20 mm StrainerBell Siphon ready for delivery.

Made four set of these 20 mm StrainerBell Siphon, this is the first time I make these for someone else. This siphon were tested for about 5 months and it never missed a beat.
This siphon is very easy to maintain, just remove the white end cap for cleaning or water level adjust. I will be making more of this size, it is cheaper, lighter to send abroad and generally easier to make.

A Simple Installation Making use of An Old Fish Tank.

Over the weekend I help in setting up a set of two growbed Aquaponics using an old under use fish tank. I only provide two 25 mm siphon that I made few months back. These are the last few of this type of siphon, from now on I will make the newer model.
The place located in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia or PJ for us here. It is a very simple set as you can see from the photo above, nothing fancy. It uses a single 2000 liter/hour pump inside that fish tank in the corner and send it to the two growbeds.
Typical 25 mm siphon use for each of the growbed with an inlet split to distribute water from that single pump. This is the most economical way to use the pump capacity to maximum in Aquaponics.

The growbed are both empty, what happened is we run out of LECA stock here in Malaysia. Need to wait for a few more weeks for new stock to arrived, schedule early July.
Instead or running the 25 mm outlet all the way to the fish tank for return I decide to use a common 3" uPVC as the return manifold. It is easier this way.
2nd growbed returning to fish tank.
The owner is keen on doing it himself, I help in installing the siphon and get system roughly on site . This set is at the far end of the compound which otherwise not use. Later on the owner has to get some LECA and just dump it all in there. 3 bags each but best to use three and a half.

Pot 2 Pot

These Gandarusa plant are getting bigger so I had to change its pot to a bigger size. I try to do this kind of media base aquaponics because LECA is just in short supply.
Get a one size bigger pot that those above, can't be too big.
I'm trying out this style for few plants, and just let those pots stand in empty growbed. This way we will use less LECA or even pebbles, it will then be lighter due to less quantity used.
Just finished redoing all these growbed, now it's time to plant.

Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project - Journal 20th June 2014

Update 20th June 2014. Plants battling the heat and trying hard to get it growing.
I add some basic fertilizer to get these plant going, my intention is to get it use to the lowland heat and produce runners so that I can get new plants.
These plants are isolated in my Ornamental set so any addition of fertilizer or supplement is mainly only for this set.
I use simple Chicken manure fertilizer since I do not want any chemical base that could cause problem to those fishes. The fish use is not for consumption since this is an experiment and a trial to see whether I could succeed in getting these plant to grow in the low land.
I use above fertilizer for this Strawberries and see what the outcome, I am not promoting any brand, its so happen this is  in stock and at a very low cost. Reason for using this N5 P3 K2 fertilizer is that I do not want to have too much nitrogen in my aquaponics set. In fact with 5% Nitrogen it is already too much for the Aquaponics set.

I add about a tea spoon for each plants and will repeat on condition but I would estimate every 45 days. I am also constantly monitoring the fishes to see if there are any side effect on them.

5 to 4 - A CRAFTS Redo

Centre growbed cracked after 6 years of usage, this bed was filled with pebbles and under stress. I decided to remove it and redo my CRAFTS set to only has four growbed. Below photo is showing the 5 growbed CRAFTS setup.
It is a back breaking job, but a man got to do what a man got to do.. This redo not only require removing one growbed but has to unload and re-spaced all of them to ensure better light distribution, giving space to plants and provide 30% light to fish tank below. 

I will also need to raise the growbed by couple of inches to have better access to fish tank and gives optimum height for siphon return.
As a start, all growbed has to be unload and this older set was not filled with LECA it is pebbles.. few hundred kilos of hard solid pebbles.... :(
A real back breaker, I use this opportunity to replace all siphon to newer 25 mm Vent Cowl Strainer Bell Siphon design.
Once emptied, growbed tubs are washed and shown with the newer siphon parts in place, which only requires slight modification. You can compare to my older design at previous posting.
This design do away with the bell bottom crown for water inlet due to the taper or conical shape of the Vent Cowl Strainer it has gap for water flow into the bell.
Above the Cowl Strainer, and there the bell shown, not that clear but I am testing this design for the 25 mm Siphon which is very much easier to do. I don't want to use the 20 mm Strainer Bell because the growbed holes was made for 25 mm siphon and I just need to replace one component to redo the siphon. Below is the completed 25 mm Vent Cowl Strainer Siphon.
Took almost 2 days to redo these, water inlet redo to make it better and simpler. Aeration pump tube route shifted to the back not front of fish tank, and gap in between those growbed has increase to allow more sunlight.
Left return tank due to the disturbed water has been very murky and I stop feeding those Tilapia fingerling until all settled, they probably under stress and it's best to not feed at this time.
Feeder tank with bigger Tilapia waiting for harvest and some stray juvenile to go back into the return tank. Same water pump and making the distribution pipes simpler and eliminate the need of ball valve for water trimming.
Right Return Tank same as the Left, shown here with the siphon in operation. I will need to put netting to ensure no Tilapia jump out and preventing these fall prey to King Fisher or other predator like KIDS.
The Left most growbed (#1) I try this Potted Media base Flood & Drain to try reduce the amount of LECA required. I need to keep a close eye on mosquito larvae monitoring the water daily. I hope any larvae will be flushed down into Return Tank so that it will be fish food.
Replant the Asparagus that was neglected and Turmeric on #3 Growbed, Growbed # 2 and 4 are still empty. I need to stop experimenting with installation setup on this back lanes CRAFTS set. I will concentrate more on planting and trying to get the most from this system.
Aquaponics as I practice, takes a long time to developed since I am doing a lot of experimenting to make better system. This I share and make it easier for first timer to do, most trial and error has been done and I could advise on a better and quick setup for others.

I now will concentrate on planting, and will use supplement and natural base fertilizer to improve yield. Onwards will be a new phase on my Aquaponics Quest.

Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project - Journal 13th June 2014

Planted the Strawberry plant on 13th June 2014 after about a week laying around the house compound.
These plant are planted in my Ornamental Aquaponics set to isolate them from other plants.

Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project - A Heated Trial

Strawberries grow in the highland of Malaysia where the temperature is averaging 20 degrees C all year round. They grow well in the sunny but cool area of Cameron Highland located about 200 kilometers from where I live.
So last month I made a short trip up the winding mountain road, this time I drive not on the bike since I'm taking the kids to see and treats themselves to Strawberry Desert.
Looking for young seedling but all I could find are old retired veterans that almost like those time-ex battery chicken. Well something is better than nothing. I got myself a few and these will be the start of another trial.
Use my ornamental set to plant these and I am placing them away from direct midday sun, slowly getting these to adapt and hope they will produce new runners and then I can try with young plants.
Not an easy thing to do this Strawberry Plants, trimmed most of the leaves leaving it to recover from transplant and climate shock. Hoping to see new leaves for a start, but it is very slow progress.

So far it had survive a month in lowland where temperature can reach 40 deg C, watering is not a problem because of the aquaponics set take care of that. I will try adding supplement to get it to grow. Never had any experience with this plant and it is a steep learning curve for me in Aquaponics.

Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project - Journal 5th June 2014

Obtain few Strawberry Plant from Cameron Highland Malaysia today 5th June 2014.

Equatorial Lowland Strawberry Project - A Starting Point

I am embarking on a 3 year project to try and plant Strawberry in the equatorial lowland using the Aquaponics and soil planting method. It is never successfully done before and I am inspired by Mr. Leonardo Libreja from the Philippines that manage to grow Strawberry in the lowland after years of trying. 
In the highland of Malaysia mainly Cameron Highland they do grow a variety of Strawberry plant, I will use this variety to start my project.

I will try to do it Aquaponically and not sure what to expect. I had already attempted planting but to no success. It is doubly difficult to do it in Aquaponics since it will need to be able to stand the lowland heat here in Malaysia.

These are my initial start : Here

I will try to do this in three phases

Phase I - Propagating
  • To get as many new generation plants as possible from runners or seeds, getting them to get use to Aquaponics and basic fertilizer. This may involve making specialized shades and protections.

Phase II - Climatization

  • To get those new generation plants to gradually use to the lowland heat. 

Phase III - Fruiting

  • To get the Strawberry plant fruiting