Saturday, 29 August 2015


I had a great time at the annual BAQUA conference.
I would like to thank the organizers and speakers for all their efforts.
It was especially nice to put faces to all the people who have helped me over the last year. Thank you.
Part of the time was spent in a version of ‘speed dating’ Five minutes to chat to other people. Networking. I learnt a lot. Special thanks to Wilson Lennard PhD. After talking to him for five minutes I commented on how much I had learnt during the networking exercise. “That’s because you networked with the right people” he replied! You gotta love the Australians.  Round fish tanks was his message.
Antonio and his wife Amanda from Bioaqua Farm were an inspiration.
They use an organic food for their trout. This does not contain carotene.
The fish thus have white flesh resembling Sea Bass.

A great day.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


I thought that the new 90 L grow bed would be as rigid as my existing 40 L ones.
Unfortunately filled with clay pebbles and water it started to swell.
A bit like me after visiting an, all you can eat restaurant.
The ratchet strap helped. Today no choice but to empty all the media. Build new braces and then refill again.

I won’t make that mistake again.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


I have been doing some tinkering with my system. The whole system occupies a foot print of approximately 3 square meters.
A 5.5k L/h pump runs 30/30.
One IBC cut BYAP style FT1
Two 225L olive barrels ( 1 vertical 1 horizontal) sumps
One 250 L (UK loft cold water tank) FT2
One 200 L GB (cut from IBC
Two 40 L GB
One 90 L GB
One 60 L GB
One water cooler RFF
One up flow static filter (K1)
One 10 L submerged horizontal bio filter(K1)
One DIY pre filter 10 L
One DIY bio filter 20L (bio balls, Rawl plugs and bottle tops.

The oblong GB 2*40 1*90 are stacked vertically above the horizontal olive barrel sump. These will be covered with a plastic greenhouse. Readily available here in the UK as Tomato houses 100 wide 50 deep 150 high.
Site conditions prevent me from sinking sumps into the ground This will be above the horizontal sump. A maximum height of 2.44 M  Yes, step ladder. Yes, warning light for low flying aircraft.

With the use of an additional pump FT2 can be isolated as a quarantine tank.
IMHO an essential in any system.
Filtered by the two DIY filters.
Fish are being introduced in batch of 15. As such the maximum at any one time will be 45. With a mean of 30.
The RFF (25L) is small. It only serves the IBC FT1
I can immediately see debris build up. I place another 25 L bottle on the outlet and drain it in less than 20 seconds. Allow to settle. Pour back 95% of the water into the GB and use the remainder on the soil garden.
In practice about once per week.

The up flow static is new so limited experience yet.

Sunday, 2 August 2015


A few system changes were required before I could add the new filter.
The new grow beds will sit above the second sump tank ( orange barrel) so I had to reverse it. I also wanted to bring the inlet/outlet, as close as possible to the ground. The ball valve allows me to isolate this sump. Useful when cleaning. In addition when i have to add tap water I can add it here. i can then wait 24 hours for it to off gas the chlorine before mixing it with system water.
The various heights were critical. I incorporated a non return valve in the filter outflow. This will prevent back flow when the system is filled to capacity.
The draining point will allow me to clean the submerged bio filter behind the orange barrel.

Next step is to build the ladder supports for the grow beds.