Final Version of my Home Built Aquaculture Project

hey everybody it's me again is Thanksgiving Day 2013 and how about to show you my new system for 20:14 before I do shows I want to give you a warning here that's pretty exciting so when you want to see get so excited that you stole anything sticky on your keyboard with that said here's what the New Deal it looks like I've just kind of let you look at that for for a moment here and kind of soak it all in there made a couple pretty big changes here I've still got 10 tanks in there is all the production tanks I have is 10 tanks but I've gotten rid of the big biofilters replaced them with the barrels that sit on the back of the totes there those are filled with k1 they've got an air stone that boils the k1 in there so that saved me some floor space in the room Plus made it a whole lot cleaner looking I split the system into two separate systems tanks with the blue barrels there's four those are one completely independent system and then the remaining six with the white barrel or the other system and I did that because I replace my sieve and sand builders with a couple of small RDF or drum filters this one here runs the 4/4 tank for blue barrel and there are two different size builders this one over here is approximately twice the size of the other one and it runs it runs the six-six barrel which 10 no more sieve to clean out no more sand builders to muck out and replace the sand my water water bill has been cut by two-thirds because I don't have to do all the back washing I don't know if you can hear that or not but that's that additional noise is this filter rinsing out the drum but what it all works water from the tank we'll start with the phone pump get the water this water right here and that comes out of the bottom of the filter box to the fault comes up here up the wall through that Val – why I've got up there overhead water from the goes to directions the different barrel flips off goes down through the barrel I've got ten gal in a minute flown through my tanks now big improvement on water goes into the barrel you might even be able to see the k1 boiling in there not sure I can see it in the camera here Boyle's round in the k1 exits through the bottom of the barrel right directly into the tank no more plumbing lines going to each tank like I had before even got me a little live here with some netting on key position but they're from there in the tanks I've got each each tank I've got a six-inch air stone keep the water moving in there I got a skimmer built right there in each tank it takes the water and the foo out of the tank makes it here and each tank dumps into a larger drain line there back to the full filter makes around behind there you can see the 4-inch drain lines going into the bottom of the filter one there and one from there they go into the filter box and into the dirty side of the filter which is right here the water is forced to go inside of the drum here though you're the whining on the other side that's the other filter running on the other side the watersports inside the drum out through a 60 micron screen and into the clean side of the filter and right back out of the bottom of the filter and into the pump and work goes through the whole loop one more time and every time the stream gets plugged up these proximity switches since that and they trigger the motor to turn on the pump the drum turns and there's a spray bar in here it sprays the string out to a tray underneath of there and from there it goes right out of the filter all right here into the grain line right out the drain working great little bar I can go away and leave it for weeks at a time never never have to touch anything it basically runs on his own as long as very critical as far as water level when I first started stirred them up I was pulling my hair out the good this rents the screen out right there I was pulling my hair out they just kept kept malfunctioning finally figured out it was due to in consistent water level so I finally finally put a soil operated valve this proximity switch right here senses the water level in the system and keeps the water level within I'm going to say 1/2 a gallon I feel level all the time since I did that has just been running we've got four new 100 water pumps up there I'm only using three of them with what I've got I've got fourth one because I'm planning I'm their pumps just run there again I've got 6-inch air stones in the bottom of each each day one barrel there and six-inch your thumbs in the tank keeps the water all aerated there got two different filters here I just had no idea when I bought them what their capacity would be I know they have a flow rating when you buy them but that really doesn't relate to what I'm doing here all that well they're working good but I've only got about 200 pounds in the whole system the two sides which is the freight light load December 3rd I've got 1,200 finger lengths coming I'm going to add three more tanks the big filter here I'm going to see what the limit these two filters what the each size will actually handle I'm going to try running right around 100 fish per tank in June Maes may/june I'm going to have twelve twelve hundred pounds of fish these tanks that's over a half a ton so it'll be interesting to see what these these fillers and I'll let you know that's that's that's about it makes me smile when I stand here and look at all of it now before all I saw was work but now now I've got time to actually stand here and and look at it a little bit the plumbing is even cleaned up a somewhat the pipes on the floor now all they are is the drain lines for the tanks I only use them when I drained it water out of the tank and but I look at it set up so that all the valves are actually open so they do service balance to between all the tanks so all the tanks maintain exactly the same levels I have been pretty lucky I found some market for my fish I've sold about five thousand dollars where the fish sit here and I'm hoping to do about twice that coming here then I'll sell the majority the fish in from mid-may for the two local guys around here with pawns they've been they've been buy them for pawn stocker to eat the algae and duck weed out of their pond and had a lot of really good luck with that this year midseason they didn't it didn't look like they were going to do a whole lot but when I was really surprised there they the fish finally started to die off here about the first in November so I made some rounds in ponds and they really cleaned up the pond when I put them in there the fish with plus or minus a pound but it looked to me like the ones award coming up next to the shore when it gets told they just get lethargic and and they'll come to the shore there to the Sun themselves cuz the water shallow but it looks to me like they were at least between two and two and a half pounds in the pond they've grown that much once they started getting bigger you know up around two pounds they really start countin down on the weeds and stuff in the pond it was pretty impressive what they actually did for the pond and then I got a guy that the that buys the remainder of the fish doesn't the fishes of guys don't buy for the pond this guy buys the remainder of them he sells the Asian markets then we can't produce enough supplies markets though he buys for me and few other local guys around to help supply his customer which works out great for me so my plan is then in June 1 majority of the fish goes out in the pond alkanes discontinue seasons arrest if there's any often the left I'll continue feeding them till they get to be around the pound in the quarter quarter to a pound and a half that's the size that he wants for his customer but while I'm doing that you know a lot of my tanks will be empty so in mid-june I'm going to plant another thousand or so fish in here to sell to him in January December January so I should be able to get to full crops of fish out of here this coming here pretty much is have a happy Thanksgiving no I'll talk to you in some point down the road here bye


  1. Mark Joscelyne

    When building the biofilters, where is the outflow into the tank. it looks like it is in the bottom but how then do you maintain the water height? is there a pipe in the barrel keeping the height? if so doesnt the bioballs cause it to get blocked and wouldnt it be better to have it so it drains from the bottom?

  2. T Clodfelter

    I know you don't have this any more but EVERY time I watch this video it inspires me!! Thank you for all the great videos! I have loved to see the changes and progress! I would have LOVED to have been able to see it in person!! Good luck in all your future endeavors!!!

  3. leadbyleon Way

    hey ,if anyone else needs to find out about aquaponics diy try Aqua Recovery Tactics ( ) ? Ive heard some amazing things about it and my mate got great results with it.

  4. California X

    Beautiful system but I was wondering where those the bottom of the tanks drain to… do they also go through the filter because it seems like most of the poop drops to the bottom

  5. Gadikota Nataraja

    any reason for moving for Cetus Sieve to drum filter ?
    I understand that drum filter is maintenance free but did you see any other disadvantages using Cetus Sieve ?

  6. Chadli Réda

    how much tilapia i can prodect if i have 10 IBC tank with good filtration ? and how many nursing aquarium i need if i keep producing the year around?
    wit 10 IBC tank how much squer foot i can plant ? how many fish i can grow in one tank ?
    thank you from ALGERIA / SWEDEN

  7. Henrik B

    Great setup. Any updates how the system works now 2,5 years later? How have the drumfilters worked out for you? I hear people telling me the koi drumfilters wont keep up with aquaculture and just break. Im thinking of buying a KC-30 thats what you have there right? hows the quality? would you recommend them or should i look for something else?

  8. sagon111

    Wow! crazy impressed is an understatement! "hats off" , Steve I hope you see the writing on the wall, you have a major added value to your endeavor with your Tilapia farming and system, ie,, you could easily be a paid consultant or charge a fee in helping to design systems for people that are interested with fish farming. I couldn't help but notice while reading the comments, how much interest and enthusiasm. Best of luck!

  9. Canadian Home Steader

    wow I am very impressed .Looks real neat and organized .
    I love the video. thanks for sharing .just one question …..would I be able to grow trout or perch in this type of system?

  10. theADDgolfer

    Hey Steve, I've been a You Tube voyeur for years, usually jump from one interest to another. I've sat here and watched 1-16, actually found 16 first then had to check you vids. Watched each "DIY Small Scale Aquaculture" from start to finish. I've never done that. I subscribed for the first time. and now it's 2am and should get some sleep

    Not only did I find your transition from 4 yrs ago amazing but you talk it pretty well too. The first thing I noticed was you plumbing. Is that your trade?

    I realize it's been awhile since you have posted on this, I just wanted to let you know personally I've enjoyed your hard work

  11. Bruce Fritchey

    Simply amazing. However, such a waste to post without any 'hard numbers' regarding costs and more in-depth how-to. Seems to me this would be the type of project and you the type of person to expound more and share.

  12. Henrik B

    Hi Steve this setup is great i have the same problem with space as you had and thinking of copying your setup with the barrel on top with k1 in it…. how big bioload can your system handle? Im in sweden so im not sure about gallons and pounds but the barrel is 200 liters (55 gallons) and the ibc tank is 1000 liters (250 gallons) how much K1 media do you have in each barrel? 100 liters (22,5 gallons)? and how much fish can you have in each tank in pounds (kilos)? or the whole system? also are you happy with this setup or do you want to change anything?

  13. T Clodfelter

    How much K1 filter media do you have in each barrel? Do you need to change it out? If so, how often? I would dearly love to see it in person!

  14. jmartin015

    Wow! Big change from your first system. You are evolving nicely! So do you grow anything or is this strictly a aquaculture farm? I too smile when I watch all your work, I am sure it is very rewarding. I have a small aquaponics system and I can only dream of someday having a RDF and system like yours. Need to do something with that 3 acres…thanks for posting.

  15. Daniel Tadros

    Hello Steve, We would like to get your advice, what filters would you suggest for a 25,000 gallons tilapia farm pool and where do you suggest to purchase them from? We're pretty new at this but are doing our research. I'm having a hard time finding out what types of filters/pumps may be needed for this? Would you suggest a certain dealer/store I can call to get more information about this? How did you know what types of filters/pumps you needed?

  16. Thorny Love

    so you just flush all that nice nutrients down the drain eh?  lol

    Start some aquaponics brother… youll use less electricity and less water 🙂

  17. AquaJohn

    I am inspired by your projects. I was looking for an answer to a question I have seen others ask but could not find a reply. What  is the make and model of the RDF filters you are using and where did you buy them? Thanks.

  18. wayne looking

    Tom McCosh you have it going on…………would love love love to see first hand I am a little slow so I have to really touch to understand…..all your work is inspiring me big time.


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