It may not look like much but this funnel made from a repurposed plastic beer bottle could be a game changer. It connects to a pipe that runs down to the base of the bucket of the bacteria tank.
The pipe goes to the bottom of the bucket because the filter design that I use feeds water into the bottom and it filters upward through filter material to the outlet which is at the top. This allows sediment to settle in the bottom of the container before it hits the filters. Using this method also avoids the problem that occurs when dirty water pours onto filter material – one patch becomes clogged quickly and the water flow isn’t even through the filter. This way, the water contacts the filter evenly across its whole diameter and means that I spend less time cleaning.
This particular filter is full of bits and pieces that provide a home for bacteria that convert the fish wastes into a form that the plants can take up. These bacteria occur throughout te system but there’s a big population in this filter. Aquaponics is about keeping your bacteria happy. Food for us is just a bonus!
The idea of the funnel and pipe is that now, when I add liquid fertilizer, it will go there and be mixed by the water and some will be converted by the bacteria before it moves to the main filter.
This should buffer anything that’s added, speed the conversion to organic and help dilute it more before it hits the plants and fish.
I’ll be doing a whole post on this idea soon on our aquaponics page.