Dave

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About Dave

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  • Biography
    I am a social worker interested in promoting sustainable living and educational programs though aquaponics. I created a non-profit organization (www.aquaponia.eu) in Belgium that aims for social-educational-humanitarian impacts. We are working to make aquaponics accessible for everyone.
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    Social work

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    Brussels
  1. Thanks Edmolina, Will post pics a soon as we start with the project during this summer
  2. Hi Gary, thanks for your post it's very helpful and has given my more ideas for the CGH design I'm planning. Very good idea! The deep litter method will also act as natural heat source due to the composting in the coop over the year. Yes, people do tend to be paranoid with "germs". And bacteria is what makes the world function and we depend on it! Especially us whom have aquaponic gardens!! Proper ventilation flow is important. I was planing on have both top and bottom vents on the dividing wall. I was also thinking building my nesting boxes on that side. The nesting boxes would protrude from the coop into the GH. You would of course have to harvest the eggs form inside the GH. This will also bring a supplementary heat source for the GH at night. So to recapitulate (top to bottom): insulated roof l top vent l nesting boxes GH bottom vent l deep litter l coop floor l It's going to be a very exciting project :-) Dave
  3. Hi everyone I'm planing on building a new set up. I live in Belgium so the main concern for an aquaponic set up is maintaining the temperature during the winter. So my idea was to build a passive greenhouse with an integrated chicken coop. There are two main advantages in this design : chickens will heat the greenhouse during the winter. I've read that 1 adult chicken gives 15w of heat, so 4 chickens give off the equivalent of one 60w lightbulb. There is also carbon dioxide release witch is beneficial for plants. The plan is to construct a GH facing south and have a chicken coop attached to one of the sides (preferably the north side). There would have to be a adequate air ventilation in order to circulate the heat trough the GH. I would insulate the 5 sides of the chicken coop that do not join onto the GH, so that more of the heat makes it out into the GH. When the temps get up in the summertime the two vents on top of the GH automatically open above. This is a drawing explaining the general idea: But I have several questions concerning installing a aquaponic system in a chicken coop greenhouse: Will the ammonia in the chicken manure kill the plants or harm the fish? I read that “birds are warm-blooded animals, so they frequently harbor E.coli and salmonella bacteria in their intestines. You will need to keep your birds away from your aquaponics garden to prevent these dangerous bacteria from contaminating it.†Although there will be no direct contact between the chickens and the plants is contamination possible though the air exchange? The heat transfer will happen in both directions, so on a sunny day the hot GH will overheat a well insulated chicken coop. Chickens get stressed in very hot conditions leading to health problems and death. If there is excessive summer heat in GH will I need to cool down my GH or are the automatic vents enough? Here are some Chicken coop greenhouse pictures I found on the internet: Thanks in advance for your shared thoughts on the subject.
  4. CGH drawing

    From the album chicken coop greenhouse

  5. CGH2

    From the album chicken coop greenhouse

  6. CGH

    From the album chicken coop greenhouse

  7. Cgh

    From the album chicken coop greenhouse

  8. By "stopping up" you mean gloging ? Never had that issue! It might happen with overwhelming roots certain crops have (for example mint crops) if you leave them to long in your system. Where to find these bags: Here in Belgium we have a lot of bagged and boxed juices and wines, so it's pretty easy to find them. What I did, is ask students to bring empty wine or juice bags their family drank. Pleas let us know if you have any more questions. David
  9. Very true! The BIBA is a wonderful tool for class experimentation and It was manly design for that matter. We have built a BIBA system in a classroom here in Brussels and students were ecstatic. Each student appropriates his own bag and plants the crop he chooses! He may also take his bag home once the school year is over. It just gives more meaning for children if teachers accompany a "hands-on approach" with theoretical content. Glad to hear you thought directly about an educational program when you discovered the BIBA system :-) I would love to hear more about your project if you decide to start a BIBA system in a classroom. Dave
  10. Hi Gary, thanks for your thoughts on small aquarium systems and on the BIBA design. I would also like to thank you personally for all the information and knowledge you have shared through out the years. With your work you have truly inspired me and help me learn more about aquaponics. I completely agree with you. It's true, the smaller you go when sizing your system the harder it is to control the various organisms alive. We have seen wide range of small table top aquaponic systems built by hobbyist and entrepreneurs...and some are very creative! The reason why people build these systems, is that they are either attracted by smaller systems or don't have the space nor the right environment for a 1000L system. I think everyone has their own way in experimenting for the first time in aquaponics. Some start with barrels or IBC, and others buy complete commercial set-ups... but we all end up learning as we go, right? Then we often redesign or upgrade our systems. This said it's still possible to grow in small systems. I have successfully grown basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, and coriander in the BIBA. Check out my attached photo. The main advantage in the BIBA system is that we use recycled materials. This allows growers to experiment without taking on huge construction projects or buying fancy complete systems... Also it always questions me when I see the amount of work, energy, and money spent for developing these small table top aquaponic products. Why make molds for small plastic growbeds when we can recycle and reuse everyday items (such as wine bags and containers)? I would like to conclude by saying: when experimenting for the first time with aquaponics size doesn't matter...but then again sometimes it does ;-) Dave
  11. Hello everyone, I am a social worker interested in promoting sustainable living and educational programs though aquaponics. I created a non-profit organization (www.aquaponia.eu) in Belgium that aims for social-educational-humanitarian impacts. We are working to make aquaponics accessible for everyone. BIBA is a system invented by aquaponia asbl. This system has been designed to be financially affordable for people who want to learn about aquaponics. The particularity of BIBA system is to reuse waterproof bags (wine or fruit juice bags). When you recycle bags, it becomes possible to reuse them as grow beds for your plants. The main advantage of the bag is that it is already equipped with a fitting. Those who have already built an aquaponics system know that bulkhead fittings are often expensive. Reusing bags will remove a significant cost in the construction of a system and it becomes very accessible for the growers who want to experiment for the first time aquaponics. In our document "Bag In Box Aquaponics in 10 steps", we explain how to make this system. We have written it in 4 languages ​​( French , Dutch, English and Spanish). BIBA system is an excellent tool for developing an educational workshop in your classroom. It is also interesting if you want to grow herbs in your kitchen. Please, if you enjoyed our document, let us know! We are also interested in your achievements and projects. Do not hesitate to send us a photo of your BIBA system! To download our free 10 step guide : http://www.aquaponia.eu/#!otilsdocs/c89s