Rosemary Revisited

Rosemary in aquaponics is one plant that I need to retry, it didn't do well the last trial. This time I'll do it in the #SilosGrowbed style aquaponics.

Almost two weeks ago I planted few cuttings and checking it today to see whether there are any sign of positive growth.

Pull out the cuttings from the pot, and it does show some root growth.

It looks good as above, the last time I tried Rosemary due to sludge in the growbed their roots does not look that good as in photo below.

Closer look on the cuttings below, sure is promising.

Re-pot the cuttings in one of the Silo tube, to give it more root zone for better growth.

Since I do not have much growbed space left, the Silo tube are place into existing growbed.

Will be few more weeks before I know for sure whether it will grow in this style of planting.

Silo Clips

The conical base of the silos made it not stable if it is free standing in #SilosGrowbed, with LECA surrounding and holding it in place is okay.

However this defeat the purpose of trying to use as minimum LECA as possible.

One way of holding it in place is to tie it together with string, this way it will be self standing. However the drawback is that, if you needs to replace one silos then it may be tricky to do.

Got an idea.. !!! use clips, just like those paper clips, laundry clips to hold the silos together. Made few from TIG welding wires, and looks like it may just work. Welding wire are cheap, they are rust proof, comes in various sizes and materials.

Do a quick bending and manage to get few clips from welding wires that I have laying around the house.

Hand made so the size are variable.

There you go, clip on the silos.

Will need to adjust the bend radius, to make it more tight in holding the silos. There you go, a simple solution to secure the silos in place so that it can be individually work on.

BTW, you don't need many clips to use, just enough to make it free standing especially for those in the outer part of the cluster.

Pandanus Minimus :)

I had done Pandan in aquaponics in a growbed without constrain and it is a difficult plant to contain. It's roots are very invasive and the plant itself will be vigourous which will colonize the entire growbed if not check.

Last year I tried using a large pot to make sure it does not spread.

This larger container do well in preventing it from spreading and at the same time making it more manageable.

With #SilosGrowbed style that I am currently experimenting, decide to try this invasive plant in one of the tubes.

Without testing we'll never know what's the outcome. Wanted to see how big it will grow and when it multiply how it is going to be contained within the Silos.

Will it be a pigmy pandan or large and spread out on it own ? The roots, will it spread out from bottom of the silo tubes ?

I'll be testing more plants as times goes and hope I'll learn something interesting.

More Silos to Test

Testing few more silos tubes for my Silos Growbed system, cut few blanks to make the necessary silo pots.

These silos are made for 12" growbed, above are 8" blanks for it. Manage to get 28 blanks from one uPVC tube.

Not going to be over ambitious here, simple plants will do.

Will sow some other plants like tomatoes and eggplant etc.

Due to lack of space in growbed, silos are place within existing growbed.

Aquaponics Tips - Easiest Way To Catch A Tilapia

Just to share, not sure if anyone aware of this or not. Use a white colour net, they just swim into it... :)

Maybe Tilapia not intimidated by the colour white.

Short video on it.. :)

Thanks for watching

Silos Growbed Flood & Drain Aquaponics

What is Silos Growbed.

This is the term that I'm going to use to describe the potted media base flood & drain aquaponics. It is a mouthful to say and giving it a short name will be easier for me. Furthermore it's good to be able to identify a planting method by a reference term.

What I am trying to do now, it making the aquaponics less costly and more efficient, that's the reason for the gutter growbed flood & drain system that I am currently experimenting. Taking a step further, why not make a new style by using cylindrical tubes or containers that is filled with media and stick it into a flood and drain system.

The container can stand in either media or on its own in a flood & drain water. Each containers for ease of reference I called it a Silo from that tall cylindrical silos or those missile silos. Each functioning silos is a mini growbed on it own and thus will be treated like any growbed.

There are 3 type of silos.
  1. Growth Silos, this is a silos that have plants growing in it.
  2. Dormant Silos, is a silos filled with media in the flood and drain system without any plants. This is to provide a ready planting area and also to increase media surface area.
  3. Blank Silos, this is an empty silos that being use to take up space within a growbed in order to provide support for other silos or to gain access to certain area in the growbed.
Figure below is a simplified diagram of the Silos Growbed System

For trial I am using 4 inches uPVC pipes with its venting cowl as a silo unit. Each of this unit will take up space within a growbed or a gutter system, if gap are required they could be filled with a Dormant or Blank Silos.

Silos are filled with hydroton initially up to the strainer top.

Plants, I am testing and use the existing cili plant as a trial and Basil from cuttings. Once the plants or cutting has been place inside the silos, top up hydroton to full.

Testing Basil from cuttings apart from cili transplant.

Cili below, these are old plants that I redo to these silos.

I do not have a dedicated growbed for the Silos, temporarily I place it in the present set.

This is a trial, there will be areas that I need to look at, for example the tube size and using media filled silos with only water on the outside. This style are suitable for plants like Tomatoes, where they don't have rhizomes and tubers constrain by the silo tubes.

Updates 26 July 2015

Silo Clips

  • A clip that I made to hold the silos together, so that it can be individually work on without much disturbance to the other free standing silos within a growbed.

The whole idea of this experiment is to make aquaponics cheaper and easier to do. I'll update the progress, 

Bettas BT 6000 Pump Assembling after cleaning.

A short video on assembling this pump after cleaning done.

Thanks for watching.

Resun Penguin Pump Dismantling

Lets see what this pump looks like, its been running good for the last few years. I decide to stop its usage to reduce my Aquaponics set carbon foot print.
This Resun Penguin was bought on 26th June 2009, not bad it run for at least 5 years.
Short video presentation of the pump.

Thanks for watching

Water Flow Gauge

Making this simple device to measure water inflow to growbed. This is helpful since I can then document siphon water operating range. which now is not so accurately done.

I use the Bettas BT 6000 pump as the water source and a mechanical flow rate gauge utilizing float type weight to shows water flow rate.

Two stop cock use, one as diverter and the other just to provide restriction just incase the diversion is not enough.

Below a short video presentation of the flow tester.

Reducing Carbon Foot Print

Replacing the single pump with two smaller unit that consume less power and making it simpler for water to the growbed. The current pump that I use has excess capacity that wasted by diverting it away from growbed, this only increase the power requirement of my CRAFTS set.

So the Resun Penguin 4500 has to go out and in its place are two smaller pump that I have laying around doing nothing. I'll use these two pump until it fail and then will replace with a more efficient pump that I can get later on.

The EHK 105 pump above feed the two right growbed and below the Astro 2000 will feed the left two.

I remove the timer and will run the pump 24/7, evaluating to stop running the aerator pump at night if the two pump can supply enough oxygen to the fish.

I may put the aerator on timer as a backup if the water pump fails. However for this next few weeks I'll let it run on photo cell control which only switches it on at dusk.

Will see how it goes.

Segregating The Fishes

In the CRAFT set, Tilapias and Jelawat with other fishes are mixed together. This obviously not good since some fish are aggressive and even among the Tilapias, the bigger fish will fight off the smaller ones for territorial right.

The fish has to be segregated and redistribute between the three tanks. 

Water in the tank that I need to catch the fish first is reduce by pumping it to another tank with the growbed filled up and preventing it from flushing.

Once water level has been reduce it will be easier to catch those Tilapias.

All the fishes are place in the center tank (Feeder tank) where the pump is located for later selection.

The bigger Tilapias is placed in the right return tank while the Jelawat and Patin in the left tank. The center tank will be for smaller juvenile tilapia.

While I am at it, why not scoop up few dirt, and and pebbles from the fish tank too since this is the best time to do it.

Transferring water from one tank to another ensures I do not waste any in the process of reducing the water level in the tanks that I want to catch the fish.

All in all it takes me an hour to do the tanks and transferring the fishes to regroup them.

Up Close with Lampam & Pacu

In-tank video of the Tinfoil & Redtail barb with guess appearance of the Pacu fish occasionally in the background.


This video is to do fish observation, checking their aggressive behaviour and eating style of different type of fish.

Astro AS 1000 Power Liquid Filter Brief Review

This 1000 Liter per hour pump was use for my single growbed setup.

Thanks for watching

EHK 105 Power Liquid Filter Brief Review

A Brief review of the EHK 105 pump that I use for my two growbed Aquaponics setup.



Titbits July 19 2015

Transferred few Lampam to the front gutter growbed, since the Pacu fish is very elusive in nature and didn't eat much.

Tomatoes grown larger and need to be supported, do simple staking and train for fan out from the growbed.