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Muzza

Hello, just starting out

33 posts in this topic

Hi there, my family and I are just starting out with our aquaponics. We are still in the construction stage. We have the tank / sump circulating with a few fish and the next stage is to start building the grow beds.

We had a 9000l poly tank that we no longer used so I cut the top of it, then cut a ring off at 600mm from the top. I then dug a hole, placed the ring in and concreted the bottom. This is our sump, 2500L. the other half of the tank stands about 1200mm and holds about 5000L. These have been placed side by side with a small 600L trough between them to be used as a nursery / isolation trough. These will all be enclosed in a shed. There is also a 2500L duck / fish pond adjacent to the aquaponics which I've piped in just in case I want to ad it to the circuit later on.

So far all the materials we had lying around other than the pipe fittings and pump.

Currently have duckweed and azolla growing in the 600L trough with glass shrimp in the bottom. These will eventually be in a bigger trough outside with the growbeds and fed to the fish. In the big tank I have 11 Silver Perch and 5 Marron. ( running a tempry bio filter at the moment )

I plan on having 4 growbeds. 7.2m long by 1.2m wide. Made from patio tubing frame, lined with form ply and then a plastic liner. Then filled with 19mm blue metal rock.

Hopefully have it all up and running by the end of the year.

Once it all gets running plan on having Silver Perch in the big tank, Rainbow trout in the sump over winter and possibly Barra in summer.

Love the concept and can't wait to get it all up and running.

Cheers Muzza

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Thats awesome man, welcome to the APHQ! I can't wait to see your system, do you have any pictures of your current system?

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Welcome aboard !! and welcome to APHQ! There is lot of very helpful and fun people here. We are glad you joined us the more the merrier..:)

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Thanks every body for the welcomes. I took a quick video of my project so far

Cheers Muzza

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Outstanding project you have going.. looks very cool. Please keep us updated on your project.

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Looking good, Muzza! This does not look like a system you just threw together.

I am also starting my system. I am posting pics for the first time today. Here in the States, there are these nasty groups called HOAs or Home Owner's Associations. They govern the color of your house, whether or not you can park an RV or boat in front of your house, etc. I am building my system to pass their inspection. Check it out... http://www.aquaponicshq.com/forums/album.php?albumid=31

album.php?albumid=31

So, I am curious. What is your story? What do you do for a living in W.A.?

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Hi gRobot, love your set up. Very neat and pleasing on the eye. Like the the timber arrangement. Timber and I don't get along. Much prefer steel myself, plus the white ants would demolish timber here. What sort of fish a you keeping???

My Story: 40 years young, married with 2 daughters ,11 & 9. Live on 3 acres. I work as a Process Electrician on a mine 3500km away in the Kimberely's where I FIFO (fly in fly out) on a 2week on 2 week off roster . I'm an Outdoors person who loves camping, four wheel driving, fishing and hunting etc. Hands on, would rather do things myself. Love my Aviculture.

Hi Mean and Green, plan on builging my grow beds using a patio tubing frame. which is galvanised steel 76mmx38mmx1.6mm RHS (rectangular hollow section) these come in 8m lenghts. The intention is to make my beds 7.2m long as this equals 3 sheets of ply which are 1200mm wide by 2400mm long. The frame will be weded with my MIG and the ply screwed to this. I'll trim some sheets down lenght wise to form the sides 350mm high. I'll put a liner over this.

Hopefully i'll knock one up when I get back from work in two weeks. I'll post some pics for you guys.

Has anybody used long beds about 2500L and encountered any problems? With the 4 grow beds getting consistent flow in the chop system I've worked out I should get 3 to 4 cycles per hour to each bed using a 50mm standpipe in my bell syphon.

Better go and do some more work, Muzza

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Honestly I have not seen anyone using bell siphons with grow-beds that long. leveling something like would be very interesting to say the least. I would think you would be going to continuous flow so much easier. With no real difference that I have hear of yet.

I am with you when it comes to wood it just makes me crazy. Would be much happier with steel. But I no longer have my tools or welders and I don'y plan on investing in them again.. for this project..LoL so the grow-beds are wood.

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Hi Pugo, Just a quick question regarding your last post.

Is the flood and drain grow beds better for plant growth compared to the continous flow.

My only knowledge is of the backyard aquaponics book and the Murray Hallams DVD's.

I got the impression the plants benefit more so when their roots are exposed to air(oxygen) for short periods. Or is this negated by having a oxygen saturated water body.

As I have 5 of Murray Hallam's air diffuser disc plus a 120L/min blower to provide plenty of oxygen. (As this only draws 90w I will also have this wired up to an 12v- invertor for back up)

My intenions is to have my bell syphon in the middle of the grow bed rather than one end. Hopefully this will aid in the draining of the bed. My flow from the fish tank is planned to be around the total perimeter of the bed. I guess if I have problems draining the bed I might have to find a way of having several drains or worst case go continous.

Cheers Muzza

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Well, it depends on the style of your system. Murray's systems are kind of basic Aquaponics 101. They are a simple grow-bed and Fish tank set up. Using your grow-beds as a septic tank for your fish. With a very low density of fish. Most people here like a higher fish density so building Mechanical filtration is a must, it also allows for continuous flow systems. With a basic system your Grow-bed is your Bio filter. However with a with a Mechanical filtration system your grow-bed is just a grow-bed, But it still does some bio filtering.

Placing the Siphon in the middle of the GB will leave dead spots in your grow-bed over time and is not a wise plan. You can see many examples of continuous flow systems.. However even Murray is moving towards removing solids now. I hope this helps:)

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Hi Pugo, what ratio of fish/water do you guys run in your high stocking rates compared to Murray's 1/10.

I must admit that in my tempery bio filter I regulary clean my primary filter element as it gets clogged over a week or so. And that's with next to no fish compared to what i intended on keeping.

So I kind of new I'd need filtration and I'm guessing a swirl filter with some form of washable elements after. Might have to modify my shed.

Cheers Muzza

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Muzza,

The mechanical filtration system, that I am a few other are going to is a brush filter http://www.blackknight.co.uk/ then a moving bed filter using K1 media, http://www.evolutionaqua.com/acatalo...e%20Detail.pdf. The general idea of what I am building is on this Youttube link.

Your fish density depends of you filtration system. that includes your grow-beds and your Mechanical Filtration. I would shoot for 1 fish for every 10 liters of water but it can be as little as 4 liters of water to one fish. You have to plan it your system for the finish weight of the fish. let us know if you need any help everyone is happy to give it..

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Hi Pugo,

Had a look at those links, thanks for that mate. I've swapped some birds for a circular tank 1700mm x 600m which I'll use as a swirl filter. Works out to be around the 1200L range, already planned it all out. Luckily theres plenty of room in the garden shed directly behind the sump to locate it in there. At this stage I'll try the swirl filter by itself but plan on arranging the pipe work so I can easily add a filter box later if needed. Its my first job when I get home.....

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Rock on, Muzza! Please pics.

Based on a few months of effort and a close call this weekend, I believe that filtration is the Holy Grail of this forum. Kellen here in the US has a low pressure, low velocity screen solution. Pugo in Phillippines shows a great brush filter solution. Other experts like these two are working hard on their ideas. Whatever insights you find, please captured them here for us to see.

To answer the question, I am running 25 Tilapia from Kellen's hatchery. i also left the initial 10 Koi in the system to act as "canaries in a coal mine" which i suppose you can fully appreciate. I seem to be doing something right because my Golden Tilapia have tripled in size in about 2 months. The system seems to want more nitrates, leading me to begin feeding even more.

I am soon to begin an experiment into mechanical in-line filtration in the supply line using a PLC to operate solenoid valves. These systems run dirty and tend to overwhelm traditional approaches to filtration, as I understand it from this and other discussions. I am looking for a simple, maintenance free solution. Others are more interested in a simple fool proof solution.

Good luck, man!

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Hi,

I would shoot for 1 fish for every 10 liters of water but it can be as little as 4 liters of water to one fish.

It's important to point out that these stocking densities are applicable to fingerlings only.

Initially, that 1 fish per 10 litres (100 fish per 1000 litres) might weigh 30g......that's a total fish biomass of just 3kg. Now, at an assumed feeding rate of 4% of the fish' bodyweight per day, we'll be feeding a total of 120g.

A few months more, those same 100 fish might weigh 300g each......that's a total fish bio-mass of 30kg. By now we've cut back the feed rate to just 1% of the average fish bodyweight.....so we're now feeding 300g per day.

We will have reached the maximum density for some species......and, for all but the best operators, this is probably well past the capability of the basic flood and drain system.

A few months later, the 100 are 500g.....for a total biomass of 50kg.....we're still feeding them at the rate of 1% of average bodyweight per day. We're now feeding out at the rate of 500g. We'll only be able to sustain this stocking density for some species....with oxygen injection.

Any system that is consistently producing at 50kg.....and beyond.....is likely to be demonstrating aquaculture best practice. They certainly won't be a backyarder running a basic flood and drain aquaponics system.

So, when it comes to stocking density, the most important question to apply to any system is...."How much feed can it handle?"

Once you know the answer to that question, then you can calculate the number of fish that....taking account of cultural differences between species....your system will handle.

I'm fortunate in that I use Kaldnes K1 in moving bed bio-filters, because I can consult tables that tell me what amount of media I will need for a given quantity of feed.

Bearing in mind that things happen quicker.......for better or for worse.....in small systems, it's probably wise to add a useful margin for error.

Gary

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There are hundreds of solutions to the problem of solids, Even Murray has started to acknowledge solids are an issue. There is no question to the fact that solids are a problem for everyone. But the trick is that we are all look for simple fool proof and maintenance free solutions. mats have to be replaced, so they are costly to be replaced, Now on the other hand there are brushes they will remove solids, they never wear out you only need to take them out from time to time to rinse off and put them back in. The rest of the filtering system removes floating particles in the moving bed filter, a moving bed filter is a self cleaning filter.

You also have swirl filter and settling tanks, and they only need to be cleaned once in a while, but no cost to maintain them. only a little time. then there are screen filters, then there are a ca-zillion bio filters to choose from. As every system is a personal design, it makes each one different so there are never definitive answers to someone problems. Problems could be a simple as an air leak in a bell siphon or the length of pipe.

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WOW! Great post Gary,

Eloquent writing does not come easily for me, however it does seem to for you!

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I wish I had discovered this site Before. Very well put together online manual Gary, congrats. Much more informative than others, explaining in detail.

Definately adding a correctly sized bio filter when I can afford it. My swirl filter which is 1700mm wide will have a caged cylinder in the centre around the exit pipe which I plan on filling with bird netting ( which I happen to have 150m2 leftover in my shed from my original chook pen ). Hopefully that will take care of the solids.

Love the mini greenhouses on the grow beds. Makes so much sense. Yet another modification to my setup, planned distances between growbeds allowing for doors etc.

Something we use in aviculture is moth traps. Something that may be of use in AP over summer months. Moths are attracted to a light like you have suggested over the fish tanks. Except in the moth trap they are sucked into a container by a fan mounted inside. The air exits the container through fly wire and the moths are trapped inside by the airflow. The moths could be fed directly to the fish or frozen I guess.

Can't wait to get home and get my hands dirty.

Thank you very much, Muzza

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Hi Muzza,

I wish I had discovered this site Before. Very well put together online manual Gary, congrats. Much more informative than others, explaining in detail.

Thanks for your kind words......and I'm delighted that you are happy with The Online Urban Aquaponics Manual.

Definately adding a correctly sized bio filter when I can afford it. My swirl filter which is 1700mm wide will have a caged cylinder in the centre around the exit pipe which I plan on filling with bird netting ( which I happen to have 150m2 leftover in my shed from my original chook pen ). Hopefully that will take care of the solids.

Do you have a photo of the swirl tank that you can post? When you refer to bird netting, you are referring to the nylon netting.....right?

Love the mini greenhouses on the grow beds. Makes so much sense. Yet another modification to my setup, planned distances between growbeds allowing for doors etc.

We used the mini-greenhouses on our 3rd aquaponics system (over five years ago now). I'm a bit surprised that there hasn't been a greater take up of the idea.....since they do offer some advantages over conventional greenhouses.

Something we use in aviculture is moth traps. Something that may be of use in AP over summer months. Moths are attracted to a light like you have suggested over the fish tanks. Except in the moth trap they are sucked into a container by a fan mounted inside. The air exits the container through fly wire and the moths are trapped inside by the airflow. The moths could be fed directly to the fish or frozen I guess.

This idea has been canvassed on this forum (and others) and in the Manual and it has real merit. I like your fan suggestion.

Gary

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Hello, Been busy modifying my setup. Seems to be working well. Next is to sheet shed and build some grows beds.

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Hi Muzza,

I love the moving bed bio-filter. How much the KI media do you have in what size tank?

Could you describe the path that your water takes in your system.

Gary

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