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Better filtration for the juvenile Tilapia.

tilapia aquarium filtration

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#1 Paul

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Posted 18 September 2016 - 05:05 PM

First, for anyone who may be new here, or may just beginning to follow these threads, I bought a new 70 liters aquarium on June 10th. It was intended for Tilapia fingerlings which were due to arrive the following day. A bit of a surprise there, upon receiving them. (More to that story by following the link.)

 

Then, we got a surprise on July 22nd, when over 100 (we didn't know how many at the time) Tilapia fry had hatched in the Radial Flow Filter of the aquaponics system. 

 

Those little guys continued to grow by leaps and bounds. So, we built them a new place to live on August 31st. They moved in the following day. (On or about October 1st, most of the fingerlings will be transferred to IBC fish tank in the aquaponics system. The balance of the brood will remain in the drum tank.)

 

Now, the filter / sump, when I first built the drum tank, was a 19 liters (20 gallon) bucket. This was definitely too small for a 132 liter (35 gallon) drum tank. I knew I would have to build a larger filter / sump to hold the overflow from the new tank. I only used that for the time being, until I could sort out what I would do for a larger filter / sump.  

 

Some time back, I had begun watching fish keeping videos and saw how they were filtering large tanks these days. (I had large aquariums as a boy, but have not been an aquarist for many years - decades.) It was time to update the database in the old noggin. I learned that, nowadays, it seems most people use sump / filter combinations, more than just canister, or other filters. 

 

So, with what I had learned, off to the chalk board I went.

 

I just took the former home of the Tilapia, the 70 liters aquarium and had the local fish shop guy cut me several panels of glass to fit inside. I needed to create separate compartments for filtration. This is what I came up with - which works great by the way. Between the new sump (former aquarium), the over flow (the 1/2" PVC you see piped together), and the SLO (the 1" PVC piped through the wall of the drum tank) in the tank, the water is as clean as can be. Even solids don't hang around long anywhere in the drum tank. 

 

Aeration enters the system in the sump. This also keeps the bacteria bed growing well, due to the first oxygen going directly to it. (The plastic scrubby filters between the matt filtering and the pump.) Photos to follow:

 

IMG_2886_r.jpg

 

Off to the left you will see the pump (2,300 LPH, yeah, way overkill), plastic scrubby filters (providing bacterial filtration), matt and screen mechanical filtration with the large air stone on top, and off the right, the initial mechanical filter capturing the initial solids from the tank.

IMG_2889_r.jpg

 

By putting the air stone in the sump, you remove a lot of surface disturbance in the fish tank. Now, the surface of the water is much smoother, so I can sit and watch the fish easier.

IMG_2894_r.jpg

 

IMG_2895_r.jpg

 

The overflow (off to the right), along with the SLO (Solids Lifting Overflow) piped through the wall of the tank, provide both surface skimming and solids removal from the bottom of the tank, respectively. I have never had a cleaner fish tank in my life.

IMG_2897_r.jpg

 

The purpose of this aquarium is two fold. First, it is to filter the water from the barrel tank.Secondly, it is to provide a reserve to hold any water that drains from the tank during cycling AND during a power outage. (The water level will fill in the sump, but will not overflow it, in the event of a power cut.)

 

Afterthought: Ya know, if I were to add a bit of coiled copper tube and a fire along side, people would think I was runnin' a moonshine still. :D


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#2 Paul

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 10:56 PM

I must have finally hit the right formula, regarding filtration. I don't think I have ever had a tank clearer than this one. A skimmer (PVC Overflow) taking floating waste and such off the top of the water, and the SLO (Solids Lifting Overflow) pulling solids off the bottom of the tank. Image taken yesterday.

 

IMG_2920r.JPG

 

Water just doesn't get any clearer than that. And, that's with 55 fish constantly adding waste to the system.


Edited by Paul, 26 September 2016 - 10:58 PM.

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#3 andy

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 11:45 AM

The fish look very healthy, and are growing well.
Have you had any more fry since?
How are the vegetables growing?

#4 Paul

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 01:52 PM


Have you had any more fry since?

 

No, which is somewhat surprising at this point.

 

 


How are the vegetables growing?

 

Lettuce is fine. Added broccoli and basil plants. Will add more plants when we transfer the fish next month.


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#5 andy

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 02:03 PM

I am happy all is going great! I am surprised no more fry! Serious now! You know how to sex them. You had done a post on this in the past. A little advice on breeding (what I had found best) seclude the fish you want to breed in a tank of their own, with a cover over the top, and less sterile water.

#6 Paul

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 02:32 PM


A little advice on breeding (what I had found best) seclude the fish you want to breed in a tank of their own, with a cover over the top, and less sterile water.

 

Actually, I wasn't looking to breed them when these were born. Not really interested in breeding them right away.


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#7 andy

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 03:26 PM

Actually, I wasn't looking to breed them when these were born. Not really interested in breeding them right away.

 

It would be a good business adventure! you could bring on the fry to the size you have now and sell on. This would cost you very little expenditure and give you a good learning curve for the future. Plus you will already have a list of buying customers.



#8 Paul

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 06:59 PM

It would be a good business adventure! you could bring on the fry to the size you have now and sell on. This would cost you very little expenditure and give you a good learning curve for the future. Plus you will already have a list of buying customers.

 

Actually, running a 50 watts water pump - 24 / 7, a 15 watts air pump - 24 / 7, 2 kgs vitamin fortified fry feed, plus our time and energy to buy / build / maintain the tank and sump, have made this a not-so-good business venture. I would have to sell them for a dollar each, just to make any money on them.

 

I would make out much better to buy enough fry to stock a single, or multiple IBC tanks, from a dealer.


Edited by Paul, 27 September 2016 - 08:29 PM.

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#9 andy

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 08:15 PM

You just don't listen or understand!
How does that dealer make money from selling to you?

I used ghost carp in the system in the Uk! Tilapia in Thailand. Made good money in both countries.

#10 Paul

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 08:26 PM


You just don't listen or understand!
How does that dealer make money from selling to you?

 

No, you are not listening. I have told you what it cost me to raise these fish to date. I know, because I track all expenses for the fish and the AP system.

 

I'll tell you what, Andy. YOU raise Tilapia fry and I will buy them from you at the same rate he sells them for. I believe 100r each, is what he sells them for. I can verify that again, though, if you are interested.

 

I cannot raise and sell them for that amount. Not and sell them as juvenile fish, anyway. Ours are two months and five days old, today. He would have to sell them much smaller than mine are now.

 

Either way, I don't want to do it. I have enough irons in the fire here.


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