Cleaning The Grow Bed

This is something that nobody like to do, but its part and parcel of Aquaponics. One of the growbed look like water logged due to fish waste. Pebbles that I use in this bed is small and the mixing of bigger pebbles is insufficient to reduce the problem.

I am not prepared for this, what's needed is to get rid of the sludge from the growbed. This is one reason why a mechanical filter is helpful in reducing this sludge. Looks like I may need to reattached my Prefilter to the water pump.

Flooding growbed using 50mm standpipe extender ring made from same size pipe. This make it easier for me to rinse the pebbles as I scoop it out and the sludge remain behind to be removed separately.

Extended standpipe from top, various length can be use depends on the condition you need the growbed be in. Maximum extend within the bell I normally use to flush ants from the growbed. Varying length use and finally without any extender ring after plants take roots and grown up.

Sludge still get into the tank, next cleaning I need to figure out how to get it done better. I am running the pump continuously tonight to get the water cleaned.

Three things I learned from this exercise, 1. make sure you have another container for the growth media (pebbles) 2. Make a sludge removal device 3. A solid prefilter will be helpful in reducing the SLUDGE ahhhhhhhhh!!  :)

Update : 21/03/2010

Growbed Cleaned and all gravel/pebbles in and cycled over night.

I need to add more pebbles there is another pail full of pebbles outside. Water cleared up after over night pump ON.

On this main tank I put aerator pump just to help in providing more Oxygen to the fish. I use a 20 watt pump 1660L/Hr flow rate at 0 height pump capable of 1.3m Head for this purpose. There is a snorkel on this pump for the aeration function when needed.

There are more efficient pump, those made for artificial waterfalls but they are capable of only 1.3m Head pressure, If growbed water inlet is less than this height that it would be ideal, since a 20m3/hr flow rate pump only consume 50 watt of power. I need to try out these pumps.


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