Shocking discovery of iAVS – the most original, simple and complete version of Aquaponics using sand and long water draining and setting cycle

Having played with Aquaponics first hand on and off for two years, I was shocked to discover the constant Flood and Drain system with Hydroton as the media has a starting point that is quite logical and making sense using sand as media and also giving a long cycle of time (2 hours) for water drainage and drying in the sand grow bed. This system was started by Mark McMurtry in 1985.

The major problem with Hydroton (expanded clay balls) based system is that the fish waste is ended up in the bottom of the grow bed making it filthy and needing to place worms to digest the waste. But the waste sits at the very bottom of the grow bed where there is always some water left there. This makes it hard for the worms to stay there. The ideal scenario is for the waste to stay on the top of grow bed, which is exactly what iAVS does.

The other problem with the constant Flood and Drain system is that there is no time for the fish waste to be aerated and digested by the bacterias as the system is always wet. In fact, the plants do not need to be watered all the time, just when needed. Constant Flood and Drain is an overkill. As a contrast, iAVS gives both the fish and plants almost a total of 2 hours of resting (including 10 minute water pumping and 10 minute drainage), plus no need to pump water at night. The last feeding of fish should be no later than 2 pm and then little fish waste will be produced after the pause of water pumping between 6 pm and 6 am.

Once I found out about iAVS and tried the smallest version of it, I now see why it is superior to the current more popular system that everyone is using. While I am in the process of converting to iAVS and testing it further, I post three videos about it in the following. Hope you see all the benefits of iAVS:

Brief introduction to iAVS:

An above ground iAVs setup:

Murray’s iAV Sand Aquaponics System:

You can also learn all the details about iAVS from this website:

Spiral Siphon for Easy Start and Stop: No Need for the Trouble with a Bell Siphon inside the Grow Bed

Since a lot of people are complaining with bell siphons, I did not bother with building one for my grow bed inside a 6×8 feet greenhouse. I chose to build a simple spiral siphon, easy to start and easy to break. Here is the video (if you live inside China and can understand Chinese, click here to see video served from QQ):

Normally, with the so-called u-siphon (this is the video where I got inspired from) made out of a few elbows and two 45 degree PVC connectors, it is easy to start but hard to break the siphon. But after playing with it, I came up with this simple design.

Instead of installing it inside a grow barrel, I installed it outside to make everything external. This change is make everything super easy.

Improvement on DripGrow Microgreens: Automatic Water Feeding & Recycling Using Double Filtration

Note: After testing, we have found that this water recycling setup is NOT effective in removing orginc waste buildup. Therefore, not recommend to be used for growing microgreens.

Effort has been made to improve the DripGrow microgreens system created last time and reported here. Watch the following video first:

One consideration is to recycle the water to be reused. Two Rona buckets were used to ensure the double filtration. First a hole was drilled on the side close to the bottom for each bucket so that a shutoff valve could be installed like this: Continue reading “Improvement on DripGrow Microgreens: Automatic Water Feeding & Recycling Using Double Filtration”

New Design Based on Airlift DripGrow: Auto Feeding and Recollecting Water for Microgreens

I made the following short video showing how everything works. If you are and DIY handy man, you know how to do it right away after watching this video:

I used a simple airlift pump made with a T-connector to feed water from the top of stacked grow trays, creating a water dripping flow. It is based on what is shown below with one exception: I added a one-way check valve at the water inlet so that it only allows water to come in and air cannot get out in an opposite direction. Continue reading “New Design Based on Airlift DripGrow: Auto Feeding and Recollecting Water for Microgreens”

New Design for Hydroponic Vertical Grow Towers Powered by Airlift Pumps

I posted a video on YouTube, watch it now:

If you prefer to watching the video on Vimeo, please click here.

Before I came up with the version I call “DripGrow Tower”, I had tried several versions, some of which you can see in the video, including one made with a long bamboo pole. The time I spent the most was on various kinds of airlift pumps (some are shown below). Eventually I found that the simple airlift pump made with a T connector works the best.

Continue reading “New Design for Hydroponic Vertical Grow Towers Powered by Airlift Pumps”