Introduction: SOLIDS FILTER - Part of a Aquaponic BALCONY GARDEN Design

aquaponic SOLIDS FILTER - Balcony Garden

aquaponic SOLIDS FILTER is a component of a lager aquaponic Balcony Unit System ( see in pictures above). This instructable is to document the build of the SOLIDS FILTER 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 SOLIDS FILTER. You can find individual items of the build at AGponics Store if you do not want to spend the time togather all the parts on your own or have extra materials left over from the build.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

DIY SOLIDS FILTER - Captures and breaks down the solid matter that fish generates as well as dealing with excess food because of over feeding. As these sources are captured and pulled through the filter system they are broken down into smaller units that can be digested by bacteria and converted in to plant nutrients (big system component not found in any small systems). The SOLIDS FILTER is placed in front of the BIO-REACTOR. It needs to be pointed out that the SOLIDS FILTER needs to be cleaned out as not all materials filter will break down. When the pump draw going into the grow bed slows down it is because the SOLIDS FILTER needs to be cleaned. The waste material can be deposited in gardens or flower pots.

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.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

BALCONY GARDEN - is featured as a Project in MAKE MAGAZINE - vol 47 starting on page 62

Step 1: PARTS -- for SOLIDS FILTER Build

A -- 4-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sewer Drain Sewer Tee -- Item #: 24101 | Model #: LP1104

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=24101-676-LP1104&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3434818&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

B --LASCO 1-in dia PVC Sch 80 Nipples-- 2 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=570...

C -- Fairfield Fiber Poly Fil Bag 12oz

http://www.createforless.com/Fairfield-Fiber-Poly-...

D -- Oatey 4.25-in Dia PVC Strainer

http://www.lowes.com/pd_253139-138-420034___?produ...

E -- Oatey 4-fl oz LO-VOC PVC/ABS Transition Cement

http://www.lowes.com/pd_68640-138-30900L_0__?produ...

F -- 4-in Dia PVC Adapter Fitting -- 3 quantity

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

G -- Matala Blue Filter Pad 39.5" x 24" x 1.5" Half Sheet

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003CIAOZS?psc=1&...

H -- Fellowes Replacement Air Purifier Filter

http://www.lowes.com/pd_586651-1698-9324201_1z11on...

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

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

J -- NIBCO 4-in x 3-in Dia ABS Coupling Fitting

http://www.lowes.com/pd_22809-137-CL5801___?produ...

K -- 4-in Dia PVC Adapter Fitting -- 3 quantity

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

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

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

1-3/4-Inch or 44mm Hole Saw

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

3/8-in Cordless Drill

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

1-in Forstner Bit

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

Tape Measure for Sewing Product

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

12-in Combo Square

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

5/32-in Twist Drill Bit

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

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

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

#8-32 x 3/4-in Pan-Head Stainless Steel Spanner-Drive Standard (SAE) Machine Screws http://www.amazon.com/Sashco-13013-2-Lexel-5-0-Ou...

3/8-in Cobalt Twist Drill Bit http://www.amazon.com/Sashco-13013-2-Lexel-5-0-Ou...

1-in PVC Cutter http://www.amazon.com/Sashco-13013-2-Lexel-5-0-Ou...

1-in Schedule 40 PVC Pipe - 3 feet

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

3 - Pre-made 100% Food Grade Adapter Seals - by Agponics
AGponics Store

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 2: STAND ASSEMBLY - SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

Stand for the SOLIDS FILTER provides support at both ends of the SOLIDS FILTER. Being that the basic component is a 4" TEE and round. Support needs to be given to keep the device form falling over when there is no water weight to hold it in place.

ACTION 1 - Pull the parts and tools together --

PARTS--

Oatey 4-fl oz LO-VOC PVC/ABS Transitionn Cement
http://www.lowes.com/pd_68640-138-30900L_0__?prod...

NIBCO 4-in x 3-in Dia ABS Coupling Fitting
http://www.lowes.com/pd_22809-137-CL5801___?produ...

EverTrue White Lattice Divider -- 12 inches - 2 X 6 each

(Common: 0.25-in x 1.5468-in x 8-ft; Actual: 0.25-in x 1.5468-in x 96-in)

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=209...

SUGRU Moldable Silicone Rubber Eight 5G Packs - 6 packets any color - 2 packets per seal area
http://www.amazon.com/Sugru-Moldable-Silicone-Rubb...

OPTIONAL MATERIAL - if you want device to be food grade level

Rubberizeit!™ Dura-Rubber -- 2oz White -- Fish and People SAFE - FOOD SAFE material Black
Rubberizeit!™ Dura-Rubber -- 2oz White -- Fish and People SAFE - FOOD SAFE material White http://www.rubberizeit.com/Product.aspx?ProductID...

#8-32 x 1/2-in Pan-Head Stainless Steel Spanner-Drive Standard (SAE) Machine Screws -- 2 screws

http://www.lowes.com/pd_162075-37672-3575___?produ...

TOOLS --

1/4" Forstner Bit, 3/8" Shank

http://www.amazon.com/Insty-Bit-Forstner-Bit-Shank...

3/8-in Cordless Drill

http://www.lowes.com/pd_83529-70-DCD710S2_1z0wcj4_...

Tape Measure for Sewing Product

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

Mechanical pencil

5/32-in Twist Drill Bit
http://www.lowes.com/pd_351684-70-DW1310++G___?pr...

1/8-in Twist Drill Bit
http://www.lowes.com/pd_351682-70-DW1308++G___?pr...

#2 x 4 in. Philips Screwdriver
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-2-x-4-in-Philips-...

Dremel Multi-Max 16-Piece 2.5-Amp Oscillating Tool Kit
http://www.lowes.com/pd_521302-353-MM30-01___?pro...

Shop Series by Rockwell 9-in 2.5-Amp Band Saw with Work Light
http://www.lowes.com/pd_144786-54602-RK7453___?pr...

12-in Combo Square
http://www.lowes.com/pd_119897-1099-TC132_1z0wcmi_...

Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker
http://www.amazon.com/Sharpie-Point-Permanent-Mar...

8-in File
http://www.lowes.com/pd_138261-86580-K8H_1z13e72_...

ACTION 2 --

ACTION 3 --

Make mark with Sharpie - at inch 16 around the coupling

ACTION 4 --

Draw cut line the down coupling from action 3

ACTION 5 --

Move 8 inches around coupling an make another mark for next cut line - should be opposite other cut line.

ACTION 6 --

Cut the coupling apart at the cut lines that were marked

ACTION 7 --

Cut the rib out with a ban saw on one of the 1/2 parts from action 6 - file off edges to clean them up

ACTION 8 --

Make cut marks at 6 inches on support material - Make cut on Ban Saw - will create 2 stand base supports

ACTION 9 --

Turn one cleaned up coupling part on a firm support with curve away from ground - place support material 6" long on top of coupling and drill a 1/8 hole through both - this is reference hole

ACTION 10 --

Using the 1/4 inch bit - create a counter sink hole - just enough for screw head to be flush with the material - becareful here as it is easy to drill to much out

ACTION 11 --

Drill 5/32 inch hole through the 1/8 inch hole created at the start of the action in the base material -- Drill 5/32 inch hole through the 1/8 inch hole created at the start of the action in the coupling

ACTION 12 --

Attach the support material to the coupling part with 1/2 inch screw and tighten - both parts can be rotated and positioned as needed

ACTION 13 --

Now create the second stand that is need for the SOLIDS FILTER support

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 3: COMPARTMENT ASSEMBLY - SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

The compartment assembly creates 3 defined areas within the SOLIDS FILTER. This designs allows each section of the SOLIDS FILTER to be cleaned out individually or collectively. Having access to the individual compartments is very important as the filter needs to be cleaned out at least once a week and maybe more depending on fish density. The SOLIDS FILTER is vital to the total system as it takes out all the excess fish food and fish solids before entering the BIO-REACTOR. If a lot of fish food is found in the first compartment in the course filter material then feed fish less food.

ACTION - 1 -- Pull the parts need for this assembly together

PARTS--

Oatey 4.25-in Dia PVC Strainer - 2 quanity
http://www.lowes.com/pd_253139-138-420034___?produ...

Oatey 4-fl oz LO-VOC PVC/ABS Transition Cement
http://www.lowes.com/pd_68640-138-30900L_0__?produ...

NIBCO 4-in x 3-in Dia ABS Coupling Fitting
http://www.lowes.com/pd_22809-137-CL5801___?produ...

TOOLS --

Dremel Multi-Max 16-Piece 2.5-Amp Oscillating Tool Kit
http://www.lowes.com/pd_521302-353-MM30-01___?pro...

8-in File
http://www.lowes.com/pd_138261-86580-K8H_1z13e72_...

ACTION 2 --

Using the Dermel Mulit-Max cut the 4" pipe section off the PVC drain strainer top - when done correctly there will be a slight lip left that contains the square holes - remove all cuttings generated with a file or grinding tool of some kind

ACTION 3 --

Strainer part does not fit into coupling - using a file or grinding tool of some kind work at removing some of the edge of the strainer -- keep this action up until the strainer will fit tightly up against the rib inside the coupling -- Should look like this when done correctly

ACTION 4 --

Glue the strainer part into the coupling - it really does not matter which way it is done - all ways work in this action

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if the are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 4: SEALING OF UNIT - DIY OPTION -- SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

SEALING THE BIO-REACTOR LID --


The SOLIDS FILTER needs to totally sealed to operate correctly and not make a mess where ever it is placed. The fittings as purchased will not seal no matter how tight a person tightens them. Sealing can be accomplish using SUGRU a silicon material placed on the inside of the adapter fittings or (purchase a silicon food safe seal "SEAL KIT" under the "AGponics Store" tab). Once dry and installed correctly the lid of the SOLIDS FILTER will seal. If you are only working with fish and not eating the fish or plants from the system the SUGRU will be fine as it has been use successfully with out affecting fish health. But if you are planning to eat the fish and the plants in the system SUGRU is not approved for food production systems. So food safe steps need to be taken to insure no health issues are encountered. To protect the system the SUGRU will need to be coated with Rubberize-IT. Once SUGRU is coated with Rubberize-IT the system is protected and fish and plants can be eaten without any issues to be concerned about. You can obtain an MSDS data sheet from the Rubberized-IT ( http://www.rubberizeit.com/Aquaponics.aspx ) website as well as a full explanation as to the safety of the material in food production systems.

ACTION 1 -- Gather the parts and tools

Pull parts and tools together for assembly.

PARTS:

SUGRU Moldable Silicone Rubber Eight 5G Packs -- 6 packs 2 per opening - any color will do
http://www.amazon.com/Sugru-Moldable-Silicone-Rubb...

Rubberizeit!™ Dura-Rubber -- 4oz White -- Fish and People SAFE - FOOD SAFE material http://www.rubberizeit.com/Product.aspx?ProductID... -- Large volumes

4oz bottle of material - small volume

4-in Dia PVC Adapter Fitting -- 1 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=232...

4-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sewer Drain Sewer Tee

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=241...

#8-32 x 1/2-in Pan-Head Stainless Steel Spanner-Drive Standard (SAE) Machine Screws
http://www.lowes.com/pd_162075-37672-3575___?produ...

TOOLS:

#2 x 4 in. Philips Screwdriver
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-2-x-4-in-Philips-...

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

5/32-in Twist Drill Bit
http://www.lowes.com/pd_351684-70-DW1310++G___?pr...

ACTION - 2
Determine where the SUGRU will be placed. As shown in picture action - 2 above.

ACTION - 3

Place material on top of the lip. As shown in picture action - 4 above.

ACTION - 4

Screw in threaded TOP -- leave about 3/8 inch area -- Smooth out the SUGRU to fill the gap Inside view of the assembly. As shown in picture action - 4 above.

ACTION - 5

Finished result will look like picture -- with SUGRU between lip and threads of the adapter to form the seal. Action completed will look like shown in picture action - 5 above.

ACTION - 6

Repeat this assembly 2 more times on the other openings until all adapters have been fitted with a seal material. It will take the Sugru about 24 hours to completely set and be ready for use in the SOLIDS FILTER.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 5: SEALING OF UNIT - SEAL OPTION -- SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

SEALING THE SOLIDS FILTERS CAPS --

It is important that the SOLIDS FILTER is totally sealed. The fittings as purchased will not seal no matter how tight a person tightens them. Sealing using A "SEAL KIT" from AGponics that fits on the inter surface of all 3 adapter fittings will make life much easier. All seals are 100% Food Grade and safe to humans and fish a like. The "SEAL KIT" can be purchased at www.AGponics.com under the "AGponics Store" tab. Once installed the cap fittings of the SOLIDS FILTER will seal.

ACTION 1 --

Gather the parts and tools Pull parts and tools together for assembly.

PARTS:

3 - Pre-made 100% Food Grade Adapter Seals - by Agponics

AGponics - Solids Filter "SEAL KIT"

3 - 4-in dia PVC Cleanout Adapter Fitting -- Item #: 23304 | Model #: PVC 00105 1200

4 inch Adapter Fitting

3 - 4-in dia PVC Cleanout Plug Fitting -- Item #: 23308 | Model #: PVC 00106 1200

4 Inch Cap

1 - 4-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sewer Drain Sewer Tee

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

1 - #8-32 x 1/2-in Pan-Head Stainless Steel Spanner-Drive Standard (SAE) Machine Screws http://www.amazon.com/Sugru-Moldable-Silicone-Rub...

TOOLS:

#2 x 4 in. Philips Screwdriver http://www.amazon.com/Sugru-Moldable-Silicone-Rub...

3/8-in Cordless Drill http://www.amazon.com/Sugru-Moldable-Silicone-Rub...

5/32-in Twist Drill Bit http://www.amazon.com/Sugru-Moldable-Silicone-Rub...

ACTION - 2

Place a seal inside an Adapter

ACTION - 3

Position SEAL on inter rib of adapter - will cover upper and lower sides of rib

ACTION - 4

Test the cap fit. The assembled unit is now water tight - no fuss or mess to deal with - works every time.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 6: VALVE ASSEMBLY - SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

SOLIDS FILTER VALVE ASSEMBLY --

The valve assembly serves an important function for the SOLIDS FILTER for both ends of the solids filter. First function allows for the disconnection of the SOLIDS FILTER from the system for cleaning and maintenance which is very important in systems like this. The section function is placement of the valve handles. With the union ends the valve handles can be positioned at the best location for the placement of the SOLIDS FILTER. It is important also that the Valve Assembly is sealed with the main body of the SOLID FILTER.

ACTION 1 --

Pull the parts together.

PARTS -

3 - 4-in dia PVC Cleanout Plug Fitting -- Item #: 23308 | Model #: PVC 00106 1200
4 Inch Cap

Oatey 4-fl oz LO-VOC PVC/ABS Transition Cement
http://www.lowes.com/pd_68640-138-30900L_0__?produ...

Magic-Sculpt Compound

Magic Sculpt

1-1/4-in dia PVC Sch 80 Nipples -- Item #: 59241 | Mode#:212040RMC

1 inch nipple

TOOLS-

1.25 -in Forstner Bit

http://www.lowes.com/pd_306160-70-PC1015___?produc...

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

5/32-in Titanium Twist Drill Bit -- Item #: 351684 | Model #: DW1310 G

http://www.lowes.com/pd_351684-70-DW1310++G___?pro...

5/32-in Twist Drill Bit

ACTION 2 --

Drill 5/32 hole in the center of the 4 inch cap - square part of the cap

ACTION 3 -

Drill 1,25 hole in center of the 4 inch cal square using the 5/32 hole as a guide.

ACTION 4 --

Tap the 1.25 hole for the 1 inch nipple

ACTION 5 --

Glue Screw in 1 inch nipple into tapped hole in the square of the cap

ACTION 6 --

Use Magic Sculpe to lock in the nipple - treat with Ruberize-it to make food grade quality

ACTION 7 --

Cut nipple so valve union slip end can be attached with glue

action 8 --

Attach Valve union end to cap assembly -- make sure the union Female end is placed between cap and slip male end of the valve assembly. BE CAREFUL HERE OR A NEW VALVE WILL NEED TO BE PURCHASED - as the cap end will not be able to be attached to the valve with no way to correct the situation. WARNING IS JUSTIFIED HERE......

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 7: VENT TOP CAP -- SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

Venting of SOLIDS FILTER cap:

Venting of the SOLIDS FILTER cap is an important event in starting the SOLIDS FILTER. If this is not allowed for and done each time the SOLIDS FILTER is clean for maintenance a "AIR LOCK" will occur and effect the water flow through the SOLIDS FILTER.

HOW DOES IT WORK:

It works by removing the #8-32 Stainless Steel screw from the cap. Open the supply side valve on the SOLIDS FILTER this allows water to flow from the Fish Tank (need to make sure the valve on the Fish Tank is open as well) into the SOLIDS FILTER. At this point make sure that the exit side valve of the SOLIDS FILTER is closed as well. Fish Tank water will start to fill the SOLIDS FILTER. Air can be felt rushing out of the hole that is now open as the #8-32 Stainless Steel screw was removed from the top of the cap. Once water starts to come out the open screw hole replace the #8-32 Stainless Steel screw. This action will stop the flow of water coming out of the cap. You now know that all air has been driven out of the SOLIDS FILTER and no "AIR LOCK" inside the SOLIDS FILTER is present.

ACTION 1 --

Pull the parts together.

PARTS -

4-in Dia PVC Adapter Fitting -- 1 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=232...

#8-32 x 1/2-in Pan-Head Stainless Steel Spanner-Drive Standard (SAE) Machine Screws -- 1 quanity

http://www.lowes.com/pd_162075-37672-3575___?produ...

TOOLS -

3/8-in Cordless Drill

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

5/32-in Twist Drill Bit
http://www.amazon.com/Sashco-13013-2-Lexel-5-0-Ou....

#2 x 4 in. Philips Screwdriver

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-2-x-4-in-Philips-...

ACTION 2 --

In the center of the adapter square knob drill on the top of the flat threaded plate. Drill a 5/32 hole that the #8-32 Stainless Steel screw will be screwed into.

ACTION 3 --

Screw #8-32 Stainless Steel screw into the 5/32 hole created in ACTION 2.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 8: MAIN BODY ASSEMBLY -- SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

The Main Body of the SOLIDS FILTER is where all the filter media is housed. Once assembled it is held upright by the stand legs that were created in previous STEP 2. The SOLIDS FILTER main function is to filter out solids generated by fish - extra food not eaten - other materials that fall into the fish tank. The SOLIDS FILTER is designed to be a 3 stage filter device. First Stage is a course filter media and is the point of first contact of Fish Tank Water entering the SOLIDS FILTER. Second Stage is a fine filter media - its purpose is to remove and prevent finer solids that have passed through the course filter media but not captured there. Third Stage is the polishing stage - this stage removes all the very fine particles that have passed through the other two Stages and not removed. Once a system is stabilized and been operating for awhile this media can be left out of the filter as it has to be cleaned quite often and cannot be reused with cleaned.

MAINTENANCE - VERY IMPORTANT

When the SOLIDS FILTER is doing it's job it will collect all types of material that will be collected in the 3 different Stages of the filter. The holding of this material with in the filter will cause water flow through the filter to slow down and make the pump that supplies nutrient water to the grow-bed work extra hard. To prevent this the SOLIDS FILTER needs to be cleaned out often. The design of this filter allows for this maintenance with minimum loss of water while performing this maintenance.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:

At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Update will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if the are of value to others interested in this project.

ACTION - 1 -- Pull the parts need for this assembly together

PARTS--

A -- 4-in Dia 90-Degree PVC Sewer Drain Sewer Tee -- Item #: 24101 | Model #: LP1104 - need only 1
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=241...

Oatey 4-fl oz LO-VOC PVC/ABS Transition Cement

http://www.lowes.com/pd_253139-138-420034___?prod...

NIBCO 4-in x 3-in Dia ABS Coupling Fitting - 2 quantity

http://www.lowes.com/pd_253139-138-420034___?prod...

F -- 4-in Dia PVC Adapter Fitting -- 3 quantity - used in the sealing STEP.
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&sto....

ACTION 2 --

Line up the parts - really can't make a mistake here - they only go together one way either direction.

ACTION 3 --

Apply glue and insert the parts as shown.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 9: FILTER MEDIA -- SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

FILTER MEDIA comes in three forms. Course - Fine - Extra Fine. These three forms allows for the 3 stages of filtration.

STAGES OF FILTRATION:

COURSE:

This takes out the big chunks be it large fish waste or uneaten food from over feeding and things that get into the fish tank.

FINE:

This Stage takes out all the finer material that is smaller size and passes through the Course filter media. This Fine media stage will knock down and trap that smaller materials that can foul a system.

EXTRA FINE:

This stage of filtration removes all the dust and dirt that clouds a system especially in the start-up phase of getting a system going. There are a lot of fines that get released off of uncleaned grow-bed media that needs to be taken out of the water. This can be left out later in a mature system as extra fines generally are not an issue at that point and thing this fine is usually material that bacteria love to lunch on.

ACTION 1 --

Pull the materials together

PARTS:

G -- Matala Blue Filter Pad 39.5" x 24" x 1.5" Half Sheet
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003CIAOZS?psc=1&...

H -- Fellowes Replacement Air Purifier Filter
http://www.lowes.com/pd_586651-1698-9324201_1z11on...

C -- Fairfield Fiber Poly Fil Bag 12oz
http://www.createforless.com/Fairfield-Fiber-Poly-...

For anyone not wanting to purchase large volumes of media:

AGponics SOLIDS FILTER Media Kit -- a kit that provides the correct sizes and fits the SOLIDS FILTER

AGponics.com -- select "AGponics Store" tab

TOOLS:

F -- 4-in Dia PVC Adapter Fitting -- 3 quantity
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&sto....

Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker
http://www.amazon.com/Sharpie-Point-Permanent-Mar...

8 Inch Softgrip Scissors Straight

http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-Softgrip-Scissors-Stainless-01-004761J/dp/B002YIP97K/ref=sr_1_3?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1440863310&sr=1-3&keywords=scissors

Studio Pro Precision 2000 Wet/Dry Bandsaw

http://www.amazon.com/Studio-Precision-2000-Bandsaw-Diamond/dp/B007T9R0EE/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1440863506&sr=1-1&keywords=BAND+SAW

ACTION 1 --

Start with a 5.5 inch square of Matala Blue Filter Pad and 5.5 inch square of Replacement Air Purifier Filter.

Using the 4 inch adapter fitting draw an outline for cut marks on the media

ACTION 2 --

Cut the circles out of the 5.5 inch media that have been marked.

ACTION 3 --

Position all filter media for placement into SOLIDS FILTER.

ACTION 4 --

Place Fine Filter media into inlet side of SOLIDS FILTER main body. Push in until it is up against drain plate.

ACTION 5 --

Place Course Filter media into inlet side of SOLIDS FILTER main body. Push in until it is up against Fine media.

ACTION 6 --

Fill the center compartment of the SOLIDS FILTER with the poly filling. A couple of handfuls is good.

The SOLIDS FILTER is now loaded with filter media and ready to close all openings with the valve assemblies and SOLIDS FILTER cap plug.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS:
At anytime improvements to this build can be made. These improvements can and will take many different forms. When new tricks are learned or better parts are sourced changes will be made. Updates will be made at aquaponic DIY Automation Blog and the new ideas - parts or changes will be updated in this Instructable. So please send in your ideas and modifications and design changes can and will be made if they are of value to others interested in this project.

Step 10: RESOURCES -- SOLIDS FILTER - Part of Aquaponic Balcony GARDEN

Aquaponic Gardening:

A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together Paperback – October 11, 2011 by Sylvia Bernstein Aquaponic Book - good resource

http://www.amazon.com/Aquaponic-Gardening-Step-By-...

The Aquaponics Gardening Community A community site with forums, blogs, photos, videos and more for both new and experienced aquaponic gardeners. Let's learn together! Aquaponic Gardening Community

http://community.theaquaponicsource.com/

ASC Magazine Monthly Online Magazine and Trade Publication Aquaponic Sustainable Community

http://aquaponicssurvivalcommunities.com/

RobBobs Backyard Farming RobBob aquaponics

https://www.youtube.com/user/bnbob01/featured

Paul Van Der Werf - Earthan Group

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0g02KwHrG3cmC2H...

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