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I'm a newbe, so forgive me if there is an obvious answer to this, but is there a reason the Friendly AP systems (say, the 64/128) don't have any solids removal or biofilter?  Or maybe they do and I don't know enough to know it's there.  

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Hello fbiwaterman,

I believe it is all related to fishing density that you stock and the number of plants grown. This should be explained in their Manual.

God bless

We have the 128 system and have since added a clarifier and biofilter.  The fish are much happier because they aren't swimming in their own waste and no more issues with ammonia.  The plants are also thriving!

Thanks Brian,

can you make a recommendation as to what you used for these?  

Thanks again,

Mike


Brian Thiesing said:

We have the 128 system and have since added a clarifier and biofilter.  The fish are much happier because they aren't swimming in their own waste and no more issues with ammonia.  The plants are also thriving!

Before seeing this discussion, yesterday I emailed Susanne Friend essentially the very same question.  FYI, she says "it works better, it's cheaper to build, and it's far less expensive to operate."

This doesn't really seem all that expensive nor difficult to build...

http://www.ecofilms.com.au/2010/08/20/diy-swirl-filter-for-aquaponics/

For a small, low-flow system you really don't need one. Remember that the bacteria and other organisms (Gammarus water fleas) do a lot of processing. Some material settles harmlessly to the bottom of the troughs, you clean it out every few years.

Mike- If you do not use a clarifier, then you are going to have more solids in your plant trough meaning a higher oxygen demand there. That will lower the amount of oxygen for your plants, as will using the plant trough as your only biofilter. so you will have to add more aeration to your plant troughs. i agree with Kate, it all depends on your size but I would expect the plants to grow slower without a clarifier and biofilter becuase the lack of dissolved oxygen available to them in the water.

Brian, can you elaborate on where you placed the clarifier and biofilter? Also, what particular equipment you purchased or designed.  I have minimized the Friendly 64 to about half size for my small back patio. Brian, if I sent you some photos could you give a newby your opinion on integration of a biofilter and clarifier?  Thank you so much!

Brian Thiesing said:

We have the 128 system and have since added a clarifier and biofilter.  The fish are much happier because they aren't swimming in their own waste and no more issues with ammonia.  The plants are also thriving!

Mike,

I started with a Friendly 64, expanded it to a 128 without any filtration but that was because I was running a low load of fish. I have since increased the load and had to immediately build a solid settling tank which is working well so far. It comes down to your biomass of fish. Once you go above a certain ratio of fish to growing troughs you must have components to deal with solid filtration, a point which has been made by previous contributors.

I am about to add 5 more gbs to my system and would like to make some (ibcs) rafts as I tried last Summer. Without a solids filter the roots, after a great start, rotted. I need a solids removal filter and would love some plans posted here. The Ecofilms build strikes me as a bad design as it has an inlet pipe that WILL clog eventually without a heavy flow to keep it clear. Anyone out there with some good drawings for their proven design? Details please. Here is a pic of my ibc raft conversion. I simply replace the bell siphon with a drain in the corner. Works great but I need that solids trap. I keep all plumbing in my system flowing down hill. That up pipe strikes me as all wrong.

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