No play make Jack a dull boy

Sometimes even Aquapons needed a break. At a bikers meet earlier today.

Wonder whether these lovely ladies interested in Aquaponics.

Bug Attack !!!

Kailan being infested with caterpillar eggs, and some outbreak has occur as photos below.

Eggs spill over onto hydroton at few places. 
Note : One of the reader comment that this is caterpillar poo, I think he is right.

Below new eggs and this Kailan leaves already 90% eaten.
Note : One of the reader comment that this is caterpillar poo, I think he is right.

The culprits, looks like it happened overnight something lay their eggs during the night. Next morning plenty everywhere.
Note : One of the reader comment that this is caterpillar poo, I think he is right.

These are fish food, I hand picked and feed them to Tilapia.

These Kailan are spared, not touch. It is located in between two growbed that affected. Could it be because its beside that Kesum herb on the left. I know plants like Merigold are good insect repellant, this plant could be one too.

I will need to try and plant this Kesum plant, at few places and see whether any effect on caterpillar or bugs. Till today these Kailan is untouched.

24th March Update.

Update 24th March 2013

Recieve few photos of my set today, and looks as expected for its age.

 Post the photo for this update, will add write up later.

He's six today.

This is Amir Affnan and he's six today.

He will take over one day.

Getting Ready for CRAFT Addition

Repositioning these growbed readying it for CRAFT transformation, this one with hydroton quite easy to move but those with pebbles has to wait. There is space for one additional growbed and three of that fish tank underneath it.

Need to move it another 3" to the left which correspond with that White Tile line and will see whether this rack is wide enough to accommodate fish tank underneath it without having to redo. Its short by about 1/2 inches may be that blue tub can be wiggle in for a snug fit.

Around 3 feet of space here and there is another 3 inches before that tile mark, and the other end has about 1 feet to the boundary of my house. Planning to take up the entire 2/3 of the house width since it will not make much of the difference length wise.

Those two ugly looking pipes are temporary, I had run out of PVC yesterday and had to make use what ever at hand.

Urban Style Aquaponics, we are talking feet and inches here not Acres and Chain :)

Figuring Retrofit

CRAFTS need additional fish tank, in my current setup I only have one. I will add one additional tank then will add another, but before able to do that I need to modify this current rack making it possible to accommodate the fish tank.

Currently its 36"W x 24"D x 27"H, I need to modify it to 39" x 21" x 27". It need to be wider by 3" making it 39" correspond to next cut on angle iron and reduce to 21" from 24" to ensure I did not need extra piece of angle iron to make this rack. If "D" remain at 24" I will not be able to cut a 10 ft angle iron to make the pieces. I will probably waste another piece.

Before I can do anything drastic I will need to wait for this bed of Kailan harvested.

Constant Return Aquaponics Feeder Tank System


I'm back, not much can be done while in an aeroplane.

I was thinking once all my Tilapia grown up they will require bigger space and more water . My current installation is like these below with single 100 gallon tank holding all fish.

Also as sketch below, as water are use up during dry spell I will need to constantly monitor water level in the fish tank and since its at the maximum allowable for this setup its easy to overlook and dangerous water level may occur where it would be less than 50% of full capacity.

Furthermore I'm thinking of possibly putting additional growbed and having more fish on the area that I am currently having.

CHOPS is one good way of increasing fish area, but in my setup it will take growbed space which I don't have much and the tank for CHOPS will need to be taller or raised above growbed height. This I find difficult for my installation.

So to have a clean and modular set up, I am trying this idea where additional fish tank are use as return tank and having an overflow from this tank to my existing tank. In this arrangement a Constant water level can be obtain in the return tank and overflowing into the feeder tank where a pump is located to redistribute water to growbeds.

Refer diagram below.

Since I have unused space below the growbed, putting additional fish tank of same size is not that difficult to do and its will be less obvious to the surrounding. There are space for two additional growbed and  fish tank in the back lane.

My setup already loaded and running it will takes some time to redo I will try adding one fish tank first and divert two or three of the growbed return into this tank.

One pump is all that is needed for this setup if you have a large enough pump or as my current installation is using two smaller pump it will do with minimum of changes. Existing fish tank become feeder tank and no changes to it except holes needed to be made for water overflowing from Return Tank.

I call this Constant Return Aquaponics Feeder Tank System (CRAFTS) because the water in Return Tank is Constant Level and it make use of a Feeder Tank for water feed.

I think this setup can be made modular and grow as we need more growbed and fish rearing area. Imagine having a circular Feeder Tank and having Growbed and Return Tank with fish as satellite around it.

This is my next project .. :)

Its only a two hour forty minutes flight.

9th March Up Date - Kota Kinabalu Mobile Post.

All is well in Kota Kinabalu, situation as usual.

Few photos of my setup received today as follows. Plants on earlier pebbles growbed showing sign of recovery and new growth.

Below, Paku Rawan plants on the back recovering from being transplant to this growbed, its important for this type of plants the dead leaves are not removed after transplant. Let it die off and this is the way this plant protect itself, the dead leave will provide nutrient to plants during this process and it will recover.

Okra in the foreground doing great. I transplanted them prematurely, usually I will wait when they are about 5 to 7 inches in height. This below was done when they are barely 2 inches tall, but it survive.

I did this due to my growbed not mature and still cycling, give okra and other seedling a head start. Since they are smaller requirements of nutrient is not as great as compared if I transplanted them bigger, but then there is a risk of plant growth stunted or even die off.

My gamble paid off and they are doing great.

On the far end below Strawberry plant are not at best of health and soon will be turning to Straw without the berries.

Kailan planted earlier doing well with Kangkong sown directly to growbed germinated to seedling.

Following photos, more Kailan and Kangkong seeds sown directly germinate and shows healthy growth. Few Cherry Tomatoes on the back also recovering with Chilies on the front surviving the heat.

This is a month after I completed this setup, with hydroton barely two weeks old, will takes another month to recover and mature this Aquaponics ecosystem then it will take off.

Kota Kinabalu - Here we go :)

That's my ride B737-800 with Malaysia Airline old livery, last in Sabah around July last year.

Next stop Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

Sowing Direct ?

Some seed sown directly to growbed, these seeds are lower cost so I just sprinkle on to the hydroton. No problem.

Close up on one of the seedling, previous setup I did sow the tomato and chilies plants directly on to the pebbles. Majority grow into full mature plants without difficulties.


Drop by a hardware store in my home town of Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia and pick up few packets of seeds. These are real bargain each packet cost RM 1.00 thats slightly more than 30 cents in US Dollar.

Above are Kailan, Sawi, Cili, Kangkong and few others I can't recall. just grab 10 packet for my use.