In Home DIY Aquaponic systems, an aquaponics DIY swirl filer, which is also called a solid filter, is often used. One of their main purpose is to help with removing fine particles that fish waste produces in the aquaponics fish tank. It is especially true when it comes to fully commercial and semi-commercial aquaponics systems that have hundreds of fish stocked in them at any given time period.
These filters help with maintaining water clarity that the fish can thrive in. The health of the fish deteriorates whenever the water is murky and full of fish poop and food debris. For Deep Water Culture (DWC) systems it is necessary in order to prevent plant roots from getting clogged since this is detrimental for the health and growth of the plants.
With media-filled growbed systems, normally an aquaponics DIY swirl filter isn’t necessary. That’s because the growbed cleanses the system water in a similar way that a swirl filter does. So the more growbeds you have, the cleaner the water will be. The determining factors of whether a swirl filter needs to be installed or not are the scale of the system, the fish species, and the density of the stocked fish. If your system water is frequently cloudy to where it is hard to see the fish, that is a very good indication that a swirl filter needs to be installed.
Design Of An Aquaponics DIY Swirl Filter
At Aquaponicsdesignsdiy.com I found really good information on an aquaponics diy swirl filter. The major concept is for solid waste to be trapped on the bottom of this swirl filter’s assembly.
To achieve this, the water is directed from a fish tank via a pipe that is shaped so that the wastewater that comes in is forced to swirl on the bottom. that helps to ensure that the growbed stays free of waste solids.
- Locate a 200-liter barrel.
- On each end of the barrel, drill a hole. One hole is for the inlet line running from the fish tank. The other hole is for the outlet line going into the grow bed (it needs to be higher than the inlet line). Use an adapter to make sure you have water-tight pipe connections.
- Find a laundry basket that will fit in the barrel (it is good if it is slightly smaller). Drill a hole for the inlet pipe to go through.
- Your next step is to figure out what kind of filter material to use. It can be any type of material. The unused cloth can work. Line your material on the basket’s wall.
- Next drill a hole on the barrel’s bottom. This is for draining off solids. A 1/2 inch PVC line can be used along with a valve for controlling the flow.
That’s it! You now have a DIY swirl filter you can use with your aquaponics system.
Although the aquaponics design is a bit more expensive and complex, it is easier to maintain and filters out fish waste more effectively.
The waste after some time starts to collect in the lining. You will need to clean the lining. To do this, all you need to do is take it out and wash it. One thing you need to be aware of is the lining by that time will have good bacteria living on it that you will want to keep. So the lining should be washed without any detergent in cold water.
There is also a Youtube video that I found that teaches how to build a swirl filter that was contributed by The Urban Farming Guys. In the video, they show you how to build a swirl filter step by step. They make things very simple. They mainly focus on aquaculture. However, it is 100% workable for a diy aquaponics system also.
In their video, they are very willing to share their experiences with building vortex filters. They say the set-up is similar to ones selling for $4,000 in stores. It only costs $100 for them to make their diy filter.
Their willingness to share is what I really like the most. They even show the obstacles they have faced while building the aquaponics DIY swirl filter and how they were able to solve the problems. It really is great!