Got my aquaponics project started

woo hoo!

hipsters rockin badass aquaponic systems in trendy Los Angeles 8)

capped nearly 100 moringa pills , it was a chore but well worth the trouble
More Ingas.jpg
two caps in the morning after breakfast is perfect... good mood, better concentration, and I do believe it alkalizes the body which is great for drinkers like me.

the moringa plant is doing really well in the growbed, can't say the same for the pepper plants..

AND Surpise Surprise! The other moringa seed decided to join the party! And it's just shooting up!

some bad news:
Last week, I realized that the pH has been too low for the fish and possibly for nitrifying bacteria . low pH might've been delaying the nitrification cycle.. so I UPed the pH with baking soda just under 8.0 but maybe I did a baaad thing.. I added baking soda in a bucket of fresh water but poured it directly into the fish tank! ayeyayay!I forgot about pH Shock! the fish freaked a little but all still alive. I poured it in the tank because if I poured it into the sump, sump water, which happens to high in ammonia, will siphon/balance back into tank and kill the fish.. it's happened a few weeks back and I killed one loach, "Moe" so I'm down to 3 loaches,..gotta make that check valve I've been scheming about in me head.. :mrgreen:

As for pH shock.. I'm sure they'd all be dead by now if they got Low pH Shock.. but what about High pH Shock? Sudden Alkaline Spike? Anybody know if High pH Shock will hurt or kill fish? Fish are supposed to love alkaline water..

anyway, we'll see..fingers crossed

BUT THE GOOD NEWS??? gotta take the good with the bad, right?
I can buy tilapia fish online here in Japan! All this time I thought they were banned! Nope
180 yen?? chump change! I could be making a dollar outta fit-teen cent!
The fingers said:
Those green capsules look better and probably taste better than the chilled green hippie grass juice at the health food store! :mrgreen:
hi! yeah, hippies :lol:

when you get passed the taste you're more able to feel the subtle and immediate effects like the fullness on your face, reduced appetite, and personally it gets me chatty and singy, and even gets me howling sometimes, but that's just me... LOL! I would guess the only people who say it tastes great are marketers in disguise..

plus, gel caps are much more economical than mixing it with drinks cos a substantial amount of powder sticks to your drinking glass and that's hard to get even if you scrape it off with a spoon. Powder just ends up washing down the drain.. With gel caps, you drop 100%

500mg is a pretty big capsule but smaller and goes down easier than the Genesis brand Amino 1900 horse pills I used to take, plus a whole lot cheaper! Genesis is a great brand but I bought it only when I found a good deal.

And thats not even including costs of multivitamins I bought regularly.

Moringa is the way to go!
Dee Jay said:
plus, gel caps are much more economical than mixing it with drinks cos a substantial amount of powder sticks to your drinking glass and that's hard to get even if you scrape it off with a spoon. Powder just ends up washing down the drain..
U need a longer tongue so u can clean ur glass.
(insert picture of dog slurping from glass here)
amberwolf said:
Dee Jay said:
plus, gel caps are much more economical than mixing it with drinks cos a substantial amount of powder sticks to your drinking glass and that's hard to get even if you scrape it off with a spoon. Powder just ends up washing down the drain..
U need a longer tongue so u can clean ur glass.
(insert picture of dog slurping from glass here)
being the barking lunatic that I am, I should try it.. lol!

yes yes yes, this is really exciting !

I've been having a great time pollinating growbed pepper blooms by hand every morning for the past several weeks but the tiny pods would yellow out and eventually fall off which may have been due to the extreme heat.. the weather had been cooling off since last week and it's only now that pods started hanging on.
Orlando Bloomed.jpgmyPod.jpg
Growth is also speeding up, both pods and plant height are noticeable day-by-day. I do believe the whole system is actually "maturing"! It's about time I got this Pepper Factory kick-started cos it's been about 6 weeks since the infamous Loach Massacre when I had to restart the system from ground-zero. Murray Hallam was right, it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for an aquaponic system to mature, in warm weather, anyways..

The strange thing was nitrogen NO2/3 was never detected by the water test strips and I wonder if those tests are even reliable. I wanna buy the API kit but can't find them here..I began to wonder if I have enough fish/waste in the system so I took a chance and bought 3 more fishes, 2 young goldfishes and 1 big ass loach. I'll call the youngens Ching and Chong and the bigun (King-Kong?) nope..I'll call him Vitali Klitchko cos he looks just like him with is mouth guard on.. lol!
View attachment 1Vitali-Klitschko_1.jpg
OH BTW! bumping up the pH didn't kill any fish but it's fair to assume that it killed the second moringa seedling, it just suddenly wilted and died! The tall moringa plant kept growing but it's bottom leaves yellowed.. So there you have it, High pH shock won't kill fish but it is bad for the plants. The strange thing, tho... I've been topping up about a gallon of water due to evaporation but the high pH remains pretty much the same..

anyway, that's all for now..

Ciao, bellas... 8)
Funny update,

but first my Awesomeness!

Fish are happy and more pepper pods are showing up and they are all steadily growing!
But it had suddenly gotten cold. Jalapenos temp range is 80 (26.6c) to 90F (32.2c) Water temp dropped from about 86F (30c) down 71.6 (22c) so I best hurry to get the system inside the house..

I didn't wanna use the tall trash can sump inside the house cos I'd shit if it fell over and flooded the livingroom with 45 liters of fish waste water. So I searched for something mobile, and sealable to avoid spills and reduce evaporation, and also with a wide enough opening to fit a small brushless fountain water pump that I'll upgrade to soon.. and I found just the thing, a 20 liter camping water carrier with all that plus a folding handle and wheels! 12 bucks.

I bought two and will use the other as dechlorinating tank/reserve tank that will automatically add water to the tank as water levels lowers from evaporation.

The wheels is the best part. We don't have a water faucet in the balcony so I had to carry gallons in a bucket from the bathroom, now I can just wheel it around, NICE!
rolling tank.jpg
Also, I solved a couple of issues:

1) the little issue with ammonia sump water siphoning/balancing back to the fish tank. I found those nifty dollar-shop hand-pump-siphon with a built in check valve perfect for the job. And since I will soon expand with another 15 gal tank for tilapia fingerlings, I'll connect both tanks with this hand siphon. The aquarium tank water isn't very tasty so a hand pump is very convenient, lol

2) the siphon net issue. The web net I was using had solid waste getting caught on it so I bunched up rubber air tubes and stuffed them in the siphon tube and viola.. I am the man.
fish screen.jpg
3)The weak 19mm wire's really not strong enough for two growbeds so I reinforced the rack that is holding the growbed by running stainless steel cables up to the top rack so that the top rack will share the load. But if that doesn't work, plan B is to fab a support leg and caster in the middle so there 'll be 5 legs and casters for support..

pat meself on the back!

Here's the funny part..
4) I was tying up the kitchen garbage bag when I noticed something that looked like sesame seeds on the trash can lid. I thought: Who the hell spilled sesame seeds? Nobody eats sesame seeds here. I turned on the lights and started sweeping and they turned out to be fruit fly larvae and cocoons ready to transmute. This is a first.. Apparently, fruit flies decided to open up a larva factory to offer as snack gifts to the fish, you know, as a show of appreciation for a job well done…lol! So I gathered them for the fish and they ate em like popcorn. Everybody WINS! Well, the fish. More larvae and cocoons appeared the next day. Maybe I should get a new trash bin. Or not.

Anyways, hope soem of you find my improvements useful.

Ok, got the growbed moved indoor. The tanks are still in the balcony so hoses run in and out through the window. I'm getting ready to move the fish tank inside as well as buy another tank for the tilapia. But first I'll to fab two rolling aquarium platforms. I wont be able to use the adjustable rolling rack cos the caster wheels are too hard and will dent the soft wooden floor so I'll go with rubber wheels
The chilis are ok with the indoor environment. So far I only have one bright white LED bulb and the chilis seems to be ok with that but the moringa is not liking the lack of sunlight so I'll get 5 more of the LED bulbs and see if that works. The bulbs runs on 7 watts but has the lumens of 60 watts and for about 15 bucks each, not bad, it beats having to build growlights with expensive red and blue LEDs costing over 200 bucks!

I'm also toying with reflecting the sunlight with mirrors. I bought a glass cutter to try my hand at mirror cutting for the first time. It was rough at the beginning but I refined my technique after the first 2 cuts. I didn't do too bad considering how frikkin thick the glass was.That mirror was way over built at 4.8mm thick! and heavy as hell. I think I'll go with maybe $10 worth of dollarshop mirrors instead. :mrgreen:
View attachment 7
Jalapeno Porn..PepperPrepper.jpg
ooh hot babies. plump, juicy and super sexy! View attachment 1
And more to come!
Under attack! Again, this time by microscopic mites, totally crawled under my radars. The only way to know they are there is after the damage and you see black spots which is mites poop.
mites damage.jpg
What’s next? Beetle mites of course.. tiny buggers be can be seen without magnification. Strange, their damage isn’t as bad as the micro bugs. Mites damage is pretty much in the lower leaves so far. Dont wanna spray so I crushed them on the leaves and vacuumed them off with a weak cordless vacuum cleaner
beetle mites damage.jpg
And guess who also showed up for dinner? Kwai Chan Cane, the Grasshopper. I kicked him out once before but he invited himself in again. so I asked him to stay, in Cell Block 1138 for interrogation. I bribed him with a moringa leaf to tell me the location of the secret grasshopper base, and you know what he told me? “Nom nom nom” he loved moringa.
Finally got a great pic of my very welcome guest, the little pollination helper B-Boy! I found him on the curtain.
And our latest addition to the fish community, two big ass goldfishes, free from a festival we attended yesterday. Oddly, ammonia/N02/3 levels are the same.
Got 2 more LED bulbs. The jalapenos were responding well to bright white light with deep green leaves but it seems the pods growth had slowed down. Maybe the seeds arent supposed to grow jumbo pods that I wanted. Or maybe they just need more light, we’ll see in a month’s time. So a total of approx 50 bucks and 21 watts, I’ll find out tomorrow how much in yen/24 hours. I need to find a way to get the other bulb to hang directly over the tip of the moringa.
Roots found its way inside the bell siphon and through the standpipe, trying to escape! Pulled hizazz back in.
CHOW. Ladies.. :lol:
nechaus said:
dam bug problems eating your plants.

Have you tried growing some garlic ? it may help repel the insects
ah, haven't heard of garlic as pesticide, I'll check it out, thanks for the tip!

Murray Hallam uses molasses with drop of dishwashing liquid but it's maybe for bigger insects but I'll try it too.
found a junked mc laren stroller in great condish. just in time, too cos I didn't wanna haul the second aquarium on the back seat of the bike again.
View attachment 2
made two nifty rolling platforms for both aquariums so I'll be able to roll-away the whole system to gain emergency access to the whole sliding door
dis system iz in da house!
indoor system.jpg
the plan is to apply heat to the glass from the outside and insulate both aquariums with thick styrofoam to keep the tilapia frys warm in the winter. I found a heat pad for cats and dogs but maybe I'll need something much warmer. cant wait for the frys!

I also plan on fabbing a bridge tunnel using clear PVC but it'll be a while before I get to that.

lookin good, right? 8)
This has been an interesting thread to watch. Looking forward to seeing more!

That is a cool little compact setup.
neptronix said:
This has been an interesting thread to watch. Looking forward to seeing more!

That is a cool little compact setup.
Right on, dude.. :mrgreen: I got a bunch of little improvements coming up that I'm excited about but if I talk too much about em I'll risk procrastinating and look like a flake, tee hee!.. but one things for sure, I'll build another growbed (or two) dedicated to thai food ingredients: thai chilis, galangal, lemongrass, thai basil, kaffir lime /leaves, cilantro, thai eggplant etc all thai veggies that aren't available here :D
now where's yours? 8)


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I AM SO HAPPY with the tube bridge build. It serves two purposes: a bridge for the fish between tanks, of course, and a bigger diameter water transfer pipe...the problem was: the grow bed drained fresh water back to tank A and raised the water level higher than Tank B, two hand pump siphons weren't enough to make both tanks rise evenly. Plus I risked the chance of Tank A overflowing all over the living room! I knew wouldn't like the look of 3 or 4 hand pump/siphons so I put the tube bridge plan on top of my to do list. I didn't expect to find clear PVC at our Home Depot (equivalent) hardware store and was mentally preparing to pay a lot for a made-to-order pipe directly from a manufacturer BUT there it was, but 48 bucks for a 60mm dia, per meter! Still a lot but at least the caps, and joining elbows and T's were only a few bucks each. None of it was glued together, everything was press fit in case I think of better configurations. Now both tanks rise evenly. And since Tank B has only one hand pump/siphon connected to the sump, I was able to adjust the water flow so the sump level lowers faster than the two fish tanks combined and before A/B levels can sink, the grow bed is already refilling the tanks, so there's much less water level fluctuation.

the only thing that was bothering me, tho, was the air pocket at the top, so I rigged a bicycle pump and sucked that air out! 8) 8) 8)

And Vitali was first to break through "to the other side"! The goldfishes aren't as flexible and had difficulty making u-turns inside the tube, but I did see them in the port hole a few times.

In other news, the two new goldfishes raised ammonia/NO3, and NO2 is now clearly visible on the test strip, ammonia is not being broken down fast enough, so I added bottled nitrifying bacteria and I made lettuce rafts in tank B to soak it all up, this way I wouldn't have to rely on flood/drain cycle, the plants are always soaking up the nitrogen. I sure hope this works cos the NO3 is up to 100, borderline "water change" level.

Picked two peppers last night. The jalapeno wasn't ripe enough, barely any kick to it. But the cayenne.. hotdamn..ate it raw.. HOTTTTTTT I didn't get a stomach ache today but I sure as hell got the hot-seat lol!
And today's guest? The Green Horney! found him on the glass window this morney. :lol:
Green Horney.jpg
TAFN. l8 :mrgreen:
i wondered how you kept the siphon from draining. no glue on the joints and it doesn't leak air into the siphon?

i got a buncha that clear plastic tubing from a friend when he moved and took apart the dust vacuum system in his shop. all 1 1/2" and about 30' total. and a buncha ells and sanTees too.
dnmun said:
i wondered how you kept the siphon from draining. no glue on the joints and it doesn't leak air into the siphon?

i got a buncha that clear plastic tubing from a friend when he moved and took apart the dust vacuum system in his shop. all 1 1/2" and about 30' total. and a buncha ells and sanTees too.

38.1mm dia clear tubes? 30 feet? ..if I had those I'd make a tube aquarium that runs all around the room with tiny fishes and use the tees for plant and flowers, and air stones, have water flowing in one direction to circulate aerated water. tho I'd prefer at least 60mm dia. Now that I found a source for clear PVC I may build a totally tube aquarium! but not running all around the room, not at 48 bucks per meter..

The only problem with tubes would be the occassional cleaning, it's the main reason why I won't commit to glueing the bridge together. Screw on tubes would be ideal. I think it will hold together well since the tube cutting tool some what flared out the edges. When i test-fitted the elbows and T's before cutting the 1 meter tube I could see it fit almost flush, but after using the tube cutter I couldn't jam it close to fitting it flush.

I'll have to make a siphon-break-alarm which should be easy enough
Loaches have a sense of camaraderie, no really!

Nitrogen was rising so I stopped feeding for about 4 days. Their behavior was strange, all fish activity stopped as if they've all been put on "pause" like a DVD movie. The loaches sat still at the bottom of the tank or on top of the clay pots and the goldfishes swam still as if in suspended animation. on the 5th day, I fed them once in the morning for the next 3 days and their activity resumed. Then a few days later, I found Vitali in Tank B. I wondered if he would remember how to get back to A so I left him there by his lonesome for the next few days days, and again no feeding because nitrogen level was rising again, and this was before the lettuce rafts. Yesterday night, we came home from a family outing and noticed Vitali still in B and all of them in still in suspended animation. But then after dinner, I took a quick peek and found Vitali back in tank A swimming vigorously side by side with his loach pals, and at times wrestling like puppies! But not fighting, more like hugging by twisting together! and they haven't even eaten yet. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, so much happiness, joy, and friendship between these 3 to 4 inch creatures. His young friends missed him so much! :cry:

LovE it!! who could ever be lonely with so many animals, even if they are mostly bugs !! We should all have to build this in school. keep it up!!
hydro-one said:
LovE it!! who could ever be lonely with so many animals, even if they are mostly bugs !! We should all have to build this in school. keep it up!!
yeah man, I was never a fish person, just cats! I never knew fish have personalities, let alone brotherly love for each other. Now I think it's reasonable to assume that they have love towards their masters the way cats and dogs do. I felt bad for not feeding them for a few days, but it's for their own good.

The peppers aren't growing as fast as I expected to in an aquaponics system, but maybe it's just because the pump is not constantly on, only intervals of 15 minutes on and 1 hour and about 30 minutes off. But as soon as the peppers are ripe I'll be inviting my sons elementary school teachers to promote aquaponics at his school. They're teaching traditional farming and they have a garden and even a rice patty in the school yard, so I think aquaponics will knock their socks off. :wink:
dnmun said:
peppers may like dry
yeah, I read that too
dnmun said:
why did you not use aquatic plants in the aquariums to eat up the nitrogen? i thought that was why they were there, for the balance with the fish.
My main crop will be peppers because fresh jalapenos aren't available. And I can't eat aquatic plants. Lettuce sprouts are best for quick clean up cos their roots like a submerged environment, you just gotta aerate the water. Besides, they just happened to be available at the local hardware store for just a few bucks

And the plan worked! NO2 went way down barely visible on the strip and NO3 went from 100 closer to 50 and it will only get better cos lettuce roots are going to develop and sponge up most of the NO3. Once I get it way down, I'll get the tilapia fingerlings so they can party with big boys!