UiTM - Site Visit - Part 2

Part 1 is : Here
Part 3 is : Here

Basic setup for growbed completed. Three growbed in total with individual fish tank, this to cater for data collection and they want it different for each setup.

Only one table was use to accommodate all three growbed and its a neat setup everything nicely fall in place. Fish tank size are the same as growbed, its small but suffice for duration of this experiment of about 3 months.

Two fish tank on one side with the remainder on the other with 3 growbed on top, water return to fish tank via outflow pipe 8 inches down and 8 inches horizontal. Its not a complex setup, very simple and ideal for initial set to do research and proof of concept.

Astro 2000 pump were use for each bed, this is more then required, I recommend Astro 1000 so with the 2000 pump twice recommended amount of water will flow. The flushing works but it may be at the very edge of its operating limits.

I did advise, if too much water just restrict the flow with ball valve, or do the diversion method.

It was a rush job due to extreme heat, took me under 90 minutes to install siphons and water feed. The green house was build without ventilation, over here its a no go. In temperate countries it OK to trap all those heat.

Pebbles are slightly bigger then recommended, seeds may have difficulties to hold on prior germination. She need to add few more bags to have an 8 inch growbed.

I just hope fish and plant survive the heat. She's planning to grow Okra with Red Tilapia for her project, this is good due in 3 months Okra can do wonders in Aquaponics. My only worries is whether growbed can get matured within this short time.

I did put my sticker on each growbed for publicity :)

Making another set - Siphon

Not much to do today. I am making few units of siphon, most laborious part is making those strainer holes.

I use 8 mm drill bit and make four row of holes on the bottom part of strainer. Its not necessary to have holes on top part of strainer due the bottom part are most important. OK..being lazy is another part..

First row is the most difficult.., I use flexible plastic ruler (in first photo) and mark drill points at 10 mm apart. Next row is easy just drill in between to make a pattern.

Finish product.. on left the strainer on right siphon bell, its not cut to length yet. These approximately 9 inches each.

On strainer 4 or 5 rows of holes are sufficient, it also prevent root growth from invading the siphon if holes are toward the top.

Update 25th July

Update 25th July

Okra doing great, and fruiting

Ulam Raja, should be flowering in a week or two. I want to make a brief write up on it, however I don't have enough photos to support. I need to wait another month to get all the shoots. 

Okra planted in this bed was a later batch than earlier photo, its a bit thin compared to the one above. 

Tomatoes seedling, roughly 6 inches tall, few survived from being eaten by "something". All I need is about 3 plant, these few should be sufficient for my small bed.

Below my black container growbed where Turmeric were planted. I have trimmed all those Turmeric plant.. and its best for me to redo this growbed.

More gravel/pebbles are needed and siphon need to be made for higher growbed height. Approximately another 5 bags of pebble needed for this one and it's supporting base must be strengthen.

Tilapia goes without saying, they did not give any problem. Those bigger ones are aggressive and territorial.

More photo of Tilapia.

That's all for now.

UiTM - Site Visit - Part 1

Part 2 is : Here
Part 3 is : Here

Visited a local university UiTM in Shah Alam, its nearby my home, on request by one of the student doing Aquaponics project for her thesis.

Students are allocated individual plot in green house to conduct what ever agriculture project they  want.

Its a big green house and from what I've seen they are trying out various methods of cultivation and with various different setup.

Above space allocated for the Aquaponics setup, nothing yet. I gave few advise on how to set up to suit her requirements. Give it few weeks then it should take shape.

There are few student busy mending their "garden", tomatoes shown above are grown on various medium as soil.

Above are Sambung Nyawa plants, in hydroponics pots.  Its interesting to see all these experimenting. Only one student brave enough to try Aquaponics, hope with her trial then it will provide audience to more people.

Snow Camp Aquaponics

Its nice to hear that others manage to use similar siphon that I made. I got a mail post from Brian Naess of Snow Camp Aquaponics on his system employing it in a portable setup.

You can check his blog at Snow Camp Aquaponics and it located in Snow Camp USA.

Following photos courtesy of Brian Naess, I post to show different way the siphon being tailored to suite individual installations.

More explanation, please head to his blog .. :)

Below his setup.
Photo of growbed 3' x 3' using individual pot.
The bell is weirdly shape to cater for uneven growbed base.
Something very familiar, I got lots of query on this, because in other part of the world it may be different. However the idea is to get a funnel shape reducer to create the venturi.
Photo below explain the weirdly shape bell.
Siphon outlet using double elbow. There are many ways to do it.. its part of the siphon tuning I suppose.
Below, I am guessing here, its part of water inlet. This is to adjust water inlet.

Aquaponics should not be difficult to do. I hope with my simple siphon design and refinements from users it will promote and make aquaponics easier to practice, for this reason my simple siphon should be freely use by anyone regardless whether for personal or commercial use.

Thanks Brian for your mail.


Time Out - High Speed Broad band - Part II

High Speed Broad Band (HSBB) Part I : Here

Its already more than a week HSBB was installed to my house, now Internet are lightning fast. I could stream youtube on 3 PCs with HD quality without buffering ... well at least for now.. while its still new.

Installation done from outside the house routing fibre optics cable via the existing underground phone network conduit.

From this box below...

Fibre connection made to optical cable to my home from junction box.. this box can do eight homes.. what do you know.. mine is first.. in this box.

Cables then routed underground...

Then surface within my house compound.. using existing phone main conduit.. with additional conduit specifically for the fibre optic cable.

Black color cable are the exterior, it then make a connection to internal cables in white (no reason why this cannot be routed all the way inside) all the way to my living room, or anywhere we want.

After few concrete drilling and routing via plastics casing the final termination will be this box below, where a more flexible fibre cable plugs into the first electronic unit.

I can't recall what they call this first box,, anyway it will convert the optical signal to electrical signal, more like the LAN output from servers or LAN switches.

From above box,, then there will be Telephone outlets,, for VOIP.. they gave me a phone,, any phone will do plug it in it will work.. so provision for 2 phones.

There are four LAN ports on above box but only one is use.. connecting it to the router below, its a Dlink DL-615 (probable with special firmware to work with service provider)

Output from this router are 2 LAN ports, wireless N for wireless device (just about anything now I use this) and one dedicated output coloured red for Virtual LAN to  Set Top Box (STB) as below.

Above STB are for IpTV and Video On Demand (VOD) function. All TV channels are crystal clear and VOD is great.. full control on when and what you want to watch.

Due to limited programmes on TV there few BBC's, Aussies, Hong Kong Channels as well as all Malaysian channels, nothing much compare to Satellite Channel.. (but I don't have Satellite) I hook up WDTV Live.. this little gadget is great for streaming youtube's.

The WDTV live is wifi to router via of the shelf dongle, that's what make it great.. not a propritary dongle.

With better internet connection, now I can uploads better videos, HD is do able now :) , good time to redo some of my classics.

In all, my internet are now super fast... the TV channels are crystal clear... just wait whether thay can live up to what they promise.

Single Barrel Aquaponics - Bait Fish

It's more than three weeks that I cycle the set with 2 red Tilapias. Today I decide to remove the Tilapia and replace with bait fish that plenty to be found in aquarium shops.

These fish cost a dime a dozen, practically a give away and it perfect for an unproven setup. Above photo show this bait fish, 20 fish in total.

Here same fish, my daughter hold it up for better shot.

OK in they goes. BTW the Tilapias was in here I put two but only one left, the one that survive is very territorial suspect it just get rid of the other. Also last weekend I did put 2 wild Tilapia in here and guess what... next morning the two just died.

All in,, and next the plants.

Mengkudu Hutan - The Forgotten Medicine

This is not a plant for Aquaponics, I include it here because this is a useful  plant as a Traditional Medicine where herb, tree bark, leaves and roots were use.

Mengkudu Hutan or Morinda elliptica is a tree and fully grown can reach about 8 meter high. This tree its leaves has high antioxidant properties. I planted it by the road in front of my house. Young tree was obtain from the wild and planted few years back.

Initially it was about 2 ft tall and after almost six years it reaches the size that shown in the photo. Its a slow grower maybe due to location where its planted.

Leave of this tree is use to cure gastric, headache, malaria, cholera and its also good for the heart due to its high anti oxidant properties. Young leaves are eaten after being boil as an appetizer, however the taste is bitter.

Extract from the Forestry Research Institute Malaysia document:

The antioxidant activity of two edible medicinal plants commonly used in Malaysian traditional medicine i.e. Piper sarmentosum (kadok) and Morinda elliptica (mengkudu) were tested for antioxidant activity.

The methanolic leave extracts of kadok and mengkudu, at 250ug/ml, were tested using the Xanthine/Xanthine Oxidase (X/XOD) Superoxide Scavenging assay. Both extracts showed high superoxide scavenging assay, 88% and 80% respectively compared to superoxide dismutase (SOD) standard.

The crude extracts were further fractionated using column chromatography and tested for superoxide scavenging activity, to obtain antioxidant active fractions. Two active fractions were obtained from kadok, PsFr6-71.3%, PsFr7-71.3%, and one active fraction from mengkudu, MeFr3-86.6%.

These active fractions were compared against 14 phenolic compound standards. After a series of HPLC analysis of samples and standards, a natural antioxidant compound was identified in kadok and mengkudu i.e. Naringenin (4’,5,7- Trihydroxyflavanone) with 75.7% superoxide scavenging activity.

Naringenin is a highly potent natural antioxidant that has been reported in the raw materials of larch and grapefruit extracts. Thus, kadok and mengkudu which contain Naringenin, could be used as antioxidant dietary supplements.

Photo above show its leaves, flower and fruit.

Photo above, Mengkudu leaves boiled and Sambal Belacan(Chilli Paste) to dip it in consume with hot rice. Caution Mengkudu leaves is bitter and the chilli is hot.

Tomato seedling

Tomatoes I sown germinate and now about 3 inches high. This is the second time round on this plant.

Mysteriously some seedlings was "eaten" by something. See those without leaves.

Give it another month and it should produce flower. I'll make a post for Tomatoes then.

Bendi - Okra

This must be one of the older vegetable around. Bendi in Malay, Okra or scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus is a fruit type of vegetable.
I grow okra from seeds and it takes about 2 days to germinate. I recommend to soak the seeds in water to accelerate germination, in Aquaponics this can be done by raising water level.
Its best to sow direct to growbed, its don't do well if transplanted.  Recommended to place 3 seed close together and have about 15 inches space between cluster. Once they about 5 ~ 6 inches tall trim to leave only one.
It took around 45 ~ 50 days for it to produce flower and another 7 ~ 10 days to pick. If left for too long it may turn hard and fibrous.
Okra can get very tall about 7 ~ 9 ft high, with such a tall plant strong wind and rain could cause problem. My Okra plant are easily blown down, I guess it advisable to provide support of some kind to ensure it don't fall.
Okra seed are easily obtain from packed seed found at supermarkets, I obtained mine this way and once they produce fruits reserve some for seeds.
On average once it reach height of about 7 feet then it about time to replant.

That about it on Okra, this fruiting vegetable is easily grown and its a healthy food due to its nutritional content and fibrous skin.