How to Setup a Filter Unit for Aquaponics Fish Farming
Maintaining water quality is one of the most important aspects of high density fish farming. For this purpose, various types of fish farming techniques are being developed. In BIOFLOC fish farming, the floc required to maintain water parameters is produced in the pond itself and the water is treated within the pond itself.
But in Aquaponics and RAS-like fish farming methods, the filter units required to purify the fish pond water are located outside the fish pond. In this video you can get acquainted with the filter system of our Aquaponics unit.
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Importance of Filter Unit in Recirculating Aqua System
Our Aquaponics unit, which holds 40,000 liters of water, cultivates about 4000 GIFT tilapia. This unit also needs good attention as large number of fishes is reared. The biggest problem faced by any fish farmer is to maintain the quality of the water in the pond where the fishes are cultivated. Therefore, it is advisable for those who intend to cultivate fish, to start farming only after visiting well functioning fish farms or attending classes provided by the Fisheries Department. Changes in the PH of the water or changes in Ammonia can result in the loss of all of the fishes.
Let’s see how the filter system works in this particular Aquaponics unit. Since it is an essentially large unit, it has a well-equipped filter system. The pond water is pumped to the filter unit using a motor pump of half HP. The water is passed through the filter and transported to the grow beds growing plants. Plants grow by absorbing nitrate and other nutrients from the water in the grow beds. At the same time the purified water is returned back to the fish pond.
Important Parts of a Filter Unit
1 – Mechanical filter unit
The mechanical filter is arranged in 3 drums as shown above. The water containing the sludge and slurry coming from the fish pond is first delivered to the mechanical filter.
Let’s see what is in these 3 drums. At the bottom of the drum is the filter sponge. These bio-sponges are about 30 cm high. On top of that, fiber net is used. It is kept in several folds and is approximately 30 cm high. This mechanical filter is connected to the pump coming from the fish pond to the bottom of the drums. When the water passes the sponge and the fiber net, the wastes in the water gets trapped in them and clear water is passed through the flow pipe into the bio-filter unit.
2 – Bio Filter Unit
The sludge-free water from the mechanical filter is brought to the bio-filter. This bio filter uses MBBR on one drum and bio ball on the other drum. Bacteria are required to decompose ammonia in water. Bio filters are made to create the habitat needed for these bacteria to grow. These bacteria thrive on the bio ball and MBBR surfaces. The water containing ammonia from the pond water is delivered to this bio filter. Bacteria decompose ammonia in water into nitrite and then nitrate. It is by absorbing this nitrate that the plants in grow bed grow.
3 – The trickling filtration system
The trickling filtration system is mounted on these two drums. This is entirely filled with oyster or mussel shells. The pH of the water can be well maintained when water is passed through these shells. The oyster streams are also a breeding ground for nitrification bacteria.
Importance of Cleaning of Filter Unit
It is the responsibility of every fish farmer to ensure that these filtration systems are working properly. The filter systems may be all set up. However, nitrification may not work well in many cases. Therefore, it should be made a habit to constantly check the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels of water.
The waste in this filter unit needs to be cleaned. These valves are provided for that purpose. This allows us to take the waste water wisely and use it for all other crop farming. In addition, the sponge and net of the filter unit should be removed and cleaned from time to time.
Since this Aquaponics unit is a large unit which grows a lot of fish, therefore it requires this large filter unit. A smaller unit, will require only a smaller filter system. In the next video we will introduce you to a smaller filter unit.
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