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What is the benefit in CHOP MARK 2 system of having the water split to flow to the fish tank and grow bed at the same time? Why is that preferable over the CHOP 1 SYSTEM?

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Mr. Hallam,

 

Thanks so much for your in-depth response....and yes, you made it much clearer.  Thanks again for your time in explaining this to me.  (-: Mary

Murray Hallam said:

Hi Mary,
The negatives you have read come from one source only and they are by someone who has not built or run an AP system utilising CHOP 2 methodology.  We have been running CHOP 2 systems for just over 18 months, one system being a medium sized commercial build we carried out (combined raft and media system).  So we KNOW it works and has many advantages especially in the plumbing department.

If we consider CHOP 1, the water is pumped from the sump back to the fish tank and that water then runs back to and through the grow beds by gravity from the fish tank.  The water comes from the bottom of the fish tank, up and out then down to the grow beds. This has obvious benefit of keeping the fish tank always full no matter what.  CHOP works better if the pump is up sized just a bit to make sure there is good flow of water through the FT in order to lift the suspended solids up the standpipe and out down to the grow beds or sump.  This is much more easily achieved using CHOP 2 because we can pump a lot more water through the FT and back down to the sump by gravity. Meanwhile the grow beds are doing their thing processing the water.
Many AP practitioners operating CHOP 1 bypass some of this extra capacity back into the sump to provide aeration in the sump. (remember the pump is in the sump not the FT)
.
The volume of water that can be processed through the grow beds is limited or regulated by the auto siphons, or in the case of a timed system, by the timed pump cycle. The filtration action is being carried out by the grow beds and they are processing the amount of water that is delivered to them. They cannot process any more water that can be passed through them. (obvious I know)
All we are doing with CHOP 2 is delivering excess pump capacity back through the fish tank again, creating a second loop if you like.  The water being sent back to the FT will be partly filtered, partly not.  All the water in the system will pass through the grow beds (filters) at the rate the grow beds can handle the volume of water and be filtered no sooner or later than it would have been anyway.  In the meanwhile any additional pump capacity is being used to circulate water through the fish tank making sure that the suspended solids are being lifted from the bottom and sent to the sump.

The claim that the solids are being munched up and sent round and round, hurting the fishes eyes and turning into soup, paints a picture of great big lumps of fish poo out of control banging around in the system. It is just not true.  If you have that much fish poo in your AP system best you quickly lower your fish population, feed less, add more grow beds or add some serious filters ASAP.

Fish do well when there is a lot of water movement in the FT...they love it.

It is assumed that there is no additional solids filtration in the system anywhere, although to add a stand alone solids filter of some sort is very easy using CHOP 2 methodology.  Simply create another loop in the system and/or deliver water from the pump (in the sump), to the filter then on to the FT, or on to a raft bed then back to the sump or FT.  All that is requires is a few more fittings and some pipe and job is done. You can disconnect or reconnect the filter easily for servicing, or add or disconnect additional raft beds if you want.

The beauty of CHOP 2 is that the water is being delivered to the grow beds, fish tank, (and stand alone filter if you like) at pump pressure which makes things work so much better, makes the plumbing easier and makes the water flow control easer and more precise.

Water flows by gravity out of the grow beds to the sump, and out of the FT to the sump.

Some comments have been made about the use of two pumps in a CHOP system, then it is not CHOP anymore.  We sometimes use two pumps just to provide redundancy.  If one pump dies, then there is another to take over instantly (bit of clever electronics). It is still in essence a one pump system.

Sorry about the long winded reply and I hope I have made it a little clearer. (not worse).

Murray.

Mary Hundley said:

I have read several negatives concerning the CHOP 2 system design (not on this site by-the-way) and the problem of large solid waste continually pumping through the system, breaking down, and absorbing large amounts of oxygen along the way as it decomposes.  What if a floating filter system was placed on top of the sump for the water to drain through to clean out the larger particles and changed and cleaned as needed?  The idea of the constant height of the water level in the fish tank is very appealing and the CHOP 2 system seems to address it better than most.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Hi Gene.  In Murray's blog post about these systems he goes into the advantages of the CHOP 2 over CHOP 1 - http://aquaponics.net.au/blog/aquaponics-chop-mark-2-operating-system/.  Seems to me it is mostly about having more control with separate pumps to the grow bed and fish tank.  An elegant solution, but CHOP 1 still works great as well.

Murray, do you still get a small pile of poo in the center of your sump??  While my system is not exactly chop2 ( the overflow currently just goes back in sump) it is very close.  I never get a build up in the fish tank, just in the sump.

 

I don't see it as a problem, I scoop it and put it in the worm bin when I feed the fish.  Just curious if you get this get this  too, and if not how you cured the issue. 

 

 

I see the CHOP 2 design as a sort of sump is a settling tank sort of method so if the system is such that you need to settle out a small amount of solids to be scooped or sucked out on occasion it should work nicely for that.

Hi Richard,
Yes, solids do settle out in the sump but the FT is clean.  The grow beds do not catch all of the very fine suspended solids. We have one system running on CHOP 1 (CHIFTPIST if you like). After the water has gone through the grow beds and dropped into the sump/s there is solid matter gathered in the sump/s. Then the water, on it's way back to the FT is split in two.  Half goes via a settling trough the other half direct to the FT. 

It is amazing how much material is accumulated in the settling trough. We left it accumulate for 12 months just to see what happened.  Several Kg of sludge gathered there. Stinking stuff when disturbed and cleaned out and sent off to the compost bin.

In the commercial system we built using CHOP 2 methodology, we have 7 solids collection points which includes the common sump. It is the final station in the loops of water movement. A small collection of solids still reach the sump.  Very little I have to say but there is still some there.

We have observed that there is better, although only marginal, collection of solids in the grow beds when using a timed system such as 15 minutes on and 45 minutes off. The water movement through the grow beds is much slower and therefore allows more time for the solids to precipitate.  Everything is a trade off, because in a timed system the water remains in the FT unfiltered during the 45 minutes that there is no pumping going on, unless your system is big enough to employ a sequencing valve/s to distribute the water to numerous grow beds and therefore keep the water moving through the FT.

Then it is back to small home systems where auto siphons in a CHOP 2 system actually give excellent results without any complications except the need to give the sump a clean every once-in-a-while.
Murray


Richard Wyman said:

Murray, do you still get a small pile of poo in the center of your sump??  While my system is not exactly chop2 ( the overflow currently just goes back in sump) it is very close.  I never get a build up in the fish tank, just in the sump.

 

I don't see it as a problem, I scoop it and put it in the worm bin when I feed the fish.  Just curious if you get this get this  too, and if not how you cured the issue. 

 

 

Thanks  Murray. 

Murray,

 

I've ordered your videos, and perhaps it is covered in those, but in the response below, you state that you have 7 solids collection points, in addition to the sump.  Since I am setting up a commercial operation, how are these collection points integrated into the CHOP 2?  Is there a place where I can obtain a plumbing diagram?  Thanks again for all your help.

(-: Mary 

Murray Hallam said:

Hi Richard,
Yes, solids do settle out in the sump but the FT is clean.  The grow beds do not catch all of the very fine suspended solids. We have one system running on CHOP 1 (CHIFTPIST if you like). After the water has gone through the grow beds and dropped into the sump/s there is solid matter gathered in the sump/s. Then the water, on it's way back to the FT is split in two.  Half goes via a settling trough the other half direct to the FT. 

It is amazing how much material is accumulated in the settling trough. We left it accumulate for 12 months just to see what happened.  Several Kg of sludge gathered there. Stinking stuff when disturbed and cleaned out and sent off to the compost bin.

In the commercial system we built using CHOP 2 methodology, we have 7 solids collection points which includes the common sump. It is the final station in the loops of water movement. A small collection of solids still reach the sump.  Very little I have to say but there is still some there.

We have observed that there is better, although only marginal, collection of solids in the grow beds when using a timed system such as 15 minutes on and 45 minutes off. The water movement through the grow beds is much slower and therefore allows more time for the solids to precipitate.  Everything is a trade off, because in a timed system the water remains in the FT unfiltered during the 45 minutes that there is no pumping going on, unless your system is big enough to employ a sequencing valve/s to distribute the water to numerous grow beds and therefore keep the water moving through the FT.

Then it is back to small home systems where auto siphons in a CHOP 2 system actually give excellent results without any complications except the need to give the sump a clean every once-in-a-while.
Murray


Richard Wyman said:

Murray, do you still get a small pile of poo in the center of your sump??  While my system is not exactly chop2 ( the overflow currently just goes back in sump) it is very close.  I never get a build up in the fish tank, just in the sump.

 

I don't see it as a problem, I scoop it and put it in the worm bin when I feed the fish.  Just curious if you get this get this  too, and if not how you cured the issue. 

 

 

Hi Mary,
7 collection points is not necessary, we went a bit overboard on that particular job, but it serves to show that if you wanted to collect every tiny bit of suspended solids, you will have a big job on your hands. That many collection points is definately not necessary in a home system.

Currently working on some plans for that kind of job.

Murray

Mary Hundley said:

Murray,

 

I've ordered your videos, and perhaps it is covered in those, but in the response below, you state that you have 7 solids collection points, in addition to the sump.  Since I am setting up a commercial operation, how are these collection points integrated into the CHOP 2?  Is there a place where I can obtain a plumbing diagram?  Thanks again for all your help.

(-: Mary 

Murray Hallam said:

Hi Richard,
Yes, solids do settle out in the sump but the FT is clean.  The grow beds do not catch all of the very fine suspended solids. We have one system running on CHOP 1 (CHIFTPIST if you like). After the water has gone through the grow beds and dropped into the sump/s there is solid matter gathered in the sump/s. Then the water, on it's way back to the FT is split in two.  Half goes via a settling trough the other half direct to the FT. 

It is amazing how much material is accumulated in the settling trough. We left it accumulate for 12 months just to see what happened.  Several Kg of sludge gathered there. Stinking stuff when disturbed and cleaned out and sent off to the compost bin.

In the commercial system we built using CHOP 2 methodology, we have 7 solids collection points which includes the common sump. It is the final station in the loops of water movement. A small collection of solids still reach the sump.  Very little I have to say but there is still some there.

We have observed that there is better, although only marginal, collection of solids in the grow beds when using a timed system such as 15 minutes on and 45 minutes off. The water movement through the grow beds is much slower and therefore allows more time for the solids to precipitate.  Everything is a trade off, because in a timed system the water remains in the FT unfiltered during the 45 minutes that there is no pumping going on, unless your system is big enough to employ a sequencing valve/s to distribute the water to numerous grow beds and therefore keep the water moving through the FT.

Then it is back to small home systems where auto siphons in a CHOP 2 system actually give excellent results without any complications except the need to give the sump a clean every once-in-a-while.
Murray


Richard Wyman said:

Murray, do you still get a small pile of poo in the center of your sump??  While my system is not exactly chop2 ( the overflow currently just goes back in sump) it is very close.  I never get a build up in the fish tank, just in the sump.

 

I don't see it as a problem, I scoop it and put it in the worm bin when I feed the fish.  Just curious if you get this get this  too, and if not how you cured the issue. 

 

 

LOL,many of us with home systems never collect any solids out of the systems and just leave them to collect in the grow beds where the worms work on them.  Hum, does that mean that every one of my grow beds is a solids collecting point?  Not a removal point just a collecting point

 

I expect any container where the water can settle can be a collecting point.  So any clairifier, net tank, settling tank, still water sump tank, etc will all provide points where solids could be collected from the system.  Perhaps also if you can access low points in plumbing with a clean out that could be counted as a collecting point.  I have some plumbing situated such that I can open the clean out over a grow bed to give the pipes a clean out and the solids land right in the gravel grow bed.


Murray Hallam said:

Hi Mary,
7 collection points is not necessary, we went a bit overboard on that particular job, but it serves to show that if you wanted to collect every tiny bit of suspended solids, you will have a big job on your hands. That many collection points is definately not necessary in a home system.

Currently working on some plans for that kind of job.

Murray

Collection points...... Just terminology that is better applied to a purely raft system or an aquaculture system.  Sorry for that. As you are aware I am a great believer in the power of the humble gravel grow bed to collect, process, convert solids into very useful plant and worm food. A very efficient bio filter that we just happen to grow plants in.

Hello all.

this is my 1st post on the site.

I'm looking for the parts list for Murray Hallam's Chop mark two system.

I understand he has them on his site but you have to be a paid member.

I tried google and couldn't find it.

Can anyone here help me out.?

Hi Alpha Aqua,
Everyone has to earn a living and the cost is a very small $12.90.  There is a heap of other very useful info in the members area, so it is good value.

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