Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Aquafarm Review, Day 4

I recently received the AquaFarm that I had ordered from Back To the Roots.  It took quite a long time for this to be shipped out, but it finally arrived.  I set it up almost immediately, and then remembered that I wanted to do a "how to" video for setting it up.  I was too eager, and forgot!

Anyway, here's a quick review.  I've had it set up for 4 days.  The first beta fish that I put in the tank died after 2 days, so I got a second beta for the tank.  I can't say whether the first beta fish died because of the AquaFarm design, or if it was just an unhealthy fish.  We'll see how this fishy does.

AquaFarm Review

AquaFarm Packaging

Sorry about the dark photo, but here's the AquaFarm!

You can see where the airline tubing for the air lift goes down into the fish tank.

It came with Lettuce, Basil, and Wheat Grass

It also came with de-chlorinating chemicals, beneficial bacteria, a fish-cleaning solution, and a tank cleaning supplement called Tidy Tank.

Overall, I think this is a pretty cool system, and I can't wait to see what it grows!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ordering another Water Test Kit and an Aquafarm Review to come!

I've been waiting to receive a replacement color chart for measuring pH, Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite levels.  I sent API $2 for a replacement, but it's taking forever.  So, I ordered a new test kit from amazon.  They're marked down to ~$16 dollars from ~$20.  I can use this at home, since my other test kit is at Pogo's apartment with his 105 gallon system.

Also, I just received my pre-ordered AquaFarm from  This is the most hyped aquaponic kit that was on Kickstarter recently.  I'm excited to get a Betta fish tonight and get it set up.  I'll have an unboxing video, and a review of the system in the coming weeks.

I also recently read an article about Aqua Vita farms in upstate New York.  They're one of the only commercial Aquaponic farms on the east coast.  They're looking for a buyer or investor, otherwise they'll have to close up shop in about a week.  It's a shame to see that they couldn't see profitable margins in their venture.  The owner, Mark Doherty, claimed that they had to redesign their system to make it more efficient and profitable.  However, they ran out of capital because of the redesign, and now they don't have enough money to stay afloat.  I hope them all the best, and I hope that I can someday meet Mark and learn from their experiences.  Here's a link to the article:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

105 Gallon System Update coming soon

I've been slowly working on my friend's 105 gallon system.  We have the canister filter installed and pumping water.  We have our media in the grow bed.  We have the bell siphon installed and working.

Unfortunately, we lost the color code chart for testing pH and other chemical levels, so we're waiting on a replacement chart to balance our water chemistry before starting fishless cycling.  Hopefully in the next week, or less, we'll receive our replacement color chart, and we'll be cycling.

On a side note, I received an Arduino as a gift from a Reddit gift exchange.  I'm learning to use it, and will ideally be able to set it up to monitor the system.  I know it can monitor water temperature.  I'm hoping I can also set up sensors to trigger supplemental lighting when it is a gloomy day.  I'm also wondering whether I can use pH sensors and other chemical sensors to monitor everything about my system.  I'd love to also build an automatic fish feeder, but that's down the line a bit.

Anyway, keep a look out in the next week or two for an update with pictures and video.