Aquaponics Fish Systems

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MDC 1000 Aquaponic Fish System Mineralization Tank

ats mdc1000 aquaponics system

Aquaponics is an old concept that has recently seen a huge rise in popularity, largely thanks to increased interest in sustainability and eco farming. In the simplest terms, aquaponics refers to the combining two sustainable farming techniques; aquaculture and traditional hydroponics. By pairing these farming techniques, growers can replicate the environment of a natural ecosystem, in which plants and fish thrive together in harmony with one another.

This modification of an already established technique means setting up an aquaponics system may be simpler than most initially think. In fact all that’s required is to add the aquaculture component to any existing hydroponics design.

Introduction to the MDC 1000 Aquaponic Fish System

The simplicity doesn’t stop there; thanks to companies such as AST Filters and it all-in-one solutions, growers no longer need to put together their own mineralization/filtration systems. These setups come complete with all the additional components required for the upgrade so the only thing left for you to do is to hook up to your chosen hydroponics setup.

As one of the most versatile pre-built options on the market, complete mineralization/filtration systems remove the stress of having to design and build your own system. These filtration systems can be connected to almost any Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) aquaponic setup, or any Deep Water Culture/Floating Raft systems, but since media bed systems typically feature enough surface area for benficial bacteria to grow these all-in-one solutions are unnecessary.

What is the MDC 1000 Aquaponic Fish System

All aquaponics systems require filtration. Filters come in two types; solid separator filters; which as the name suggests removed waste solids from the water, and biofilters; provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize, which assists in the nitrification process and aeration of the water.

As a general rule of thumb solid separating filters must be installed in all systems; NFT, DWC, Media Based. However, not all systems require a biofilter. Most media-based aquaponics systems already contain sufficient growing media and surface area for the beneficial bacteria to thrive, and therefore for do not require an additional biofilter.

Calculating the required performance specs, then selecting and installing pumps can be one of the more daunting tasks when it comes to building an aquaponics system; fortunately that’s exactly what ATS system takes off your hands.

The Concept

AST Filter’s MDC 1000 is an all-in-one fish tank and mineralization system designed to raise fish, whilst also filtering the water and converting waste into nitrates (NPK) for the plants in your aquaponics setup.

The complete unit simply connects to any DCW or NFT hydroponics system, so that you can quickly upgrade your existing aquatic farm into a more sustainable setup that not only produces plants, but also raises edible fish for consumption.

If you’re looking to get into aquaponics with the goal of producing as much food as possible in your given space, then creating your own custom system is by far the best way to go. For those who aren’t too proficient at DIY, pre-built systems such as the AST MDC 1000 are an obvious choice that lowers the bar to entry so beginners and those with little DIY experience can more easily build a setup that meets their unique requirements.

How It Works

The ATS system combines a solid separator filter and biofilter into a single unit that also features automatic backwashing that regular self-cleans the system. The MDC1000 uses an airlift pump to circulate water; it provides both aeration and degassing, and do so with low power consumption.

  • Mineralization Process: The mineralization tank is responsible for the biofilter and solid separating process. AST Filters uses its own patent pending mineralization process that allows you “to grow more plants with less fish feed.”
  • BioFilter: Provide a substrate for beneficial bacteria to develop. These assist with nitrification; the conversion of ammonia waste into nitrates to feed the plants.
  • Solid Separator; As the name suggest, this part of the filtration process capture suspended solids to ensure the water stays clean.
  • Backwash: The system uses AST Filter’s top of the range Endurance® 2000, this system, which autobackwashes regularly to remove sludge and slump; reducing labor and maintenance requirements.

"It provides the life support and main aquaculture components of an aquaponics system."

AST Filters

Benefits of MDC 1000 Aquaponic Fish System

There are a number of great advantages to using AST Filter’s MDC1000 complete aquaponics system, some of these include:

  • Easy Installation: No doubt the main advantage of the MDC1000 system is it’s all-in-one form factor and the resulting ease of installation.
  • Automated: Most of the processes that occur inside the system are automated, which requires much less maintenance the traditional setups.
  • Efficiency: The system has been optimized to perform better than traditional filtration systems; it provides high performance with a low power requirement. Low Water Loss: The company claims the system leaches out the lowest amount of water when compared with similar, in-class filter systems; and not by an insignificant amount, according to ATS water loss is less then 5% of traditional filters. No Design Required: Removing the need to construct your own filtration and mineralization system greatly reduces the workload and complexity of the project.
  • Fewer Risks Of Mistakes: It also ensures you’re starting from the most advantegous position, eliminating much of the risk assosicated with building such parts, and not with hidden mistake you will only uncover once it’s too late.


AST MDC1000 Technical Overview

AST MDC1000 Key Features

Technical Specifications

Endurance® Filter

  • Compact PolyGeyser® for small applications
  • Auto-backwashing with Auto-purging feature
  • No moving parts for greater reliability

System Operation

  • Minimal setup, stand alone aquatic life support
  • Low maintenance
  • Airlifted circulation provides degassing and aeration


  • No media replacement necessary
  • Auto-pneumatic backwash/sludge discharge
  • Mechanical and biological filtration in one unit

Fish Production

  • Feeding Rate: 0.8lbs p/day
  • Total Tank Volume: 300 gallon
  • Fish Supported: 60lbs
  • Fish Harvest Freq: 2 x 6 month growout
  • Annual Fish Harvest: 120lbs/year
  • Stocking Density: 0.2lbs fish/gal

Plant Supported

  • Decoupled Feed Req: 1.5g per square foot
  • DWC Area: 100ft
  • # of heads of lettuce: 350 @ 3.5 plants/square ft
  • Annual Plant Harvest: 3000 @ siz week growout

System Power Requirements 24/7

  • Backwash Pump: 0.5 amps / 120v
  • Airlift + Aeration: 1 amp / 120v

In Conclusion

There really isn’t anything like it on the market; aside from custom-built offerings that are more expensive, more complexed and generally have long lead times for delivery, the AST MDC1000 Filter is one of a few complete mineralization/filtration systems out there. For this reason it’s hard to knock it; it’s easy to install, and makes maintenance a breeze.

The long list of features and its unrivaled performance has to make this unit one of the most, if not the most, effective filtration systems on the consumer market; bar any customized setup. No doubt these specifications will soon be matched and even outdone, nevertheless there’s no doubt the ATS system provides an extremely user-friendly and complete filtration solution that will remain useful for many years into the future.

So if you’re looking to up your sustainable farming game, and would like to make the, often challenging, transition into the aquaponics world as straightforward as can be, then check out the AST MDC1000 Aquaponics Fish System, as it may be the exact solution you’re looking for.


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