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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!


  1. All the best bro! I always fascinated by each of your post here. Can't wait to see the other updates.

    1. Thanks bro, there will be more additions here as well especially on some of the designs I use and my view on an AP system.

  2. nice blog.. look mine too

  3. Awesome! BTW, do you know where to get chelated iron in the country?

    1. Sorry for the late reply, the easiest to get chelated EDTA Iron is at Ace Hardware. Some commercial grade fertilizer shops around Sungai Buloh and Kota Damansara also has them. May I share that chucking iron bars in the system also helps with iron deficiency, or salting the AP system with mountain salt/rock salt (garam bukit) also tends to solve the iron deficiency problem. As shared by Zul here...

  4. great!

    where can i get the black growbed square container? and how much?

    i found one in blue colour 3'x4' , but cost is RM140. i'm looking for a cheaper one.

    1. The black gravelbed container costs around RM 110-120 at Jalan Pasar


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