How it works
It works like a flood & drain system hydroponics system.
Periodically, you fill pots with a nutrient-rich solution, then quickly drain it away again.
This flooding and draining process delivers the dirty fish water, laden with ammonia and other wastes to your grow bed where the bacteria live. They convert the ammonia to Nitrates - Nitrates is what you plants then consume to produce fruits, vegetables and flowers.
To make the flood & drain happen, in the systems:
1. Your plant bed sits over your fish tank.
2. Water is continuously pumped into the grow bed, as it rises up to the top of the overflow pipe in the middle of the bell siphon.
3. Water then falls back into the tank at low pressure, as a result, the pressure inside the bell eventually falls.
4. The resulting pressure differential inside the bell siphon and the atmosphere outside the bell forces the siphon to engage.
5. The siphon then rapidly dumps the water back into the fish tank at very high pressure.
6. When it reaches the bottom of the bell siphon, air enters the base through the holes pre-drilled into the bottom and through the clear tube, this breaks the siphon, and it all starts again.
This sounds complicated but it is really simple. The whole assembly takes a few minutes to put together, and then you can just forget about it. It’ll do all the hard work for you, just spray a hose through in now and then to clear any biofilm build-up.
The symbiosis of plants and fish is incredible and almost self-maintaining once the system has matured.
Once matured it will require very little input, you will just need to:
- Slightly adjustment your pH occasionally
- Sometimes add a little chelated iron, which may be lacking from the fish food you use
We strongly advise that you:
1. Add lots of airstones to your tank to help keep your fish happy and healthy with the purchase of a Four Outlets Air Pump and 4 x Blue Economy Air Stones. Or for the most stable and the best levels of dissolved oxygen get a 10 Outlets High Output Air Pump.
2. You might need to use a chiller in summer months if raising trout to keep the temperature around 18°C. Trout are happiest between 12°C -18 °C but survive between 0°C - 27°C.
3. May need a heater for Tilapia - an ideal temperature is 28°C, but 22°C - 30°C is fine. The FishPlant 300W External Heater or Heavy Duty Nutrient Heater 300W are great - both are controlled with a built-in thermostat & will only come on when needed.
4. If in the winter temperatures become too low you may need to add an additional water heater to the system.
5. To turbocharge the entire system, introduce worms to the grow bed. Simply buy a tub of composting worms online. These little guys break down the fish waste and consume any dead roots or fallen leaf material. They convert it into usable food for your plants. Worm casting will enrich your system with nitrates, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, bacteria and enzymes along with a host of amino acids. You’ll get bigger yields and incredible flavours.
6. Place under LEDs or HPS lights to achieve maximum results.
You get everything needed to set up your system & colonise it with bacteria.
- Starter Kit: Dechlorinator (remove chlorine from tap water that’d harm microbes), Starter culture of live filter bacteria, Food to begin colonisation
- 300L Fish Tank
- Plant Bed
- Plant Bed Stand
- Pump and Pipe Kit
- Auto Siphon
- 4 x Clay Pebbles - 50L
- Tank Cover
- Build Instructions & Assembly Instructions