System upgrade!

Introducing the Barracuda 6000 and the Biologic 8000!

We have been fiddling around the edges with the aquaponics system. Ostensibly it’s a CHOP set-up (constant height one pump). I say ostensibly as one pump runs the main part of the system (to and from the grow beds and the fish tanks) but we have another pump that circulates water to the home-made NFT (nutrient film technique) rails that we installed as a second phase.

The pumps have been adequate, but as the system matures we are getting less flow, probably due to extra organic load in the form of roots and sediments in the growing areas and algal film developing inside and coating the piping. We regularly syphon out any excess wastes from the bottom of the fish tanks and had resorted to using anklet stockings over the pipes into the tanks to provide an extra physical barrier filter. The slime that accumulated in the mini stockings over 12 hours was enough evidence to indicate that this was not a bad idea.

But, as I said, the flow rate had dropped a bit, and the idea of having a better filter had always been on the drawing board, and so we visited our friends at Aquagardening ( and kitted ourselves out with a new, greater flow pump and a biological filter that will catch and filter the stuff that travels around the system. Chris has expertly connected these ‘appliances’ to the system with the calm assuredness that my dad would have shown in the same situation.

When challenged on whether he should be fiddling with things around the house, dad would always say he had a licence—but he was referring to a marriage licence, which he maintained covered all things domestic (he had at one point been an apprentice electrician, so we did not worry too much when he did small electrical jobs 🙂 ) But I digress …

The other new bits in the system are extra air stones, and surprisingly these are the bits that have had the most immediate, noticeable effect! We already had an air stone in each tank, but when we added the extra three, it was like the fish became super energetic and über hungry. When we feed them now—especially the larger ones that survived The Great Oxygen Tragedy of September 2013—it’s like watching piranha attack! The tank literally bubbles and boils with activity as the Jades target the floating food in a fish feeding frenzy!


2 thoughts on “System upgrade!

  1. Is the system on correctly? Is their aggitation or agression because something out of wack? Or were they not eating normally because the old sytem was not working properly and are really hungry? I am just asking obvious questions that you have probably already asked yourself. I just don’t you to have another tragedy.You don’t want them to start eating eachother.

    I hope this makes the difference for you and that raising fish goes smoothly.
    Good Luck

  2. Hey Honey! Thanks for your comment. I have to remind myself that sometimes my writing contains more illusion than substance. The fish are fine, and the set-up was adequate but we have seen the benefit of introducing more oxygen through the air stones. We have had the system for almost a year now and so we are still getting used to what works well and what doesn’t. We do know that when the water gets cooler (in the winter months) the fish get a bit less active and don’t feed as well … they don’t become dormant, but they do slow down. Now, with warmer weather and extra oxygen, they are noticeably much more active and very hungry! And happily, the Jade and Silver Perch that we have are not likely to eat each other like the Barramundi did.

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