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About Walter

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    Republic of Panama
  1. Having read most of the threads my 2 pennies worth: Reading the threads I see some positive input, then lots criticism, lots of trashing about. But I see little to no alternatives or suggestions on ideas. At the end, one should keep in mind: Together and organized is better then standing alone. Or are Backyard AP's loners and stand-a-lone fighters....? If you want to develop further and go to commercial levels one must think of what is coming in the future and this could be lot of red tapes by government organizations which will tell you what you can do or not do..... So we need all the help we can get. What are the suggestions to get organized in a proper association, an association which can represent the Aquaponians backyard AP's, private and commercial setups? Who is going to put weight on government to cut existing and future red tapes to AP.... to represent AP on government level with some weight, some authority? The Americans always think big..... this is nothing new, and Murray, he must have had his reasons to attend and get involved on with the AU Chapter. He was the Star at the conference, well accepted and he entertained everyone. He stood answers to any questions that where asked. He was a big asset at the conference. He (Murray) maybe is thinking of expanding his business knowhow also to the USA...., what is wrong with that? So, the USA organizers instead of naming this "US Aquaponics Association" (which in my personal opinion would be a more proper and correct name to this start-up) they name it "World Aquaponics Association" and through Murray link AU into the basket.....What about all other countries? An AP Association with only two Chapters, USA and AU? Maybe a wrong start with the left foot? But then again, what is the right start-up, and how do we start getting organized? I was there in Florida. The conference was well organized. I think it was a first step in the right direction (as I understand it was the first such AP conference ever held at least in USA). I personally would not hesitate going to Conference no. 2. You where able to attend lots of different workshops and if you missed one, there where ways to catch up on the information. One of the most interesting ones in my opinion was the innovative solar system presented by the German inventor. Then they had well organized Tours to Aquaponic setups within Orlando, visit to the Aquaponic System at Disney (Epcot). The organization was well prepared and managed. It was up to each individual how much he wanted to make out of it and/or profit from it. I personally do not know what is going to become of this first intention and/or start up with this WAPAssociation., time will tell. It seems Walt Disney and/or Epcot might be joining up, I don't know. My question: Any suggestions on how we need to go about to get this properly started and rolling, a good worldwide recognizable Aquaponics Association?
  2. Finally some progress. Today we completed the provisional hook-ups on our First Aquaponics System. We used larger sized gravel on bottom of GB's, smaller gravel on the upper part. As "bell syphon" we installed 2 plastic bottles. Quite neat to watch how they work and bubble up to syphon the water..... Its like a "bell syphon" with the difference that its transparent. We plan to eventually replace these bottles with the original drain system designed by Travis Hughey. Then we need to give the gravel some extra cleaning and replace the bottom hoses of our GB's for the right size. We cant wait to have the system up and running for a few days....
  3. Pugo, Very interesting topic you started here. You and so many of you are real Gurus on Aquaponics. Thank you all for enabling newcomers and "Virgin Aquaponics" like me to learn so much from your experience. Thank you for sharing all this valuable information. My input on this topic may complement a little on some basics to keep in mind: Recommendation: Try to use ecological, locally available materials, such as sand/aggregate from river beds, palm trees, wood, bamboo, earth/dirt, recycled material etc. Our activities in Panama include help to marginated communities and/or people in need. As a "Community Aquaponics project" it should be preferably organized through a community co-op with government and/or help from local institutions. Governments and/or institutions are more likely to listen when you present them with an "ecological sustainable project" from start to finish... Keep in mind that in some regions you may need an environmental impact study to setup such system. Then keep in mind that if something goes wrong the "builder" or "teacher" of the system may be finger pointed to be "the person at fault", not the operator/s who through neglect may have caused harm. So program some time to remain involved in the project even when finished. Try to install a "non electrical system", this will avoid problems or failures with pumps, aerators which can have a devastating effect, ah yes, and no argument in a community who pays/contributes to the electrical bill: In our region this is rather simple because we have NO electricity available in our region. What we do have is plenty of water, and water is practically FREE here. We know the quality of the water is good and stable because we run a 3000 lime tree plantation using river water for irrigation during the dry season. So in our particular region we see such Aquaponic-project to work with good river and rain water flowing into one or a few fishpond/s and from there flowing into the growbeds, all by means of gravity. In such setup the fish pond/s will have a continuous input of fresh water. Fish Ponds may only have compacted soil (no liners). Blocks to build the growbeds could be locally made possibly using "stabilized adobe" blocks made from local earth/dirt. Then the use of bamboo for part of the construction is readily available (example as wall structures, posts, roofs etc.). Bamboo can be used for some of the piping setup too (save on PVC). This (bamboo) is an incredible material if properly harvested and cured. In our region it is readily available at no cost to us. Example guadua bamboo weblink: Having this said the biggest investment in such setup here in Panama could be the greenhouse screening material. The system will need protection from the elements (heavy rain falls) insects/birds/predators. So "seran", the local name for the sunscreen material, sounds as a good option for an Aquaponics system in our region. I am also in the assumption that all manpower requirements for such project would come from the local community on a voluntary basis. "Third World System" in summary: Ecological Friendly and Sustainable from start to finish, at a bearable cost to install and operate.
  4. o.k. See through panel now in at top of Thatch Roof. This may be enough light for our first little system. Question: Ref. Greenhouse made of black sunscreen material or Thatch roofing? In a tropical climate like Panama what would you recommend as a greenhouse? We feel we have the following two effective cost options: - Thatch roofing structure with enhanced "see through panel' on top of the roof - A greenhouse made of Sunblock screen material. Pics on both here attached. The first (Thatch Roof structure) we like to use as our principal working area like chop wood, store our agricultural produce (persian limes) on and offloading in general, make Adobe blocks etc. It is a nice cool area to work in. The second, made of "sunblock screens" is used to plant and grow vegetables. Height is about 5 meters in the centre. Its not as cool as the Thatch roof structure but it has good lighting conditions and we could catch rain water.
  5. GW: Like your idea of the fountain airation. You seem to be using the fountain device to pump water into your growbed, correct? What I found installing the piping on the bottom of the fish barrel (according to specs from TH) that the noise is quite high (i believe it comes from the water suction through the piping). We are preparing a second fish bin where we plan to put a submersible water pump. It seems a fountain like yours would also have been worth a try. Good thinking!
  6. Gfunk: Them blue bins I found at a hardware store in Panama. They are actually laundry bins, came with a nice trolley each. I picked two of them for USD 300, and the trolleys come in handy at our farm.
  7. We chose the Barrel Ponics because these barrels are easily found and inexpensive (2nd hand) here in Panama. Then we have our own wood in the backyard (gmelina). The solar system's main purpose is to provide some basic power for our 4 bedroom earthbag dome. We intend to use it also for experimenting with our first Aquaponics setup. We had some delay because the "Rancho" space we chose turned out to be too dark. We replaced the upper part of our thatch roofing with some see-through panels. This was completed today. Hopefully tomorrow we can advance on the setup.
  8. Today (2nd September) we are continuing with the setup and hopefully we can complete to commence the water flow. Here are some pics of the area we are preparing for our first little system. Finca Land & Trees, La Chorrera - Panama
  9. Thank you all for the welcome greetings. Pugo/Vihalvor: you can contact me on my e-mail for more information about dome housing. You already found what could be the shortcomings of such buildings if not the right materials or the right process of construction is used. For us to use as natural material "earth" its because it is available in abundance". Its also a matter of being "energy efficient and to co-exist with our environment". A further example: Our agriculture division is operated 100% organic (we use no chemicals). We produce our own humus (natural fertilizer from californian worms) and our own natural repellent that we produce. The repellent here is called "vinagre de madera" which translates into english as "wood vinager". We are now hooked on AQUAPONICS and we hope that we can learn a lot from your experiences in this field. Thank you again for the warm receipt to your forum!
  10. Hello Pugo, Thanks for the welcome! This is an "earth dome". It measures over 20 feet in diamter and has 2 stories. This type of buildings are also known as "earthbag buildings". You can find a lot of information on the internet. Here is a weblink you come to when you give in "earthbag buildings": We want to try integrate "Aquaponics" into these type of buildings or mode of living. I think Aquaponics can fit perfectly well into such type of home.
  11. Greetings from Panama. In Panama we are Persian Lime and Humus producers. For some of you which may not know there are two Panama's. Our location is not in Panama, Florida, it's in the Republic of Panama (Central America). This is a spanish speaking country with a population of about 3.2 Mill. people. Ah yes, then we have the famous Canal which connects the Atlantic and the Pacific. There are some huge ships navigating through here.... At one of the farms we started construction of our first Aquaponics system. The first Aquaponics System we are making is based on "Barrel Ponics from Travis W. Hughey". Hopefully the water will be running through the system this week. Am glad to have signed up as lots of useful and very valuable information is being provided here. Saludos desde Panama!