Aquaponic Gardening

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In an attempt to promote and improve the economics, safety and security of our aquaponic systems we started developing efficient airlift-pumping technology.
The recording of both May 30 and August 12, 2013 webinars are now available along with the YouTube video and a PDF copy of the presentation at

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Comment by Tetsuzan Benny Ron on April 9, 2014 at 3:27pm

The #Material from the 2 #Webinars#Paradigm #Shift with #Airlift for #aquaponics and #gardening recording is available here:

Comment by Lee Scott on September 9, 2013 at 5:19am

This is the video of my Radial Flow Filter

Comment by Lee Scott on September 9, 2013 at 5:15am

Glenn, here is a video that explains the Radial Flow Filter.

I have a similar one on my system and it works well.

Comment by Glenn Martinez on September 9, 2013 at 1:24am

Ah, you are then feeding the media bed with two separate sources of water fro the fish tank?

If the media bed is NOT flood and drain, then I assume it is flooded all the time?

I have seen trickle irrigation work, but they were raised above the DWT system, such as to drain into the DWT.

If everything is the same level, what gets the fish water to flow thru the media bed evenly?

Can you tell me the how the radial filter works as opposed to the circle or spin filter?

To get air down, it takes 1/2 psi per foot. A 25 watt typically is 1.5 psi, so full volume can be delivered to  3 feet depth of water. That is full volume. Yet it can START a pump running at 5 to 6 eet depth and as the water starts to flow, the lower density of the water being lifted allows the pump to come to full volume. Go to deep, say 8 foot and it will not start. It is best to have a pressure gauge, 0 to 5 psi to monitor the pressure. I like to have the air compressor running at it's rated volume and pressure, 1.5 psi at 25 liters per minute.

The 40 adn 60 watt pumps are 2.1 psi and 45 to 65 lpm and can pump water in a six foot well 24 inches high 600 to 900 gallons per hours.  I think in the Zen video we showed a 60 watt doing five gallons in 22 seconds at 24 inch lift. 



Comment by Glenn Martinez on September 9, 2013 at 12:19am

I am at a lost to understand the "one level" system, If the media bed is the same level as the fish tank and raft bed, how are you going to flood and drain, or is this some other type of system?

We have done system where everything is level, except the media bed bottom is 4 inches above the top of the DWC bed. With a media bed of 16 inches, you only are lifting 20 inches. 

Is radial filter and swirl filter the same thing?  Ihave  4 watt air pump pumps one gallon and hour, 36 inches high, for growing tower trickle feed of water in grow towers. 


For serious air lifts of 24 inches, I would use a 25 watt Hakko pump or larger.

On the drawing, I would suggest the Radial filter between the fish tank and the media bed. 

Comment by Glenn Martinez on September 8, 2013 at 11:59pm

Aloha, You talk of pumping 24 inches above the tank level, yet do not mention the depth of the fish tank. 

If the fish tank is 24 inches and filled to 20 inches, we can pump 150 to 200 gallons per hour with a 25 to 40 watt Hakko quiet pump. The well dug 24 inches deep and connect to fish tank below the water line, GREATLY increase the volumes. If no well we use the check valve to get the height. We pump 24 to 48 inches above the fish tank the is 24 inches deep routinely. 

We have drawing, $50 for the actual drawing from our patent application.

Covers the check valve and well pumps.

Mahalo for your comments.


Comment by James Fraze on September 8, 2013 at 7:33pm

It would take at least 3 or 4 psi to push air down a 7 foot column of water.    My little 6 watt pump can do a few feet, but I know i won't get much beyond that out of it.   Also, I'm sure I would destroy the diaphragms with that much back pressure.

I appreciate your experiments and spent several hours watching your and the the Olomana gardens videos but really hate watching videos (I'm impatient and dont' hear well) and would rather have a diagram I can read in 30 seconds.   Do any of these diagrams exist?   Again, I'd be happy to pay for working diagrams.   Here are the 2 instances I want to use the min:

Instance 1:   I need to move 50 gph and lift the water 24 inches from the level of the fish tank water. It may have to lift it a bit higher for the separator.   I'm using a little 6 watt pump that may pump 7 lpm of air and about .7 PSI (Fluval Q1).   I am using a full 55 gallon barrel and it's indoors on tile, so I can't dig a well.  I can just add another pump and go up to 12 watts, but wanted to avoid doing that if there is a way to do it on only 6 watts.  My current design is a simple airlift that does 30 gph approximately.  30gph is not enough to setup a bell siphon without redoing the sizes of my pipes, but I think 60gph would allow me to do an ebb and flow using a bell siphon.  Currently it's a constant flow.

Instance 2:   I need to move 300 gph and lift the water about 24 inches from the level of the fish tank water.   I could dig a well and use larger pumps with greater PSI, but want to conserve energy, and hopefully have a quiet system.    I don't mind spending up to $200 for a pump if it's less than 30 watts and it would be outstanding if I dont' have to dig the well at all !

I had a hard time understanding what you were trying to show on youtube about your aquaponics system with a 6" total lift.    I'd love a little diagram that explains that.    

When lifting 24+ inches I have to lift water with air slugs and I dont' know how people are making them burp without the large columns of water, but when only lifting 6 inches I can just diffuse it and get the volumes I want.   I wish I lived closer to people that were doing the stuff you guys are doing so I can see it with my own eyes and draw out my own diagrams lol.

Thank you all, I appreciate the help!

Comment by James Fraze on September 8, 2013 at 3:55pm

Am I missing where to get the plans for a working model?  I looked but don't really see the "how it works videos".  All of them are just "here it is videos".  I'd like to do the smallest wattage possible for a single 55 gallon barrel design (no well),24" lift, and the smallest possible to also move about 300 gph from an IBC up about 24".    I am willing to pay for the plans fo something that just works.   Also, in the simple airlift I did already I'm only getting about 30 gph for 6 watts.    Even if I add a second 6 watt pump I'm not sure I have enough flow to work the bell siphon.     Any pointers besides testing a whole bunch of designs myself?

Comment by Glenn Martinez on August 23, 2013 at 7:58pm

I would encorage you to try a SMALL air pump...we are running our systms on solar, 100 watt is the MAX allowed.

At $50 for a panel, I can only run a max of two panels. $1000 is the limit on solar budget, so we need to pump 200 to 120 gallons per hour within that budget. 

Here in Hawaii, we pay 36 to 48 cents a other countries t is double that. 

The challege is not to just pump water, but efficiently. 

We avoid the check vavle, it is a movbing part, if I can do without it via pumping in a shallow water wet well, we go that way.



Comment by Glenn Martinez on August 23, 2013 at 7:46pm

The only time we use the check valve is shallow water, that a conventional air lift will not work in.

The check valve pumps to 0 depth.

If I am using an air lift, we then put in a well....24 inches to 48 inches below the bottom of the fish tank.

Thus I get the 20 to 24 inches of fish tank depth plus the depth of the well. 

With 6 foot of depth....we then pump 25 feet high.

Try your conventional pump, see if it can pump 48 inches above the level of the water. Not likely.

Try with less than 60 watts....

We do it every day. With 48 inch well, 24 inches of fish tank water, I can pump 900 gallons and hour at 24 inches and 600 gallons and hour at 48 inches. that is with a single 60 watt pump.

Never quit, never surrender, keep pumping. You are the edge of enlightenment. Money is just to buy more pipe and wine.



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