Turmeric plant in my single barrel set it leaves are eaten by caterpillar. On close checking found these green caterpillar wrapped under each leaves. 
I hand picked all of them and what else to do, give it to the fish.
No wonder the Turmeric plant don't do well.

Update 26th Sept

Nothing much happening, Amir has recovered from his fever. Almost a week he's not well and only yesterday his condition improved.

Cherry Tomatoes growing bigger, need to wait another week then I can transplant. Normally I wait until they are about 4 ~ 6 inches tall, before I will transplant them, after which I'll need to provide some shade protecting them from direct sun.
 Maize is getting bigger, I lost track when I sown the seeds to see how long it takes for this two to flower. They had a bad start with overgrown previous plants all over the growbed.
Its been a busy week with lots to do, I'll be a bit slow on my updates. I got class to do this week then I'll be free till end of year doing only practical training for some governments institution instructors.

Following are photo of tomatoes I did today.

Time Out - He's ill

Rushed to the hospital earlier this morning at about 6 am. Amir not feeling well, his temperature was very high through out the night. Taken him to nearby clinics earlier, normally it would not be this high after taking medication.

Under observation for about 3 hours and after doing blood test, doctor said its okay to do just as an out patient. What we worried over here are 2 things one is H1N1 and the other is Dengue. Since where I stayed have no recent cases of Dengue the doctor agreed to discharge him.
Took a day off today to care for him, he's resting and a bit weak. Normally he's a cheerful kid and as below pics beaming with joy.
Should be okay, I need to monitor him closely.

19th Sept - Tomatoes Update

Those tomatoes fruit getting bigger, no other changes except for these.
I suspect these are indeterminate type of tomatoes, they are getting higher and higher everyday.
I will plant determinate or semi determinate type only from now on, because my backyard is very small.

Cherry Tomato - Sprouting

Check Here : Cherry Tomatoes Seeds Collecting
Check Here : 26 Nov update

Those tomatoes that I sown on 13th germinate two days ago, so it take roughly 5 ~ 6 days for it to germinate.
Give it another 2 weeks then I could transplant it to growbed I have prepared for it.
Cherry tomato plant is a Determinate type, they grow to about 4 feet and not higher and produce abundance tomatoes and don't require pruning. Its ideal for urban area where space is a premium.
Normally these type of tomatoes are grown in the highland. The seed I took are from lowland they grew without problem.

Single Barrel Aquaponics - Update 18th Sept 2010

Check here : Single Barrel Aquaponics

Brief update on the set sofar.

I have reroute water inlet to feed growbed from top, the bottom feed don't work as pump weaken and cause stagnant water within growbed.

That outer tube is the water feed, its ugly, I need to figure out to make it nicer in my next set. I should use same routing as before, instead terminating at bottom of growbed what needed is to feed it right to top with a stand tube.

I didn't want to disturb the growbed hence this method.
Its already been few months and its already cycled. I will start to plant on this set once that Cherry Tomatoes I sown previously ready, meanwhile these Turmeric plants will do for starters.
As mentioned water feed redo, and previous water inlet point I install PVC tube with endcap with 3 mm hole drilled for water drip.
Few bait fish already established and look like they have survived the worst. Set so far hold itself and did not collapse under the growbed weight, I will make another set from what I learned.

The next should be better since I have identified weaknesses of this set to be rectified in the new one.
Next setup should be like above diagram.

Tomatoes Cutting - Take Root

Its common practice to prune tomato plant for it to do well. In the process there are lots of suckers and leaves cutting around.

I accidentally left behind one leave and its take root. This is one way to propagate tomato plants, those cutting you could put it in a glass of water, after few days it will take root.

In Aquaponics due to growbed is actually equivalent to that glass of water, these plant cutting easily take root.
So if you see a good tomato plant, ask the owner for that cutting or suckers that he's throwing away and do the necessary to make it root.

Siphon Barrel - A Just For Fun Project

Decide to do a siphon in a barrel setup, its to provide more aeration into the fish tank and may  to turn it into a pre-filter at the same time.

Now its only hold water and releases as the siphon starts.

This is a fun project, not sure what use it has yet but its good way to test out various siphon dimensions.

Its a straight forward setup, one big barrel of garbage can or what ever you have, make a hole at the bottom for the 25mm/1 inches tank adapter, drill few more holes on the upper part for water inlet and make a bell siphon inside it.

This barrel was use before that's the reason for that more than necessary holes in it.
The flush is good and aeration also good, I need to make more of those holes on the down tube to give maximum effect. This siphon emptied the barrel till about 1/2 inches of water left, this correspond to the bell cut out hight.
The stand pipe is using a 32mm ~ 25mm adapter and its 14 inches in length, I can't make any higher due to there is a hole already made on the barrel side (see first pic) that limit this, otherwise its all the way to top.
Two water inlet, because I have 2 pump for that aeration so, just feed the water to this. No particular reason to have more than one, I'm reusing what ever I have that about it.
Those are the pumps and its a small one.
That's the bell. Its a quickie job, the bottom part I use hacksaw to make cut outs and the top part I reuse 50~25mm adapter with a 25mm end cap. I don't have a 50mm end cap that is the only reason for this.

The clearance between the standpipe top end that 32mm size reducer part used and the 50mm bell is very close, but its still works.
I redo the outlet, replacing the elbow with straight down tube. This arrangement reduce complication, I installed an aerator tongue after the outlet and followed by perforated tube.
Aeration is better than before maybe due to higher water velocity as there is no elbow in the outlet.
One usage of this is to make a flood and drain like the "Barrel Ponics" instead of using the toilet cistern type of mechanism we could use this siphon which in my opinion has no moving parts hence will be less likely to fail.

Above is how a pre-filter should look like with this siphon implementation. In this setup the siphon is not necessary, a standpipe will do. However with a siphon it will be more dramatic and give better aeration at same time.

Water inlet is straight down pass the gravel layer to the bottom and angled with an elbow to create a swirl for solid separation centrifugal as shown below.

Lemon Grass Growbed - Redo

Lemon Grass is a hardy plant, well grass actually its able to grow in horrid condition and tolerate low fertility and low moisture content soil.

In order for it to grow in these condition, lemon grass has a very active root system and its very much intrusive most of the time. In Aquaponics where we have siphon, intrusive rooting plants or grass is a nightmare to upkeep.

I would recommend if you want to try Lemon Grass, plant it as far as possible from the siphon and its best to have it on a large growbed.

So in short it has to go.
I tried Lemon Grass to see whether they can be grown in Aquaponics. They thrive very well thank you, however the size of their bush and value to the kitchen don't justified this grass to be grown in Aquaponics. Due to my acute limitation of growing space I need to keep only those plant that will give maximum yield or usefulness to my setup.
Lemon grass and Okra removed from this bed, that Pandan is next. I will need to trim this Pandan to its minimum. Below what's left of Okra plant.
Pandan and Lemon grass in bucket of water, I will give these away.
Once all unwanted plants removed the dirty job starts. Roots matter need to be remove and how else to be done. Hand pick is still the preferred method.
This is the dirty job part of Aquaponics, those Lemon Grass sure have lots of roots. Plants like Okra is easy, pulled them out and most of the roots follow. 
That growbed in the far end also need a minor redo, I do that next month. We can't do all growbed at once its bad for the system balance, you may get Ammonia spike and problem to the fish.

Its not as bad as it looks.
Once all rooting matter out , I redo this growbed. I am trying out using brick arranged vertically to form a hexagon cage around the siphon. Hexagon shape arrangement make the brick able to support growbed material around it.
Below at high water level. This growbed is about 1 brick length high about 7.5 inches, its not optimum for growbed. Its best to have it like 12 inches, however I am using pebbles for growth media its going to be very heavy if I make it 12 inches. A compromise at about 8 inches so far so good.
Below siphon at lowest water level. The strainer pipe is not needed with this arrangement but I decide to just leave it there and see how its goes.
I like to make things as flexible as possible so that we could expand as and when required, so if I need to increase the growbed heigh to 12 inches I just need to put few brick on top of existing, lengthen the siphon standpipe and add more pebbles.
A circular open ended porcelain or clay cylinders also will do the job. I will try to look for something like that next time I do the siphon.
Its about time that I redo the water feed, so 20mm pvc feeding water to growbed on two sides, and below is my make shift water flow indicator.
I will try Cherry Tomato on this bed, I already sown theirs seed three days ago.

Update : 19th Sept
I covered the hexagon cage with pot tray so that algae do not grow within the cage.

Food Forest - I wish I have one

Food Forest, Kitchen Forest, Kitchen Garden, Food Garden or Agro Forest are the old ways of growing your own food on land near your dwellings.

Back to the old days in the Malay Peninsular, now known as West Malaysia it is a common sight where everyone grow their own food. With modernization of agriculture and modern living this forest or kebun in the Malay language are a dying pockets of land scattered through out the country.

Its my dream to have one Food Forest the permaculture way.

These following photos are from my wife's family Food forest in East Coast Malaysia, its not maintained to its full glory. Someday it should be revive.
The size of this food forest is not that big, its roughly 1 acre in size with another plot of 3 acres located quite a distance away. Above photo shown tapiocas, bananas, egg plant and few other plants and herbs.
Egg plants above, tapioca and cherry tomatoes below.
Tapioca are grown for its tuber and the shoots, young tapioca shoots are use as vegetables. Their leaves are also good for Tilapias and Catfish.
Tapioca are easily grown from stem cuttings, just stick it in the soil and it will grow. It tooks 2 ~ 3 months for harvest and in the mean time the shoots are use as vegetable.
This tree above we call it Belimbing Buloh or Averrhoa bilimbi its scientific name, we use it as vinegar since its very sour. Its fruit like below, but now its not in season.
Apart from Tapioca another tuber that commonly grown is the sweet potato. We grown it from vines cuttings and like Tapioca this plant shoots are also edible as vegetable. Its common practice to have this type of plant where we could have the leaves or shoots before the tuber is ready for picking.
Cherry Tomatoes and Chillies are another common plants, many variety chillies or tomatoes can be grown. After awhile the most resistance species will thrive
Bananas are synonym with this area, these plants are very useful. The leaves are use for food plates and almost all parts of this plant is useful.
Below banana shown flowering and its "Jantung Pisang" or the lower part of the flower, that reddish part is edible.
Normally this Jantung Pisang are boiled and make into salad or dip in Sambal Belacan and consumed with rice.
Lemon Grass is another popular plant to be grown, it this case its a grass.
Papaya or Paw Paw as the Australian probably called it.
Ulam raja below another plants that are grown for its leaves.
Then there are those bigger trees like this one the Pulasan
Ciku Tree below
Longan or Mata Kuching
The kitchen forest is an important aspect of daily Malayo-Polynesian life and it should be maintain as part of our culture.
A Short video on the Food Forest.