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Little Cube Alpha - My project benchtop aquaponics system

Discussion in 'New Aquaponics systems - off-the-shelf ready to go' started by David Koh, Dec 12, 2013.

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Would you want one of these?

Poll closed Dec 19, 2013.
  1. Yes

    60.0%
  2. No

    40.0%
  1. David Koh

    David Koh New Member

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    Hi Everyone. This is a little aquaponics system that I have been designing for the last 6 months. I've finally got them here. My prototypes and test runs have been quite successful. Tell me what you think.

    The vegetation planted has grown very fast in the past 2 weeks. I'll post some updated photos soon.

    thanks

    Dave

    DSC_0050 (2).JPG
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi David,

    Trendy looking little system, but I have a few reservations about it's design. The primary concern being light and algae. I would imagine the amount of light required to get effective plant growth, would cause considerable algae growth on the walls of the FT if the nutrient levels are up to the amount required for good plant growth.

    Cheers.
     
  3. David Koh

    David Koh New Member

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    Hi Yabbies4me,

    You are right... I need to use a soft cloth to wipe a thin film of algae off the FT walls every 2 weeks or so. I believe the algae is good for the system yet not so good for looks. I was thinking about tinting the rear of the FTs which could possibly help.

    I'm glad you like the design :)
     
  4. columnmn

    columnmn Member

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    Pretty design, it's a little small for what I'd want myself, but it'd appeal to some who'd want to leave it on a bench for a quick herb garden. Have you considered having an attachment for an additional grow light? Might help cut down on the algae too.

    Also, how do you feed the fish?

    I've seen a few of these on kickstarter, but they always seem horribly expensive :(
     
  5. andyholloway

    andyholloway Super Moderator

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    It looks similar to 'Aquaponicals' but a lot simpler (which is a good thing!)
    I really like it, I would be keen to purchase a system when they are available.
    Does it use an auto-syphon or a timer based system?
    Do you have any idea of price point yet?
     
  6. David Koh

    David Koh New Member

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    Hey Columnmn,

    Yes the idea is not to feed the family but mainly to educate about aquaponics and get some small harvests every now and then. there is a fish feed drop so you can drop food into the FT via the grow bed.

    Yes making something like this actually has quite a high price... you could easily make something diy for much cheaper but getting it to look as good/professional would be the issue.

    Hopefully we can make larger, more useful Cubes in the future :)
     
  7. David Koh

    David Koh New Member

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    Hey Andy,

    I'm glad you like it. They are available now through ebay
    Oh also.. with the light... I have looked at making an attachment but we're in early stages. Plus grow lights are very expensive!!!!1
     
  8. David Koh

    David Koh New Member

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    Hi Andy. they are available through ebay. http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=321265391334&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

    It's a continuous flow system. It's too small to bother with an auto syphon to work properly so the simplest method of aquaponics is what we have used.

    The goal was to make a small yet attractive aquaponics system which can be in eyes view of the younger generation. Most kids these days wouldn't even know where their veges come from as they are so consumed by smartphones. It's important they learn about sustainable living....
     
  9. Drdamage

    Drdamage Member

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    Great work, I like it!
     
  10. andyholloway

    andyholloway Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the link David,
    I have to say I am a bit disappointed with the price.
    Your system being far simpler than the aquaponicals (no sump or autosyphon), I hoped you would be able to hit a much lower price ($100).
     
  11. David Koh

    David Koh New Member

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    Hi Andy,

    Unfortunately as we only placed a small run order, this is the lowest price we can offer.
     
  12. Drdamage

    Drdamage Member

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    I dunno Andy, I think the price is pretty fair. Pump gravel and tank for 150 bucks.

    Although I do prefer the auto syphon/ sump setup. But this is just a great little simple design and that's what a lot of people want . Simple and easy. Anyway, I think it's a great thing and will help to get educate people about aquaponics. It's like a starter kit for aquaponics and it should be encouraged.
     
  13. columnmn

    columnmn Member

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    I don't think the price is too bad either. I've seen similar types on kickstarter for $400. And there's no guarantee that you'll get it in the end.
     
  14. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Here is a pix of the Aquaponicals.
    This unit has some really interesting features, including the cutest little auto siphon that works each and every time.
    See the Aquaponicals website here.....http://aquaponicals.com/
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Stephane

    Stephane New Member

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    I like it, I just got something similar from Santa, but algae can some what be controlled by either some elbow grease, another way as I have recently found out from the aquarium seen is hydrogen peroxide, ( you know bottle blond lol) 3% mix! Of course due to the system size the correct fish has to be used, obviously a pet not a feed. a lot of people mention beta fish or simease fighting fish, but I have gourami inside mine same Geno, algae eater and also an air breather as well as gills. Other ways to provide lighting is an appropriate alternate light source than the sun, something along the t5 Fluor uv 24 watt tropical pink . Big thumbs up for me
     
  16. Yabbies4me

    Yabbies4me Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't know where you got the peroxide info, but I wouldn't take any more of their advice. Peroxide kills bacteria, both bad and good... it should not be used in aquaponics, or aquariums.

    Algae requires nutrient and light, you don't want to reduce or eliminate nutrients in an aquaponic system, so you have to stop direct light from from contacting the fish tank.
     
  17. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Super Moderator

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    If you are cleaning your aquarium, Hydrogen peroxide may be preferred to White King...If you are cleaning the old scum off an old system, recycling it, and preparing for a new system...Aquaculture and aquarium people use it, but I like to stay away from both....Personally, I would not use either near a current system, but that's me I like to keep chemicals away from my aquaponics if I can...

    When I was running my aquarium I used to clean the glass with a squeegie or one of those magnetic glass cleaners every week or so just to keep on top of it....I also did a third water change and cleaned the filters regularly but that's a different topic and the plants in this system should control the nitrates for a longer period of time...

    I think as this seems aimed at "the aquarium market" people would accept cleaning algae off the glass as the norm.....Also if the system is indoors as a lot of aquariums are, algae grows slower, but then for this system, I would think you will have different lighting requirements for the plants, well the requirements would be the same, you may need to do different things to get the same lighting as you would outside...I've found algae grows faster if you put your aquarium outside.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  18. stuey

    stuey Member

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    I have the Aquaponicals system and it is failing Badly.

    The major problem is getting enough light to the system, i am not sure it is possible without getting algae. I have mine next to an East Facing window ( No North Facers ) with 3 Sides of the Tank Blocked off, the plants are still suffering from lack of light :(
     
  19. Drdamage

    Drdamage Member

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    Can you put some of those algae eater fish in there to fix the algae problem?
     
  20. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Stuey,
    Maybe as the good Dr suggests a single place sucker fish will do the job, but I feel the system would be better off out of sunlight and use a grow light for the plants. That way it would be a very nice coffee table type of thing and stay looking nice.
     

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