Thursday, 27 September 2012

Every story has its beginning...

Hello World! (now that's classic geek programmer screen test wordings) but I'm no programmer. I'm an engineer by qualification and still practising engineering. Electronics engineering to be exact. Now the thing with this blog...I've been interested with gardening since I was a little kid, guess I got it from my mom. Love you mom. So about more than a week ago I decided to dive into aquaponics and this blog is going to be my aquaponics adventure diary, plus the things I'd probably do with my electronics skill to make aquaponics easier, for me and everyone that read this blog. Thus the name 'Electronica Aquaponica'... kinda sound like magic spell tehehe...

Ok now here below is my current setup. I've been preparing myself for almost three months prior to this to get the know how, and money, of get my first ever aquaponics setup up an running.

Gosh, I really need to edit the picture to be more presentable. I made the table myself, bought the wood from a local hardware store. I will share the cost of this setup in my next post. My system is based on ebb and flow or also known as flood and drain technique. I learn how make the syphon from Mr Affnan (of course!) the master of aquaponics syphon. Visit him HERE. I found that his bell syphon design is just easy to follow. I made it and it work first time and every time after that flawlessly. I haven't turn off the pump since day one (14 September 2012) and the syphon haven't failed even once!

 The water tank used is a common 80 gallon domestic water tank. I don't know whether it's a US or UK gallon. If US gallon is used, the capacity is about 300 Liters and for UK gallon is about 360 Liters.

There are about 19 fishes in the tank now, 10 red tilapias, 3 kois, 3 patins and 3 lampams. Oh yes, and a tortoise that my mom found next to her house. She gave it to my son to keep and now it joined the fishes in the tank. Never saw it happier! I bought 10 tilapias in case some might not survive but after about two weeks now all of them seem really happy. 19 fishes in 300L of waters should be fine but I think another grow bed is needed to process their junks...or maybe a biofilter.

My first plant is daun kesum because I think it is much easier to root. It can even root in plain water. The yellowish leaves are due to the heat from the sun, before I found a cover for the bed. One of the disadvantages of using pebbles and the likes is it can soak up sun's heat pretty fast, retain the heat and burn the leaves that touches it. Shades help a lot in reducing the heat. I increased the water level to be the same as the pebbles' to help keep the pebbles cool. You can learn how to adjust water level in grow bed at Mr Affnan's blog.

And the pak choy seeds begin to germinate after a week! I also sown lettuce seeds but none seems to be sprouting, probably got washed off into the fish tank by the syphon. Next try I'll sprout it before I put it in the grow bed. I think it is not good to start the bed with 100% seeds, as the nitrate need to be processed immediately. Only grown plants can do that better so that is why I start with daun kesum plus the seeds.

I think this is long enough for a first entry, more story later on the cost and new addition to the system that I'm current working on. Tata!

update: my wife just called, our son found one tilapia dead in the tank...