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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Other Projects: Proud new owner Sandesh and Ranjit

Few weeks ago I had the opportunity to install another system. The system was a project of my colleague's husband and son who had been interested to run an AP system. Ranjit is a great handyman and has expanded his house to include many well thought and planned features in his house. It was great working with them and since this setup is only one module of a 100 gallon tank with one gravelbed, construction was completed in just one day!

The setup completed; tank, vortex sediment tank, gravelbed

A closer look at the plumbing. The sediment tank is about 70 liters hence roughly 1/3 of the fish tank. To avoid the tidal effect from pumping up and down with the timer, I've installed a check valve so that water from the sediment tank will not return to the fish tank. However, since the check valve works with a spring, it robs a bit of the head (power) from the pump. The 39W is just sufficient for this system that we did not have to utilize the bypass to regulate water flow. If they expand the system, which I think they will, they'd need to change it to a bigger pump a 60W perhaps.

 The Affnan Siphon utilized in the gravelbed. Shown in picture is the larger diameter media guard and the smaller diameter bell.

 A look inside the siphon. The reducer which converge flow and promotes the initial start of the siphon.

The tailpipe or the outlet of the siphon.

Gravel filling time! I sure am glad I was spared from this back breaking job. Farid the casual worker was really helpful during this part of the job!

Sandesh and Ranjit, father and son are now the proud owner of an AP system! Will check on them in a few weeks!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Other Projects: Zul's AP Update 12th October 2013

Pardon me it's been a while since I update this blog, just got tied up with something else. Anyway, here's a look at Zul's AP setup which have been running for 2 months at the time these photos were taken. I'll be asking for another set of photos again soon.

 An overall view on the setup. Three 100 gallons tanks were used, two filled with creatures and one acts as a sump tank for water reserve.

The gutterbeds were planted with bayam (amaranth), kangkong, and kailan. Seems to be doing well but are showing signs of iron deficiency as the leaves appear yellowish with some plants. Growth rate still a bit slow. Tested the water with pH around 8.0 and saw some deposits of solids in the gutterbeds. Running the siphon was a bit tricky with this one, hence the 'standpipe' method had accumulated very fine solids (very fine since the water was really clean past the canister filter) due to the slow almost stagnant condition in the gutterbeds. I've fixed the siphon during this visit and it should now run ok. Zul also mentioned that the yellowish leaves disappears after he dosed in some rock salts. That seems to cure the iron deficiency part.

In gravelbed #1, Zul had planted basil, tumeric, and water cress (pegaga). Unlike their gutterbeds counterparts, the ones in the gravelbeds seem to do just fine. Since the whole system is sharing the water, I'm starting to think that the poorer performing gutterbeds is due to the solids accumulating in the pipes. Now that I've fixed the siphon, I think it'll remedy the situation.

In gravelbed #2, the plants includes chili, eggplant, and some pandan leaves. These plants too appear to be doing just fine. The way they grow seem to dwarf the clearance we gave for the plants which was about 3 ft from bed top to roof!

Gravelbed #3 is probably the most promising, planted with watermelon and japanese melon. Just a few weeks after the photos were taken, I was informed that they had began fruiting! Emm, yummy melons!

Will be writing with more updates soon!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Other Projects: Zul AP Update

Hello readers,

Last weekend Zul and I managed to hook up all the plumbing and the system now is ready to run! However we still need to level the rectangular pipes as well as figure out the timing sequence needed for the pumps since we have two of them supplying to the rectangular pipes and the gravel beds.

Once we hooked up the rectangular pipe and turned on the 39 watts pump, we found that the flow rate was insufficient even without the filter pads, due to the head required for this project. The pump needs to supply the water at a height of approximately 8ft and therefore the Astro 3000 that we have was insufficient.

So we went out to find aquarium shops and managed to get an upgrade to the Atman 9000 120 watts. Overated? Maybe yes maybe no. When we ran the new pump we found that we have excess rates, however will require further test when the filter starts trapping fish waste.

Alright, on to the pictures shall we?

The custom built filter from a 90 liter bin. First layers of 2 japanese mat filter pad

The configuration is such that I've installed the coarse japanese mat and the fine taiwan mat in sandwich layers. The idea is that it'll give more room for the solids to settle in between pads.

Completed filter assembly with two 32mm overflows. The cross pipes you see are filter stoppers. When the pads start trapping solids they will get pushed up by the water underneath therefore the stoppers will stop them from rising and keep them in place, forcing water to pass through all pads.

The filter assembly with a valve to control the water flow

The blue valve is the drain from the filter where we'll discharge the solid waste from time to time and keep the system in check. The smaller valve below is a bypass from the pump to the crayfish tank, if the pump has excess capacity we'll open the valve to reduce flow to the rectangular pipes.

Now trying out the gravel bed. We flooded a single bed to try out the siphon and also test the integrity of the support structure. At full capacity with water the structure didn't even flinch. I hope it will hold up to the weight of the gravel. At static load with water, these beds will weigh approximately 200+kg each.

 The sump tank. The water flowing in is from the fish tank next to it. Connected via a solids lifting overflow from the fish tank.

The crayfish tank with PVC pipes for their hiding place. The solids lifting overflow can be seen in the tank, flowing to the sump.

Now that all is done, lets weave some wire for the support of the plastic sheet...

 Here is the completed roof assembly

Zul posing with his AP system. It took us three days to assemble the system after 3 weeks of sourcing the components and prefabricating them at my place. The cover of the tanks were cut in half and used to cover up the protruding sections of the tanks underneath the growbed.

So what's next? We'll fix the plastic roofing this Sat and level up the rectangular pipes. If Zul managed to get labor help with the gravel to be placed into the gravel beds, then we'll also run the system to figure out the timing sequence of the timers for the pump. We couldn't run the two pumps at the same time due to the limited capacity of the sump tank. It's about what we could do with the space available...

Zul will be running the system after raya and hence will mature some times in October. I'll be posting updates as frequent as I can!

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