Aquaponics - Fish waste solids masticator

I guess it's just plain laziness, but I'd rather not chew my fish's solid waste.

Luckily shell grit is willing to do it for me.

This is as yet untested, and in my experiments so far, there are some potential stumbling blocks to overcome, but this is what I'm working on...

We need shell grit in the system to buffer pH, so I figured I'd put it to use to break down solid fish waste, before it enters the grow bed. This is probably unnecessary, but I'm hoping to distribute the waste more evenly throughout the grow bed. I'm also hoping to grow some strawberries in PVC pipes at some stage, so it will be necessary to have very clear water running through them so they don't block, as the roots will almost fill the pipes.

This represents a possible solution to keeping the water moving freely throughout my system, if I end up needing it.

The general idea is that fish solids enter with the water, and because of the direction of the inlet flow, they swirl around. The water overflows leaving the solids behind. In aquaculture, and sometimes in very densely populated aquaponics systems, this is employed with a tap at the bottom to allow removal of the solids from time to time.. It's called a swirl filter or solids filter. All I'm thinking about doing is adding shell grit to one, and making the grit and the solids tumble around until the solids get small enough that they rise up and overflow in the grow bed with the water. I don't want to lose my solid waste because me plants want all the nutrition that's in it. The general idea is that it should be a prefilter, and double as a way to add calcium carbonate.

In my larger system, I think I will incorporate a solids remover in case something goes wrong and I need to instantly lessen the nutrient load. I wont need to empty it in normal use, but I will have the option in an emergency.

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