Change Pump to Resun Penguin

Feeder tank water is low, what happen is this 2 pump that I currently use is not strong enough for 5 growbed. It will flush but water stays too long in growbed preventing fast return.

Those two above are side suction pump, once water reaches a low level it will be inefficient and not able to draw enough water. I have a spare pump that I did not use for a long time, bought it in 2009 and then kept due using smaller pump for power saving.

This Resun penguin is a bottom suction type, it can run with much lower water level without problem. Main reason for replacing is water flow rate need to be increase giving less time water stays up in growbed and reducing chances of low water level in feeder.

Pump in and water is low at that level, this pump has no problem with delivery. Rated at 4500 Liter per hour at about 120 Watt is a power guzzler until I can find similar bottom suction pump with better power saving this will be use. Anyway I just operate this about 12 hours daily.

Water feed need to be redo slightly for even distribution among 5 growbeds. Its easy to divide even number but to do it odd will cause unbalance.

I do not want to use any restrictor just plain pipe subdivision giving almost even flow at roughly 800 Liter per hour per growbed. I prefer to subdivide into two at the ends, this is easiest to get an even distribution.

The center growbed has it own input since I can't share it with the other end feeds.

All growbed roughly get their fair share, its not that critical since Siphon can tolerate quite a broad range of water inflow. Siphon may takes longer time to break if too much water, but it still break.

This feeder tank will be use as fingerling tank, and at most I just let juvenile Tilapia in this tank and once bigger they will be in the Return Tank which are constant in its water level.

All the siphon outlet I made it short, because I am putting netting on the Return Tank to avoid fish jumping out. I will try other fish in one of the tank and leave Tilapia in another.

Following photos are just various outlet that I am currently using.

This particular outlet having a long outreach is to make sure water discharge is at the far end from over flow point into the feeder tank.

Okay that's for today.

It will be some time before I post again, this next few weeks will be very busy with work...

BTW.. Where is Victoria, Canada and what's there  .. I need to be there this 20th July.

What happened to the Tilapia.

I throw them in on 10th Feb 2013 : Here and a short video of the place where I got them : Here and now its 14th April 2013, you may wonder how they are doing.

Below are photos I snapped few minutes ago and a short video footage.

The Video

CRAFTS - Final Extension - The Day After

Yesterdays's Post : Here

Completing CRAFTS, made a rack and done the growbed as planned today. What left are Hydroton and water feed.

Angled Iron cut to length, I use 4 pieces of that 10 ft long iron. 4 pieces of 24" and 27" and 6 pieces of 36" cut to make this rack below additionally I required 8 angle piece and 40 set of screws.

On growbed I'm testing out this Bell Less Siphon. The Strainer Bell has a row of holes instead of usual 4 or 5 row that I use on normal strainer.

Close up of valve below and that smaller hole above row of bigger holes is for indexing. So its an index hole for my Strainer Bell.

That an overview below, water inlet and hydroton next. I'll do it later before my Borneo trip.

Why not play around with water outlet since I have plenty of elbow and other fittings. I do it this way because I'm putting netting to cover the fish tank. New fish may jump out and I'm trying out other fish in this tank. This outlet need to be above the net and still functional, giving maximum aeration.

Siphon draining into new Return Tank.

All tidied up and that Tomatoes will need support. 

This setup up cost about USD 1500.00 the most on DIY, not bad for a Back Lane set. It will give Fish and Vegetable,  therapeutic values is great and controlling mosquito is priceless.

CRAFTS - Final Extension

Earlier this morning got myself additional fish tank and putting it in as extension to my CRAFTS installation. This time the left growbed need to be cleared and temporarily emptied, vegetables harvested and few plants transplanted to other growbed.

This Kangkong harvested and few other plants like that Brinjal in front transplanted.

Installation is mirror image of what I did last weekend. I decide to maintain 40 mm over flow, if 50 mm were use I will need a bigger hole cutter that I am not keen of purchasing. So far the 40 mm don't shows any problem.

Above is almost complete, its very easy to add and everything fall in place perfectly. Took me about an hour to complete to this stage and I did it in between doing this Roast Chicken. BTW that Twitter post on right pane is current as it happened.

Stop for today and will continue tomorrow with the racking, will get 4 angle iron and a bag of screws for it.

I did not have hydroton yet for this additional growbed. I will temporarily make it into fingerling tank. As fingerling tank nothing special to do just uncapped the siphon lets water over spill and plug the 4mm drip hole.

I'll be buzy this next few weeks - 1. Borneo 2. Singapore 3. Canada those are the places that I need to go this next few weeks. I hate to fly to Canada and USA .. its too long of a flight.

A Little Bit Of Everything

Second part of CRAFTS this weekend.

Touch wood if all goes well, I'll get the second 100 gallon fish tank to finalise CRAFT on my installation. This  3 fish tank, 2 as Return and 1 feeder is about the limit for my place.

So far I'm pleased with the Return tank that I installed last week and its been running with only 4 Tilapia as mosquito control and see whether they don't jump out. Two of the fish mysteriously disappear from the tank.

Your guess is just as good as mine, either they;
  1. Jump out.
  2. Sneek back to Feeder tank via that 40mm tube.
  3. Cat Napped
I may have to put netting if item 1 is what happened, can't find any dead fish around. Well with hungry cats nearby you can hardly find anything left behind these days in my back lane.

Water overspilling is okay, but I wish I had use 50 mm PVC instead of 40. This next tank I'll try 50 and if its better I'll change coupling on earlier tank.

Once this CRAFTS has been complete, I'll be able to concentrate on planting and water testing. Its for checking Nitrates, PH and other necessary minerals. These elaborate testing will require time and a steady system that runs proper.

I can say the water controls is good, I no longer need to worry about siphon operates or not, this is crucial in ensuring a good Aquaponics practices. My main intention now is to concentrate on fish and plants not on the apparatus to get the system going.

Having a good setup, it will eliminates the chore of getting it working or worry about failures. This is one reason why I want to make something as simple as possible. I want people not scared of trying out Aquaponics, knows it's do able and that you need understanding but its not rocket science.

Most of my posting I refrain from dwelling on subject of water checks, except PH that I do from time to time. These check while its needs to be done but not a mandatory things to do, following few basic rules or Fish rearing and Plants husbandry is all that is needed.

Sometimes traditional practices is better than scientific, it is more natural and blend in with surroundings. Scientific approach towards Aquaponics is not bad, but apart from commercial scale it will scare a newcomer with complex term and practices.

Overall what I'm trying to say is... Practice Aquaponics for the love of it, take it easy and naturally blend in with the flow and learn as you progress.

Aquaponics and Mosquitoes.

Mosquito needs water to breed, where they spend 3 part of their 4 part life cycle which is the egg, larvae, pupa and final the Adult mosquito. Depending on species mosquito eggs to pupa stage will takes about 5 days to 2 weeks before emerges to Adult mosquito and lives for another 2 weeks to a months.

Photo from :

Female mosquito lay eggs a day or two after having a blood meal, this the case for mosquito like Aedes which can cause Dengue fever. Female mosquito need stagnant water for eggs laying.

While practicing Aquaponics, the time that I use solid swirl filter I found thousands of dead mosquito trapped in the dry upper part of the filter housing. This lead me to believe that mosquitoes lay eggs in my Aquaponics set, and somehow the eggs are then suck up by pump to be delivered into the swirl filter and trapping them there till they form adult mosquito and since the chamber is sealed, no mosquito can escape.

Thank god for this, imagine thousands of mosquito make their way out over period of time if not for the sealed housing.

What happen if you do not have swirl filter where the mosquito eggs, larva and pupa goes, the answer is simple - Fish Food. Eggs, Larvae and Pupa is a source of food to fish. Once Mosquito lay their eggs in the fish tank, they can be eaten by fish and if not, once developed into larva its then a better option for most fish.

So having fish pond or Aquaponics set near your house is a good thing in Mosquito control, adult female will lay eggs in these set and it will then be consume by the fishes keeping mosquito under checked.

Quote from HowStuffWork
Eradicating the female mosquitoes and their eggs is essential to mosquito control. Since mosquitoes lay eggs in water, you should eliminate all sources of standing water, such as watering cans or old tires. Cover any rain barrels, and if you have a pond, stock it with fish that will eat the mosquito larvae.
So take up Aquaponics, its a good way to reduce Mosquito in you area. It will do the community good.

CRAFTS and CHOPS the difference.

So what are the differences ?

CRAFTS - Constant Return Aquaponics Feeder Tank System make use of Growbed over the fish tank method that some may say an obsolete system. "Growbed over Tank" is a proven simple system and there are still life left in this system in the form of modular CRAFTS.

This system make use of Return Tank which is under each Growbed and over flowing into a common Feeder Tank which then feeds water to Growbed using pumps.

One or more pumps can be use depending on water feed requirement. Pump don't need to be anything special, a simple pump will do. No requirement for float switch activated pump.

CRAFTS multiply in modular Node, each Node comprise of Growbeds over a Return Tank which in turn over flowing into a common centralize Feeder. Water volume will increase as more Nodes is added.

In CRAFTS each Nodes can house different fish species or it can be use as Nursery or Breeder Tank.

CHOPS - Constant Height One Pump System it also was called CHFT PIST which make use of growbed over a sump tank and a higher Fish Tank that gravity feed water onto Growbeds.

The taller fish tank in CHOPS will ensure enough water head available for growbed and an over-flow will ensure Constant height of water in this tank. It make use of one pump located in the sump tank and for safety reason it must be of the float activated type, just in case the sump is low in water.

All water is within this taller fish tank and it will need to take into account of number of growbed needed to be feed. Expansion of system is possible by adding more growbed and increasing the fish tank size if its not able to accommodate water requirement.

Growbed which are further away from sump tank may need its own sump but that will no longer be a One pump operation.

Above are some of the difference between CRAFTS and CHOPS both this system will have constant level of fish tank water making it better for fish in reducing water fluctuation stress.

Usage of either system will be dependent on individual preference and space availability. Installation that is not subjected to space constrain and planned ahead CHOPS can be use, if a modular approach is important give CRAFTS a go.

In all, both these system add to more ways we can practice Aquaponics and its suitability will depend on individual installation requirements.

CRAFTS Double Siphon Flush Test

First Part : Here

Before I can safely put fish and proceed with planting on CRAFTS installation, I must make sure it can hold during double flush. Fish tank is only 100 gallon so I make use maximum as possible water volume, if bigger tank were use this is not that critical.

Above shows water at the rim of tank during double flushing, this is very critical. Overflow used is 40 mm and before stepping up to 50 mm I best try to increase water flow.

I am trying this as below photo on the over flow instead of normal (top photo) over flow to try and increase flow. This will increase once the downward facing elbow is fully covered with water.

This after install.

Water overflow increase in its flow rate, as water reaches the downward scoop and its stop once the elbow is uncovered, retaining water level at same height as over flow pipe.

I need to further refine this outlet since, this will over flow surface water, I prefer lower level water being overflow into feeder.

I throw in few Tilapias in this Return tank to keep mosquito at bay, and once I am satisfied that its safe I'll transfer the bigger Tilapia in here and I can get fresh batch of fingerlings to increase stocking density.

CRAFTS 1st Installation

Some free time today and decide to go ahead install additional fish tank to start off CRAFTS and test it. This is the first time I done this and more of a trial run and may need adjustment to its installation.

Few installation previously on multiple tank I use "Water Bridge" however using "bridge" will cause water in all tank to follow "up and down" of main tank. This time I want a constant water level in tank just like CHOPS, but done differently.

Right most growbed is the one I need to remove and decide to pull out all plants from this bed. Kailan, Kankong and Strawberry plant out for safe keep.

Next hydroton need to be transferred to a temporary holding tank.

Trying out fish tank and thank god existing rack don't need any alteration. It fit, slight shoe horn required but it fit.

Roughly this is how its should be, no increase to area but increase to fish tank water volume. CRAFTS is modular and expand as you goes and maintain as compact as possible.

On Return tank I need to make an overflow, this I am using 40 mm tank bulkhead adapter. I hope its sufficient, otherwise I will need to go one step up to 50 mm.

It's for water overflowing from return tank to feeder tank, taking into consideration at maximum flow rate from at least 2 siphon doing simultaneous flush.

Existing tank turning it into Feeder need to make a hole, this is 54 mm hole to accommodate 40 mm PVC overflow pipe.

That when all coupled together.

Return tank has 40 mm Tank bulkhead coupling, Feeder tank has a hole to accommodate 40 mm pipe, this to ensure some play in the coupling.

The 40 mm tank adapter above and filling up the Return tank to full.

Below, fulled Return tank with one growbed flushing and overflowing into Feeder Tank. Water in Return tank is always at this level, slight changes due it may not able to drain that fast if two siphon works simultaneously.

Below the completed CRAFTS components with Return Tank and two growbed draining into it.

Two growbed simultaneous flush test, this need to not spill anything except overflowing to Feeder Tank. Water level very close to rim, I need to monitor and run this Return tank without any fish for few days.

If any adjustment needed to be done is that 40 mm coupling is the one to be redo.

Completed above, work required not that much since from start its being planned to accommodate so as mentioned a modular concept to Aquaponics. This increase fish tank volume by 100 gallon without increase to system foot print.

There is provision for another Fish tank on left and a growbed but still maintain same foot print. I'll be monitoring this closely and make necessary changes to ensure its can be made by others without any problem.

Continue : Here