Small compact bead filters for aquaponics

Automatic Pneumatic Backwash in a Small Footprint

The AquaPonicSmall (APS) Filter is an advancement of the AquaPonic (AP) filter with the addition of many new enhancements and increased performance features.

Features Include:

  • Automatic pneumatic backwash enabling the filter to operate for extended periods of time without intervention, saving time and labor
  • Lowest water loss filter in the industry, less than 5% of traditional filters
  • Large sludge storage chamber that concentrates the sludge minimizing servicing needs
  • Superior solids removal and biofiltration in one filter, delivering crystal clear water
  • Low profile design allows for “airlift” water pumping, minimizing energy costs
  • Elegant, simple design with no moving internal parts and no replacement media ever required, guaranteeing trouble-free operation
  • Units arrive pre-filled with bead media which never needs replaced

Optional Add-Ons:

  • Optional automatic sludge discharge making the filter virtually maintenance-free
  • Optional UV light add-on to assure algae control even under warm water conditions

Your Pond Workhorse

1H2O3 filters are ideal for ponds or tanks from 500L to 15 m3 in size and are designed for use in KOI, Aquaponic, Fingerling, and small Growout applications. The tables below show the approximate sizes of ponds, tanks, and aquaponic systems the APS models will support.

APS3 APS6 Table Aquaponics Aquaculture 1h2o3

Aquaponics Applications


They also work beautifully for aquaponics applications.

The APS filters separate out solids in the water and store them in a large sludge chamber. The integrated chamber allows partial mineralization for plant nutrients. This nutrient-rich water can then be automatically released to plant grow beds as part of the backwash process. The amount of water and delivery frequency can be easily adjusted to keep your nitrate levels ideal for fruiting or green growth.

If you are looking for an integrated tank and filter also popular for aquaponics, check out the Integrated Tank & Filter System.

Video resources

1h2o3 APS Filter: Revolutionary Automatic Pneumatic Backwash

1h2o3 APS Filter: Water Pumped Configuration, Pneumatic backwash Technology

1h2o3 APS Filter: Gravity Fed, Airlifted System- No water pumps required! Pneumatic Backwash

1h2o3 APS Filter: Auto-Purge Sludge with Air! Cleaner water through Pneumatic Backwash Technology

Featured Customer Project

This APS unit is being utilized in a small-scale, home aquaculture project for raising tilapia.

The customer set up the filter in his greenhouse and insulated the tank with wooden boards to regulate the temperature of the water. For optimal energy savings, the APS unit was configured with an airlift operation utilizing no motorized pumps or mechanical moving parts. Sludge is concentrated in the chamber and then automatically dumped into a nearby bucket allowing for easy maintenance.

Aquaculture aquaponie filtre a bille tilapia APS3 APS6 1h2o3

Let’s Get Started Today

From a simple filter to a complete custom system, our engineers can help you find the perfect filtration system for your needs. Get in touch today!

AquaPonic Sludge Operation: Standard Configuration

These exceptional filters backwash automatically, several times a day. The user does not need to turn off the pump or close any valves during the backwash sequence. The filter does not require an electric timer. The backwash cycle is regulated by the air that is injected into the charge chamber. The filters clean and recycle the dirty water produced in backwashing every two to three hours. Sludge is only removed once or twice a week.

AquaPonic Sludge Series APS3 APS6 Backwash-Operation-normal-filtration 1H2O3

1) Normal Filtration

The water moves from the inlet up through the bead bed. The bead bed provides surface area for the water purifying bacteria and captures solids within the aquatic system. Air is slowly injected into the charge chamber, gathering in the top of the filter. As more air enters, this places downward pressure on the water level. The water level drops trapping water in the settling zone, and solids from the last backwash settle into the sludge basin. The rate of air injection controls the length of time between backwashing events.

AquaPonic Sludge Series APS3 APS6 Operation-early-backwash 1H2O3

2) Early Backwash

Air has made its way through the trigger into the bead bed. The bubbles agitate the beads; knocking solids and biofilm off the beads. As the air pressure in the charge chamber drops, the dirty water from beneath the bead bed sweeps through the chute carrying the solids into the adjacent compartment. No water flows out of the filter during the short 3 – 5 second backwash event; instead the dirty backwash water is captured in the charge chamber and the sludge basin. The beads float in the drop zone where they continue to be scrubbed by the escaping bubbles.

AquaPonic Sludge Series APS3 APS6 Backwash-Operation-late-backwash 1H2O3

3) Late Backwash

The water flows downward through the mixing bead bed and more solids are washed from the beds to settle towards the bottom. The downward flowing water sweeps into the middle compartment, flushing the solids that have accumulated on the bottom of filter and depositing them into the sludge basin. The water level rises in the shorter chambers.

AquaPonic Sludge Series APS3 APS6 Operation-end-backwash 1H2O3

4) End Backwash

AquaPonic Sludge Series APS3 APS6 Backwash-Operation-sludge-drain 1H2O3

Periodically Drain Sludge

At the end of the backwash, the beads rise back to the top of the filter. Most settled solids have been swept to the sludge chamber. The filter will continue to filter and backwash itself several times a day. After the sludge has built up, the user can open the sludge valve to drain the concentrated sludge from the filter.

The filter backwashing frequency is usually set for a few hours, so the filters will backwash several times a day. Sludge accumulates in the sludge basin. Every few days, perhaps once a week, the sludge drain must be opened to let the sludge out. A natural fertilizer, the sludge can be poured out on the lawn or nearby plant where it will naturally degrade.

AquaPonic Sludge APS3: Setting the Auto-Backwash Timing for Easy hands-free Backwash

AquaPonic Sludge APS Filter: When NOT to drain the sludge or How to avoid Bead Loss in Your APS filter

Let’s Get Started Today

From a simple filter to a complete custom system, our engineers can help you find the perfect filtration system for your needs. Get in touch today!