too much Nitrate in the grow bed or insufficient sunlight, I'll monitor closely its progress, I may need Potassium Hydroxide to get things going for the Tomatoes.

Fern just gone wild, there are spores everywhere, I'll need to collect this and learn spore propagation and those Chili already producing a few chillies.

Electric I leave it last to do, until all stabilized and positions of all pumps finalized. These 2 boxes below are the electrical junction box.

The left is control by a photo switch, its only for those pumps or aerator that I need to run at night.

The right box is slaved to a timer, I set it up to switches on at 7 am and cut off at 8 pm for the main pump.
Below the main pump, repositioned to a more accessible location for easy cleaning. The water control difficulties previously encounter was due to this pump clogged causing reduce inflow.

Water outlet besides pump feed pipe is excess returns. This pump rated 120 watt and feeding 4 grow beds and that work out to about 30 watt each grow bed. Minus the excess its should be about 25 watt roughly.

Its slightly wasted on energy, if I use a pump for each grow bed I will only need a 20 watt pump for these grow beds and Bell Valve combination. That work out to only 80 watt for the setup and its more easily manage then using one big pump. In case of pump failure only one grow bed is at risk.

So I would recommend a 20 watt pump for each grow bed as a better option.

Below is a 20 watt aeration pump it work really well in supplying oxygen I switch it on only at night.

Tilapia do really well the big one are about 2 months old, and the smaller one about 3 weeks old, I limit their food otherwise it will grow rapidly and may cause water to be dirty by excess food and fish poo.

Photo of those Tilapia other fish just hide from view, there should be Red Tail Barb, Tin Foil Barb, Climbing Perch and Red Tail Catfish some where in there.

These Tilapia now know when human presence near by they come out for food. I think because I keep feeding them at same spot, they have developed this sense.

I am trying to make a Demand Feeder, this should be good for those fish when I am not around. It not that difficult to make, I need to read up on it and probably make one.
Two of the grow beds are flushing, no problem with water flushing of cutting out. Just take care of the pump that's all.

That's all for now, a lot need to be learn - That's where the fun is :)