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Friday, October 29, 2010


Swirl Tanks
After the last issue I thought it only fitting that we address Swirl Filter Tanks. So we need to look at what they are, what they do and how they do it...

 As usual I will let the net do the talking for us all...

 Before we continue lets recap on what we're trying to achieve;
Biological Filtration and the Nitrification Cycle
A biological filter is quite simply the heart of a pond or tank. It is not essential in small fish ponds, but the more fish you stock, the larger they get and the more they eat, so the need for a bio-filter becomes greater. The pond gets to a point where it needs a "sewage farm". It's purpose is to convert the waste matter produced by the koi from harmful ammonia into less toxic waste.
It is less important to remove solids particles from water than it is to process nitrogen, so if there is to be a compromise between mechanical and biological, err on the side of biological.
In other words, it is much better to allow particles below a certain size to escape back into the pond, while converting a great deal of ammonia to nitrate, than it is to catch every little thing down to a micron or less which in the process would slow the water down to the point where the bacteria have a hard time living (because they're not getting enough oxygen).

The bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrate for us are among a class of bacteria that you may have heard of before. They are the so-called, “nitrogen fixing” bacteria. This means that they take nitrogen that is unavailable to plants in its ammoniacal form, and make it available to plants in an oxidized form.

These are the same bacteria that live among the roots of leguminous plants. Without these beneficial bacteria, life as we know it would cease. So be kind to your bacteria. What they need to survive is a large surface area, chemically inert medium and a ready supply of fresh water. They depend upon dissolved oxygen in the water to live and to do their job. As soon as the water flow is stopped, the oxygen in the filter becomes finite, and eventually gets used up. 

The ultimate result is that the bacteria die, and you have to start over.

Now is this acceptable Information? If it is, Here it is in FULL It's from a Koi keeper but he has described it all in a way that I feel comfortable with.

Now lets take a look from the pure swirl point of view

And now we can hit the subject from a few different angles

Going back a bit to 2007

And finally Afnan touches on filtering (if you can find it down near the bottom) but the search is so worth while.

Just a tip to finish off. If you have trouble in the winter months keeping the fish tank temperatures up, shut down the pump through the night but dont forget to turn it back on in the morning.
REASON: The growbeds act as/like an evaporative air conditioner (in reverse) and release the warmth to the air so you can lose several degrees of temperature every night.

OK. I'm done. Hope you are getting something out of all this.
Be Back SOON


Wednesday, October 27, 2010



I've forgotten what they call them in England, but the Zuchinis as well as the cucumbers are powering on again now that the Nitrates are climbing. It's amazing how quickly they have turned around.

 I should mention I did give everything a dose of Iron Chelate and I'm delighted how quickly they color up after this wonderful stuff. It's like Angel Dust for Aquaponic grown plants that are showing yellowing, veiny leaves.

 It's notebook time...

 I thought I might take on the Bio-digester and throw up some sites to deliver an explanation about the principles.  Let me say first of all, if you have set up an Aquaponics system with gravel or expanded clay as your growing medium and you have the system in balance, you don't need a digester. If however you are putting together a system with floating rafts, you will have to have some form of digester so on with todays tour of the net.

First a Commercial look at digesters and the principals behind their existance..

 Here is an extremely exaustive PDF on this important subject.

I'm now going to include two sites that give two views and perspectives. They are both giving their views on commercial undertakings, but each of them show several different slants and are worthy of digesting (sorry about the pun). As I was researching todays Blog, I became very aware of the way modern commercial aquaponic systems have become so complex that they could become unviable.

The first is Semper Aquatic Food Exports

Next this approach from Aqua Biologics

Next I would like us all to consider the fundamental reasons for embarking on the Aquaponic and sustainability road. This next site shows a number of videos, some of them may make you feel a bit uncomfortable but they will also remind us of the state of this planet and many of the communities that can be helped through the push for Aquaponics and a more sustainable approach in all things human, by humans, for humans and it only takes an effort by people with time on their hands.

Now a little closer to home...

Aquaponics and Organic Gardening

I'm going to blackout proof my planned, larger, aquaponics system by building an electrical backup.

By the time this blog is posted, I’ll be on the Big Island in Hawaii getting a fast-track immersion in aquaponics

Transition Steamboat Urban Garden Tour attendees visit the Community Roots Garden

WARNING WARNING We have completed the first cell which we can now easily duplicate.

 That's it till next time
 Enjoy yourself and be good to each other

Monday, October 25, 2010


I went through my compiled data for the water readings just after I put that last blog out and realised that Garth had given it a dressing of lime. So there are now two factors that could be responsible for the amonia starting to kick on again. By the way it is still moving the nitrites so the plants are eating again, that's nice to know hey...

Right! Where were we.....

Yes of course Aquaponics. Aquaponics created by Rob Maslin is the embodiment of a sustainable system.  Well that's what the page says(Editor)

A couple of interesting Videos on Aquaponics at Home

Now, Here's a bit of High Tech

Welcome to New Aquaponics! We have just added a social bookmarking feature that

And just for a LAFF  It's called Utopia Aquaponics.

WARNING WARNING From Australia, Oh yes Via Strain Guide

Just last week in the lowlands of Scotland, within the town of Moffat an old fire station has been converted into an aquaponics farm.

 Do you live near AUSTIN?

Torrent downloads for Aquaponics

Here's a School Project for you.

Here is a Very, Very Special Video on Uganda

And on that note I think I'll close the notebook again...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Amonia Problem

As it happened our weather has cleared and the last two days have been a lot warmer. To the extent that that tank with the problem has registered 14 deg and 18 degrees respectively. The Amonia is dropping and the Nitrite is just starting to gather a bit of momentum. So I am at peace......for a while.

Now to the task at hand and today I thought I might stay in the area of D.I.Y. Aquaponics....

So here's a starter

And what better place to get yourself up and running than digging around a forum

The good and the bad of this Blog I know I am helping a lot of people get started by my email box trouble is I loose so many people as they get their gear successfully producing. Oh well that's Life I guess . Next

Another really great Forum... You can't have too many of these if things go a bit topsy turvy.

OK  this next one is impressive however as it is a presentation. Here is the address

Now from ECOFILMS A great article on Swirl Filtering

Here's an interesting Video on Trough A/P

Anyway, today I just want to show that it keeps growing. The water is still clean and the plants....

The biological filter is one of the most important parts of your aquaponic system. No matter how many

Now heres one from 1987 - It’s certainly no secret that I’m pretty passionate about aquaponics (ok maybe only those who read the blog regularly would know that)  and now, all of us

 And finally the Bell syphon how to make and then how to fit followed by the U syphon and other syphon's hints

 And so till next time
Take care

To E-mail me

Friday, October 22, 2010


All quiet on the Aquaponics front today, my desk is sitting relatively empty and I only have one problem. My Amonia in the tanks is sitting at 8 and doesn't want to come down. I have thought it through for a couple of days now and the only thing I can put it down to is water temperature being too low. It has been sitting at 11 deg centegrade So I'm about to start mothering the tank for a while (mabe I could try sitting on it...Nahhhh, not my style) Hoping several bags of grass clippings around the tank will (I hope) do the trick or at least let me know if I'm on the right/wrong track. But that's not what I'm here for....

So you love keeping fish and you love growing delicious home grown vegetables why not go...

Aquaponics will give your organic garden an amazing boost in productivity. But how do you....

Hereeeee's Afnan again -Setting Up A Simple Aquaponics System

Medium-sized aquaponics how to — Preparation

Commercial Aquaponics - Controlled Environment Agriculture

 Something from the KING - How to Operate an Aquaponics System

Looking for reasons, Why Do Aquaponics?

Aquaponics 101 – So, how do I start?

Video: How To Build A Basic Aquaponics System - 3 Minutes 43 Seconds + Many Other Aquaponic Videos

I hope you've heard of Barrel-Ponics Well here's the PDF.

A system with a 225-litre volume fish tank will grow approximately ten 15cm plants per week – enough for a decent bunch of basil or salad leaves – on a four-week cycle.

See you soon Guys & gals


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


First up the Tomatoes Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardeningare thriving, the vines are alive with flowers and baby fruit. Zuccinis and Cucumbers are progressing beautifully. They look fit to bust. (I don't know if that is an aussie saying or world wide. But it sort of means too healthy for it's own good). I've just finished planting a crop of lettuce seeds. That is always exciting, I love the expectancy. ok work time:

 I dont know if you've seen Murray Hallams' 'other' site, so here it is

Have you ever come across "Natural Sequence Farming"? Neither have I until now....

What Plants Grow in an Aquaponic System?

Here is a little something from Jaymie Rains

NorCal Aquaponics is one of the first in the world to offer systems, trainings, knowledge and experience in a Permaculture based Aquaponics design methodology...

2 Million dollars to be spent on an aquaponics greenhouse for Cornell University in New York

Raft systems are somewhat under represented at the backyard level – particularly in Australia...

IN an age of metered water consumption and increasing emphasis on natural foods, a polyethylene tank maker has created something that can assist with both pursuits.

This just in, from Christopher Nesbitt:
Backyard AquaponicsBackyard Aquaponics” is a new book by Joel Malcolm, an innovator in Perth, Australia and is well worth a look.
At what other concert can you sit on a tractor?

To bring you up to speed – I had a disaster around ANZAC day this year
Here's a video "Aquaponics in my garage"

OK. That might do it for a day or so....

Now take it easy and you be good to each other
All  the Best

Sunday, October 17, 2010

After The Rain...

The Sun is OUT and All is Well...........

Straight to business today, no meandering, no loitering and no guff.

First we’ll look at the latest tech news and happenings in HawaiiHawaii: A Novel and beyond. Then we’ll...

As a word, “aquaponics” was invented sometime in the 1970s, but as a practice...

To create acuaponico system is easy and a hobby more interesting than...

Do Fish Farms Offer Sustainable Solutions?

Tank loaded & Aux Plant Filters Added

Aquaponics System In Our Sunroom...

Aquaponics & Permaculture: 10 Day Intensive in Eco-Paradise
December 6 – 15, 2010
Finca las Nubes, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua...
All about the Okra...

And that might do for now, have a peacefull time till I return...
Very Best Wishes

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The dams,The weirs, the rivers, the gutters, the puddles...

They're all full and now because they are so full the big shots are starting to let the water out over the spillways and that is going to flood parts of Brisbane. There are times my friends when you just can't win....After all the recent drought conditions and water shortages........Anyhow, back to the notes....

Here is something really different and as with potatoes maybe not worth the effort. RICE

But then when you think about it, a rice paddy is Aquaponic

Even INDISTRUCTABLES agree with us.

Meanwhile... Looking ahead to the future of sustainable food, lots of people are gaining faith in once off-the-wall growing methods like aquaponics

In Australia, where farmers have struggled with drought for the past decade, backyard aquaponic systems have.....

But now that I have a system coming, and it'll need a sump tank immediately and...
Vertical growing just makes sense! It is a terrific use of space...

This unique one-of-a-kind course will be the longest and most in depth Aquaponics Training of it’s kind ever offered...

Approximatey 3,000 square feet of fine Italian basil grew on the east side of the Big Island last year.
Read more: Aquaponics businesses grow, but profits prove hard to reap - Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

My love of the bizarre and the romantic - and of vegetables - has led me...

FRISCO — It took nine people two hours to tear down a shed behind High Country Conservation Center in Frisco Saturday to.....

In the Lowlands of Scotland, an old fire station donated to the community of Moffat for a symbolic penny has been.....

No, I haven't run out of places to visit. but the rain has started to bucket down again. So I think I had better go and check out the property. So till next time....
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Back Soon

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go away...

It's one of those things. You either have too much of it or the tanks are dry. There is no in between.

The lagoon (swamp) is full, the river (creek) that meanders through our property is half way up to the bridge and climbing, the Roadway (bush track) is littered with puddles. But do we care...?? Nahhh. We have resilliance and fortitude. (and we are as thick as two planks)

So because we are sort-of confined to quarters here is the next episode..:

 Genetically Modified Salmon Could Be On Your Plate Soon

 From Mark Wright, a Sludge Seperator


Some Video on Virgin Islands Uni

The surface of the water erupts in turbulence as the fish feed with noisy gulps.

From LimeLife A/P


Back here a look at A/P Instalation

After all of those, you might enjoy a trip out to Moffats Farm

Please take a second to read what’s been happening down at CCCM, and perhaps pass  this article on to any friends that might be encouraged or inspired by it.  Thanks!!

"Could you pass the following link on to friends. There will be several more in the series. However this one is important as it shows the storm damage that placed 230 people out of work and did so in less than 24 hours. The building you see was a shrimp processing plant where 230 people worked each year in order to make some sort of a living..." We sure can do that...

" My BF wanted to combine both of our hobbies into one. His love of aquaculture and my hobby of growing things. Welcome our new aquaponics set up."

"Ask any Boulder home gardener what they miss the most during the wintertime and they’ll most likely respond that it’s.........."

Enough already, Exit Stage Right, Until next we meet....
Good aponics to YOU.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Going Beyond....

I was wondering over the last couple of days if any of you may be interested in thinking beyond the envelope, beyond Aquaponics. Not necessarily doing, but just reading, absorbing or challenging your thoughts. So I'm going to include anything that might be of interest that I consider a possible offshoot from A/P. If you are interested and wish to delve a bit deeper, please let me know and I'll endeavor to include further information in that area.

One such example is Cloning. The process of taking a section of a plant and making it possible to identically reproduce this plant as many times as you need to. Now to give you a taste or two.

I do hope you realise that as we are in Aquaponics, we are bound to the basics of Hydroponics and we are very fortunate as we have untold experiences from Hp to aid us because what ever problem we may have in relation to plant growth etc. They have probably had the same many times over.

Likewise the fish we keep and grow have all of the problems that any other fish have and at times more so because of the particularly crowded environment we may have them in at various periods of their growth. So both aquaculture and even your local aquarium dealer and be a source of important advice under certain circumstances...

Rant Over, Back to the notes...

....and there will soon be an organic garden and an aquaponic freshwater system for farming tilapia; that is, for raising the fish symbiotically with plants.

It is the mission of Santa Cruz Aquaponics to produce the healthiest, most flavorful and nutritious fresh Tilapia and Watercress available on the Northern California market.

Rene LaMarche of Port Orchard is growing tomatoes and other produce using a technique called aquaponics, which combines aquaculture and hydroponics. (MEEGAN M. REID | KITSAP SUN)

 it seemed a little like they just kept throwing things up, and yet somehow it works.  this one is a triple-decker aquaponics system.  the bottom layer is a tank with 8000 tilapia swimming about.  in order to aerate and filter the water it gets pumped up to the top layer where the tomatoes are growing.

NOW, A Small scale aquaponic system in Barbados
Long before the term "aquaponics" was coined in the 1970s the Aztec Indians raised plants on rafts on the surface of a lake in approximately 1,000 A.D. 
The one that gets biggest the fastest needs put in another tank. Quickly. Atila only has 19 friends left. They are all his friends, because he ate his enemies... 
I hope you all enjoyed that one...Well that's another one done....
Be Back Soon