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aquaponic BIO-REACTOR - Balcony Unit

aquaponic BIO-REACTOR is a component of a lager aquaponic Balcony Unit System ( see in pictures above). This instructable is to document the build of the BIO-REACTOR and is referenced in the assembly directions for putting together the Balcony Unit. This provides a comprehensive guide to parts and materials used in the construction of the BIO-REACTOR. You can find individual items of the build at www.rik94566.wordpress.com if you do not want to spend the time to gather all the parts on your own or have extra materials left over from the build.


WHAT DOES IT DO?

DIY BIO-REACTOR - converts toxic fish waste to non-toxic plant fertilizer using moving bed media (big system component not found in any small systems).


WHY IS IT NEEDED:

Three basic rules in aquaponics are as follows:

1:1 RELATIONSHIP -- between fish tank volume and grow bed volume.

NUMBER OF FISH (stocking density) -- The general rule of thumb for a home, media-based aquaponics system is one pound (500g) of fish for every five to ten gallons (20 to 40 liters) of fish tank water.

FEEDING FISH - only feed fish the amount of food they can eat in 5 minutes.

The BIO-REACTOR is needed because most if not all small systems and owners of these systems break all three of these rules. Breaking these rules causes systems to fail or never reach a balance. The BIO-REACTOR builds a buffer into the system so when the above rules are not followed the Balcony Unit can still work without major system issues that new auqapons (people new to aquaponics) are unaware of or know how to correct.

Step 1: PARTS -- for BIO-REACTOR Build

A -- 6-in Dia PVC Coupling Fitting -- 1 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&stor...


B -- 6-3/4-in Dia PVC Sewer Drain Cap -- 2 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&stor...


C -- 6-in x 20-ft Solid PVC Sewer Drain Pipe -- 15 cm - 2 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=608...


D -- 4-in Dia PVC Adapter Fitting -- 1 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&stor...


E -- AMERICAN VALVE 1-in PVC Sch 40 Socket In-Line Ball Valve

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&stor...


F -- 1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow

http://www.lowes.com/pd_23870-1815-406010RMC___?pr...


G -- 4-in Dia PVC Cleanout Plug Fitting

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&stor...


H -- K3 Bio media

http://www.wholesalekoifarm.com/Bio-Media-K1K3/K3-...


I -- Construction Items that are part of the build

1'' UNISEAL Flexible Tank Adapter (bulkhead) -- 2 quantity

http://www.amazon.com/UNISEAL-Flexible-Tank-Adapte...

Lexel, 5.0-Ounce, Clear

http://www.amazon.com/Sashco-13013-2-Lexel-5-0-Oun...

SUGRU Moldable Silicone Rubber Eight 5G Packs 4 Black/4 White

http://www.amazon.com/Sugru-Moldable-Silicone-Rubb...

Rubberizeit!™ Dura-Rubber -- 2oz White -- Fish and People SAFE - FOOD SAFE material

http://www.rubberizeit.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=...

PVC Regular Clear Cement

http://www.oatey.com/products/plastic-pipe-cements..

1-3/4-Inch or 44mm Hole Saw
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/131424120634?lpid=82&...

3/8-in Cordless Drill
http://www.lowes.com/pd_83529-70-DCD710S2_1z0wcj4_...

1-in Forstner Bit

http://www.lowes.com/pd_306158-70-PC1011___?produ...

Tape Measure for Sewing Product
http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-Tape-Measure-Sewing-Pr...

12-in Combo Square

http://www.lowes.com/pd_119897-1099-TC132_1z0wcmi_...

5/32-in Twist Drill Bit

http://www.lowes.com/pd_306158-70-PC1011___?produ...

Vermont American 21670 Size 1/2 x 13 NC Tap 27/64-inch Drill Bit Combo

http://www.amazon.com/Vermont-American-21670-64-in...

#8-32 x 3/4-in Pan-Head Stainless Steel Spanner-Drive Standard (SAE) Machine Screws

http://www.lowes.com/pd_162075-37672-3576___?produ...

3/8-in Cobalt Twist Drill Bit

http://www.lowes.com/pd_71206-70-DW1224++G___?Ntt=...

1-in PVC Cutter

http://www.lowes.com/pd_71206-70-DW1224++G___?Ntt=...


J -- Items to finish off the build

PG7 Waterproof Connector Gland Black for 4-7mm Diameter Cable -- 3 quantity

http://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Connector-Gland-B...

Raindrip 1/4-in Polypropylene Drip Irrigation Elbows -- 3 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/pd_160752-13598-314050B___?pr...

Mister Landscaper 1/4-in Vinyl Drip Irrigation Distribution Tubing -- 2 inches quantity

http://www.lowes.com/pd_44215-1029-MLT-B30_1z0wg7g...

1-in Dia PVC Sch 40 Cap
http://www.lowes.com/pd_23897-1815-447010RMC___?pr...

1-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sch 40 Slip Elbow -- 4 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/pd_23870-1815-406010RMC___?p...

1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe - 3 feet

http://www.lowes.com/pd_23870-1815-406010RMC___?p...

1/4-in Polyethylene Tubing -- 24 inch quantity

http://www.lowes.com/pd_443061-104-LSPEB25___?prod...

1/4-in PVC Clear Vinyl Tubing -- 12 inches quantity

http://www.lowes.com/pd_443063-104-SVEB20___?produ...

EcoPlus 728405 Round Air Stone, small
http://hydroponics.seedsetc.com/cgi/display.cgi?it...

Tetra Whisper Air Pump or any one the you have that will drive the air stone listed above.

http://hydroponics.seedsetc.com/cgi/display.cgi?it...

Can u put ur bio reactor and solid filter in line of each other like put the bio reactor than the solid filter or is there something special that has to be done
<p>I find this step curious. Why tap straight threads for cable glands when you can just buy threaded hose barbs and use the appropriate NPT tap?</p>
<p>NPT may be cheap to produce, but it has a number of drawbacks. I avoid it as much as I can. A gland like this has rubber seals that will seal completely on the first attempt without teflon tape, etc. A possible disadvantage of a barbed approach is that the hose may age and creep in the sun an not seal well for long. </p>
NPT is just pipe thread. What you've done is potentially introduce multiple points of failure. You have the threads in the pipe, the rubber seals and threads in the glands and the tiny hose barbs. Small hose barbs will break if you look at them wrong and ABS is very soft and breaks easily.<br><br>Personally, I would have use two 1/2&quot; Uniseals and 1/2&quot; PCV with 90&deg; slip x threaded elbows. I would have then used some 1/2&quot; NPT x 3/8&quot; straight nylon hose barbs with wider diameter tubing.<br><br>I used to be very active in the marine aquarium hobby and built a great many filters and tanks. Experience has taught me to reduce the number of points of failure and to avoid small diameter ABS fittings whenever possible.
<p>that works as well - to each their own...</p>
<p>Its good to have a solids filter in line before a bio-reactor, so it would not clog up so quickly. Anyways good ible, brilliant idea </p>
<p>It is there as well - in the process of doing an Instructable on it as well - so stay tuned....</p>
<p>Nice concept</p>
<p>Incredibly well described and annotated instructable. Great idea for shortening the first year of balancing the system. Kudos.</p>
<p>Great work, how long does it usually take to get a working film on your media?</p>
<p>Wow. Very nicely detailed build. Sugru to seal the plug fitting is pretty neat trick. Thanks.</p>

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