Time Out - Project Barbeque

Its been raining cats and dogs, nothing much happening on Aquaponics front, use this opportunity to modified my BBQ set to make it run on Propane.
I shoehorned a gas burner into the old BBQ set and walla its work. A circular grilled plate will be need to uniformly distribute the heat.
Need to fine tune it further and put in a pilot light for fire starter.
Not bad for a USD 30.00 project.

Single Barrel Aquaponics - Update 29th Jan 2011

Last Update : Here

Its been about 3 months I last touch this set, its been on maximum neglect from last I redo its siphon and inlet. There's a reason for this, I simply want it to fail and I want to see what else can go wrong so I could make adjustment or improvement. On the other hand its a politically correct statement for being lazy.. :)
Cherry tomatoes on this set is dying and must be replace very soon. Water is crystal clear no sign of suspended matter or algae.
No foul odour coming from set, this is good. Water pump doing its job but in-flow shows sign of reduction.
Above water inlet still flowing with sign of reduce water flow. There are some Tomatoes germinating from last planting drop.
This 20 mm siphon didn't missed a beat. Water pump I put on timer with night time shut off. Aeration pump 24/7 since its a 4 watt version, power consumption is minute.
Those bait fish getting bigger, and I must say they looks good too. These fish I got it for like USD 0.03 each.

I will not redo much, only thing I'll replant.

BTW.. There is a guy on youtube commented, that "there is no way this single barrel set able to hold all that pebbles in the growbed" ... few months back. well this is for you... "IT HOLD" ... :)

Update 26th Jan 2011

Slow overall progress on my Aquaponics Backyard. Making few more set for friends, most difficult part is to get the metal racking done by metalwork shops nearby.

Few tomatoes germinate from previous batch, these are tomatoes that I didn't picked up from the growbed. They just germinate, I will move them once big enough. This time I'll only plant a few.
They grow in cluster out of the rotting tomatoes, this is probably how it happen in nature.
Asparagus growing, very fragile. I should make some shade, if not don't think it will survive the heat over here.
It very slow to grow and I need to add more stones on this growbed to create thicker dry zone.
Tilapia fry getting bigger and soon will be fingerling size.
I feed them rice bran. Its soothing to watch these fish grow and getting bigger and knowing that this is something beneficial to learn.

Paul Trudeau - Vertical Breather

Got an email from Paul Trudeau from Sacramento California. 

His system using fish tank , sump tank for water feed and growbed. Water from growbed by siphon and gravity over a long tube back to the fish tank as illustrated below.
With this arrangement he experience problem with equilibrium flow, initially he raised the growbed to eliminate this situation but its not a pretty sight if the growbed is high.
To address this higher growbed issue, he installed vertical breather on the long return tube. With this vertical tube he manage to lower the growbed back to original height with siphon working without problem as in picture below.
This next picture is another variation of same, but at individual growbed.
What happen in his set up with longer return pipes, water trapped within this pipe will cause additional suction and back pressure which will cause sustain flow (equilibrium flow) also water velocity would be slower due to this longer tube.

Raising the growbed higher, helps by providing additional momentum to water due to the longer vertical. This would help overcome back pressure and increase water flow in the tube hence restoring siphon function.

Having a breather in a long tube effectively the best option, what happen is the longer tube is broken into shorter length at that breather point, so effectively the siphon horizontal outlet is shorten. This also introduce air into the tube eliminating water back pressure. The longer tube need to be of a bigger diameter to accommodate water volume gushing from the growbed.

Thanks Paul for sharing this information and if anyone have same situation, this is one way to address it.

First Set SOLD - Home Tilapia Breeder Kit

Made a set today, first one for sale, base from my home kit.
I will need to make it smaller on the bottom fish tank, utilizing same size plastic tub. The inner tub is for growbed, next unit will be using this size upper and lower making it smaller and cheaper overall. 

The set above have provision for nursery tank.

Time Out - Uke :)

Took the kids to an Ukulele place for some new soprano string.
Cool "small guitar" that what he said... 
Mostly Hawaiian brand... must go to Hawaii.. to get a good one, a Tenor suit me fine.
These are rare over here in Malaysia.

Nothing in Particular - General Update

One Tilapia missing. It was eight, today only seven left. Need to investigate what happen, I don't think cats will take fish in water. Previous batch survive and none was missing.
One possibility it could jump out of water to get away from the dominant male.
Herbs in this setup slowly progressing, not to expect much since it still very new.
Those algae you can see above was due to high water level in growbed. Initial stage of growbed conditioning I purposely set water to be higher than gravel, then after about 1 week I will adjust it back to one inch below by replacing siphon stand pipe extender with a shorter tube. In photo below you could see the very long extender besides the siphon.
Progress is slow initially, I intent to make this into herb growbed.
Last few Cherry Tomatoes, I'll be removing it this week to set for new plants.
Over ripe Tomatoes for seeds.

Asparagus Update - 15th Jan 2011

Its growing, but I don't know whether its doing well or not since I never done this before.
Its very fragile and flimsy, new shoots growing from initial one and I may need to add gravel to make growbed higher.
Some of the shoots are whitish in colour, could be due to over sun. I'll try to provide shade since now most of Cherry Tomatoes plants are no more in the growbed. Water PH may also need to be check, it maybe high and and lacking Iron, probably time for Guinness again.
Its going to be a very long trial, those wooden beam under this growbed may not last that long. This need to be look at before its too late.
Above, Chilli and Kaffir Lime temporarily occupying this growbed. This chilli plant is showing yellowish leaves too.. so I need to check water PH so that Iron can be absorbed by the plants easier.

Update : 4th Feb 2011

Tilapia - Pekasam a Malay Traditional Fermented Fish - Update

First part : Here

After 10 days it ready, I occasionally rearrange those fish from bottom to top to ensure even fermentation every about 4 ~ 5 days.
Surprisingly  its doesn't smell bad, probably the extra sugar used. BTW you could use honey to replace those brown sugar that I use.
Fresh out of the frying pan, taste nice and smell sweet. It is not recommended to wash the fish, should fry straight from the container.

So Fermented Tilapia (Pekasam) - CHECKED.

Packed.. once processed the Tilapia increase it value by 3 fold... :) not bad for a low cost fish.

Fry is frying

Tilapia fry doing well and getting bigger. No fatality since I place them in this nursery tank.
Water in nursery tank circulate on overflow and continuously replenish so its good for the fry.
I need to wait for them to be around 1.5 ~ 2 inches before I could put them in the main tank, by that time new fry should be available.

Growbed Lumber Support Break

One of the support for the growbed broke, its probably rotten by water and sun. Its sagging to one side, no other choice but to replace it.
Its going to be hard work today.
All 200 kilo of gravel need to be removed before I could lift up the growbed. Luckily most of the cherry tomatoes already towards the end of their life cycle.
Few container ready to receive the gravel, I need to do this fast to prevent drying of gravel killing those bacteria resulting in longer time for growbed to cycle.
Once all gravel removed, blue growbed out and need to put fresh lumber as support.
I have a few used lumber standing by, for this situation. Next time I better use steel beams to support its will last longer.
On goes the growbed and water inlet done to make it heavier for me to adjust. Its higher than growbed next to it due bigger lumber used.
Before gravel in, this is a good time for me to redo those hexagonal brick arrangement for the siphon cage, I decide to arrange it side ways to make it smaller as compare to previous in following picture.
Previous arrangement below.
Gravel in... almost done...

Finished ... two hours of hard work..  :)

Tilapia - Breeding - The New Set Part II

Part I : Here

A short video on my simple Breeder Set
Some revised photo below.

I had some Tilapia in the tank, brick provide boundary or territorial area to the Tilapias.

Growbed just done, simple plants to get things going. Some of the gravel I use from old to accelerate conditioning of this growbed.

Some Tilapia fry is already in this nursery tank.