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Thread: aquaponics much help needed!

  1. #1
    DIYFK member Tomneedshelp's Avatar


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    aquaponics much help needed!

    Hi guys. I didn't know that category to put this in!!

    Anyway I'm thinking of setting up a aquaponics system fully sustainable no water changes and if I do have to every minimal. I have planned everything out to the bone just need a bit of help finish it.

    I have a 90 to 100 liter tank on one side of it I'm going to have 2 PVC pips going straight up with holes in it and all open at the bottom to help suck up all the uneaten food and feces from the bottom of the tank. They were going to go up a little bit then 2 90 degree angels then I bit more to meet in the middle where a T will connect them together so it can exist my tank in one pipe before it gets to the top I will change it to vinyl tubing so it's more flexible and my sliding screen top will still work to a degree (it will not fully close but it doesn't anyway due to the filter wires and heater wires and the air line I have going in there)

    this will them drop down to the DIY canister filter Joey told us how to build. The one using only a 5 gallon bucket. I am going to follow his instructions I might add a heater at the bottom of the bucket so I don't have it in my tank. Will that work??? I'm going to drill a hole take the plug off it then hotgule gun or silicone the hole back up to make it water tight. The water will then exits the filter through the vinyl tubing to the pump Joey showed in his video. That will then exits the pump and go straight up to a planting box which will have clay ball media in where I will have plants growing the water will run through and get another clean before going back in to the tank. I might also have a second filter here to help a little more with heat It will exit the plant box and the vinyl tubing will lead it to the other side of the tank where the water isn't being sucked up to help with water rotation. It will change back in to PVC pipe with holes in so it can fall in to the water helping with oxygen. I will be building a stand for all this and making it look good so it's not an eye sore.

    My problem is if I have this powerful pump pumping water if I try to decorate the tank, stones and fish will get sucked up it. I've been trying to think of ways around this and I came up with a few. First I can put an end cap on the PVC pipe to stop the fish going up but that doesn't stop the stones, if I also have stones the uneaten food and feces will get stuck it will also get stuck if I have something like a stone or log in there requiring more cleaning for me and not so much a self sustaining tank. So i asked a friend of mine and he said is there anything like a mesh you could put down so the feces gets sucked through yet the stones don't. So i went back to thinking I came up with an even better idea using that. If there was such a mesh that existed I could stretch it over 3 bits of wood cut to the side of my tank... back and 2 sides so I can see it's working at the front. I could stretch it over like a canvas then put holes in it for my PVC pipe to get through patching it up a little with silicone if it was a bit too big. So then I thought I could add plants to this so I'm going to take 3 to 5 cm from the back of my tank and stick a wall of acrylic the same size as my mesh would be I can fill that with soli and the same stones on top to prevent the soil floating I can then add good oxygen producing plants in there so I could have the filter off at night. So now I can leave the PVC with no end cap on the water will be filted and how it will work from my understanding is as the pump is turned on it will suck the feces and uneaten food down through the mesh leaveing the stones. in to this almost void there it will get sucked up and in to the filter. Meanwhile the stones stay there and so do the fish. And the water can freely circulate. My next ]problem does any one know of a mesh that could so this or that would be grate for this job. Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge It can also be plastic as I can just put that on the wood and it will be stronger then fabrics.

    Another thing does anyone know of any nice rocks and or stones that can go in this aquarium assuming the mesh methods works? If I can add a photo I'll show you some of that I like but I don't know the name of. Click here to enlarge

    If you have stayed to the end thankyou so much! I do need a bit of help. Many thanks - Tom Click here to enlarge 20180419_004401.jpg I like the white slabs and the black onces

  2. #2
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar


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    As for making a tank self-sustaining, don't expect it to be, honestly don't, you will spend far more time trying to get is self-sustaining then you will doing the water changes... That isn't to say you can't optimize it and have it run longer between water changes, but the reality is that toxin will build up inside that tank water, toxins that the filters will not be able to remove... Think of all the stuff in the air, once all that 'pollution' in the air gets trapped in the water it's not going to be filtered out with traditional bio and mechanical filtration, you need to do the water changes for that...

    Yes, can put a heater in the filter bucket, or even build a small chamber that gets spliced into the hoses...

    As for your 'mesh', you can get stainless steel hardware cloth aka mesh in pretty much any size you want, in the US (not sure if it's the same abroad) the 'mesh' size is based on the Imperial inch, so for example 62 mesh means there are 62 'openings' per Imperial inch...

    Another easier to find option is common bug screen, be it the vinyl type or a stainless, and for a plastic option if the size is right 'plastic canvas' (used for crafty cross stitching) is another option, although more like a sheet than a fabric...

  3. #3
    DIYFK member Tomneedshelp's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Meep Click here to enlarge
    As for making a tank self-sustaining, don't expect it to be, honestly don't, you will spend far more time trying to get is self-sustaining then you will doing the water changes... That isn't to say you can't optimize it and have it run longer between water changes, but the reality is that toxin will build up inside that tank water, toxins that the filters will not be able to remove... Think of all the stuff in the air, once all that 'pollution' in the air gets trapped in the water it's not going to be filtered out with traditional bio and mechanical filtration, you need to do the water changes for that...

    Yes, can put a heater in the filter bucket, or even build a small chamber that gets spliced into the hoses...

    As for your 'mesh', you can get stainless steel hardware cloth aka mesh in pretty much any size you want, in the US (not sure if it's the same abroad) the 'mesh' size is based on the Imperial inch, so for example 62 mesh means there are 62 'openings' per Imperial inch...

    Another easier to find option is common bug screen, be it the vinyl type or a stainless, and for a plastic option if the size is right 'plastic canvas' (used for crafty cross stitching) is another option, although more like a sheet than a fabric...
    Thankyou for your reply Meep! I didn't mean so much of a self sustaining tank more of a low maintenance I would probably have a water tester kit and check the water every week if the Nitrate levels are high if so I'll water change.

    And in theory my idea of the mesh will work? And it will be a good way of cleaning the stones automatically?

    Many thanks

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