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About WillroyGreenhand

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    aquaponics and gardening
  1. I have made some updated drawing after a previous meeting with my Companion. I had to get the one Pump idea cleared. I apologize that the Trap Housings for the harvest, and how how contain the Red Claw Crayfish fry I am not posting here. It took 5 years to develop these until 95% catch rate and success for breeding/feeding in tanks for marketable sizes. The size of the grow beds was one issue, the food a another one and how the get them harvested when there are 1300 Floating rafts full of Greens above them was a biggest question. You grow one size and can make a $$ but If you have no control as you can't reach them, then the stock goes low in a few month, here the mechanics are asked and that is well done from Holland and a Crayfish farmer here in Thailand, my nephew ;-).. All this was about 20000 EUR of literally building and destroying work, sweat and tears.
  2. I forgot to tell that I germinate all plants in Rockwool or Sponges before planting them in my rafts and grow beds. With Salad and Lettuce I had a loss of almost 99% when directly seeded into the grow beds. The reason I found out is that many plants love light to germinate and in your gravel they simply falling too deep into the media and rotting away. Try first to put the seeds on top of any media, Lettuce for example comes within 3 days if they are surface seeded.. 'Underground' it takes 3 week till never..
  3. Hi all, Last Time at home my wife had brought some Duckweed (wolffia arrhiza my best guess) out of the northeast of Thailand and was very happy. She told me excited its hard to get and expensive. I have tried the soup she made even it was looking more than disgusting and had also 'some' smell that suits not really an European nose.. But surprisingly it was pretty tasteful and as I took a spoonful purged the broth off it even did remind me a bit like watercress (kind off) but it actually didn't taste that bad. A small amount we tried to introduce into our system but was gone. It seems a bit sensible to changes even its considered a weed. May be out crays and Tilapias also did a good job and took whatever came in reach. Does anyone agree that Duckweed might be having a potential to become a new top range food supply for humans around the world. In Thailand it is definitively considered a luxury and almost not available anymore. A pest that gets extinguished over there how strange that sounds.
  4. Hello, we just faced the same problem. We never had within 5 years much trouble with smell but as we extended our system and the fact that crayfish demand too much space we introduced tilapia to boost our Nitrate need. Our experience is that Tilapia is much more dirty than crays and they were smelling until we battered the tanks with Oxygen. (Using an air blower) As we experienced sufficient oxygen supply was the A&O the smell disappeared as fast it came. There are options with pure oxygen (from Bottles) supply but they are in Thailand (one of the main producer of Tilapia) not recommended. The Farmers told me the fish gets "brown Blood" but also they told me that you can be gentle with normal air supply as it doesn't harm the fish.
  5. Hello Mohamed, I am living in Thailand so we have a bit the same Temperatures to deal with. First I had the same problem and the plants were looking all other than healthy. Leaves were yellow due to nutrient deficiencies, PH level was also quite a struggle. It took me about 1 year that all sorted itself so as above from other members stated is the main factor the age of the system. The bacteria need to grow and plants that have a high demand like Tomatoes and Aubergines for example need systems that are at least 2 years old or even older according to my experience. Then the issue you have a huge pond that feeds your system. I would suggest to make some separated tanks with tilapia that feeds the system 1:1 till max 2:1 water rate did it for me. In your pond are algae and most likely there is no or little fertilizer left for your plants. Also you never have the density of fish in your pond to run an aquaponics system proper and controlled. Also Duckweed (a Delicatess in Thailand and food supplements for ours fishes) use surprisingly much Nitrate which isn't then anymore available for your plants. But first of all give it time, this is the most important thing of all. You might remember your pond as you built it, how long did it go up and down, how much fish died before it starting to balance itself. My mistake was at the begin that I tried all and everything to have some influence in the balance and it made actually things worse. Mother nature does this by herself but she decides when the time is due and the up and downs getting slower until the values stay at a certain level. In your new system you will experience a rapid increasing of ammonia and somehow it will start going down after weeks, that is the moment when your bacteria starting to spread all over the system. I am now almost 6 years with my backyard system and from time to time the balance goes out when we for example harvest too much, a fish has died and we haven't seen it or we took too much Crayfish (they taste so good that you always want one more) for our Sunday barbecues.. To the other members, please correct me if I am wrong at some point but that was what I experienced with my system in Thailand. (Check my other treads, there are some photos and a story)
  6. Hi Toga, cheers for you time here the answers of your questions. Hi Willroy, I am looking specifically at your layout plan, and reading your verbal plans... and I am having some confusions. I do not exactly comprehend - a) What each different size grow area is designed for, so many areas and sizes ? 12 Gravel beds 5.2m x 2m x 70cm. We have developed an idea to get the inertia better under control so even a big size grow bed will empty complete before the suction in the bell siphon breaks off. As 2nd effect it will pull the dust to the bell siphon and keeps the grow bed longer active. Murray H. had some issue with that. Deepwater Grow beds: 50m x 15m x 80cm deep because there will be Red Claw Crayfish under the floating rafts. As I said they have never damaged any plants since we introduced the idea in our test system. We experienced a faster and better grow especially for mustard, water spinach and lettuces. b) Which areas for the Tilapia ? The Octagon tanks have each 50 cbm water is for tilapia c) Which areas for the Red Claws ? The outside 57 x 8 x 0.8m deepwater growdeds with duckweed will also used for red Claw Craysfish. And if we have cleared all doubts we also will have Red Claws inside under the floating rafts. d) I do not see a water flow diagram - Inlets / outlets / sumps / pumps ? Diagrams are by an engineer in the Netherlands because we thought already big but somehow it seems we still didn't think big enough ;-) he will sort that. Also he get the one pump idea out of our mind and made it min 6 and max 12 pumps. safes half of the calculated energy. Big is obviously not always efficient.. e) I do not see any filtration ? Filtration: The heart piece is a 4 x 2.5 m 50 micron self rotating drum filter. But also that is in planning and awaiting approval from holland. 80- 100 kg Poop per day is a number that could create an side market nicely packed in 5 Kg boxes.. (the Lad in Indonesia sells all to Parks and gardens in Jakarta) d) Do you plan additional aeration ? After the water left the ebb flood grow beds all deep water grow beds, fish tanks, sumps will be aerated by using blower and also a special system for the duckweed tanks has been developed to give the crays oxygen but doesn't disturb the on water movements sensible Duckweed, which has a potential market here in Thailand but more will be used to split the expenses for fish food to over a half.. I have to say thanks you for any question you have and doubt you raise.. Also Aufin's suggestions are much appreciated, here in the forum we can sort things that might lead into a disaster if overlooked or ignored.. I am happy that a few are interested and bring up some good points..
  7. Would't an iAV taking too much space and as far I can see the amount of solids we produce will be better caught out by using a pure mechanical Filter like a self driven drum filter like our friends in Malayisa do?
  8. Yes mate, its still another 2 years to go and we are by now in a medium paper and pencil stage for the planning. Also my family needs to get off their rice farmers thinking and we are due to modify our test system. We also have modified our drawing after did a visit to a same size farms in Indonesia and Malaysia. From the fish tanks the first filter will be a 4m x 2.5m, 50micron drum filter. The amount of solids is about 80Kg per day hence a side market for bio fertilizer. from the drum filter it goes to the sump and from there to the 25 x 5 cbm gravel beds.. The guy in Indonesia did some smart designs to assure that the gravel beds this size will run off proper. Also we have dropped the idea with one pump as a beast that size is hard to control, we use them offshore for jetting things into the ground. 12 small pumps will use less energy and each grow bed can be individually switched off. From the gravel beds we use gravity to get through the deep water grow beds. You are right, the piping is pretty huge but we split them into a suitable size. 5x 150 mm from the grow beds to the fish tanks. the outside grow beds are doubled now, hence instead of 12 they are 6 of 8 x 57m (they will only be for Duckweed production and Crayfish below) We also have the plans to put red claws into the deepwater beds as they do an outstanding job maintaining the roots. We experienced that the salads grow much better and faster when the black roots are clipped out. But still this is a test stage and we will see which plants they will may be eat in whole.. Here a quick made shematic how we see our plumping.. The originals are in the Netherlands for check and too big to attach all.. Just don't mind the one pump and air blower beside the drum filter. There will be about 6-12 in each system.
  9. Hi all since 4 weeks i do my math about a bell siphon (I know there are posts but it's about size and mathematics here) Anyone can help? This was till now my best shot regarding gravel bed volume, pump capacity, flow rate by pipe diameter Cheers to anyone who knows the stuff.. Will
  10. Cheers ande, I have put a lot of work already into it and the challenge is still on. But the maintenance and the fruits are by now mainly in my wife's hand. I am spending a lot of time working offshore to cover the financial side for my for 2020 planned commercial systems (see my post under commercial aquaponics). So I do not touch my pension savings. 10000 sqm is a lot of investment to do and I want to be prepared. But since start of our backyard system my Thai wife is loving this and I am barely allowed to touch HER plants and veggies. But when it comes to engineering its my call, she googles and I build. Therefore I gets sometime treated by some nice dinner like Thai Style Red Claw Crayfish.. But also these gourmet treats are mostly cooked and eaten with her friends and family when I enjoy some usual food on the ship.
  11. Hi Joe I hope all is good and you recover well. This post is not meaning to this form but its in general in all forums related to aquaponics the same phenomenon. They are silent and almost any news comes up. I had the feeling that many did not continue after they might have some downfall, invested for nothing and so on. Aquaponics is serious work and it is often mentioned it demands almost no time. It demands as much time as your common house garden and also you need to upkeep your equipment and livestock. Pumps are not made forever and off cause all 2-3 years the old one is worn out and needs a new one while a shuffle and spade does with for 10 years and longer. I don't see much enthusiasm anymore in the forums, people are not posting anymore about their systems. I have just made the plan to knock down my pipe system and build a 9m long deep-water grow bed. That was also a lesson learned, the pump fails over night and not when you stand aside of it and your salad is dead in 2-3 hrs. We had some restarts with plants and came now to the conclusion, that can better. For many might such experiences have been the end of the path but a word to all. New things need development before they work and sometimes it is just better to give something up and start all over again. That was before and when I return from my offshore job it will be taken apart and... see below this will be the new step after our lessons are learned. ..and there were Crayfish all over the place, another lesson learned so my wife went to the hydraulic shop and made a first idea to stop these little Bastrds escaping through every filter an pump. 50 micron catcher will do it ;-). That is the idea of a 6 years Thai school and her growing love to the aquaponics. A little rice farmer's daughter doesn't give up and I am proud of her. (Using paintbox was my idea as auto-cad would nobody understand in my family) Last word: Don't give up, the future is in your backyard, needs just a bit more development. Cheers Will
  12. Hello all, I have experienced that the replies on all forums are very limited (not only here) and this gives me the feeling that many enthusiasts have given up their systems or running it on low fuel meaning that its just there behind the house, equipment broke down, worn out or the system has never been started as it supposed to be. Is this only my opinion or do others experience the same thing. May be other forums are still active but this and another one is in my eyes the biggest and most informative in the www. So why its getting everywhere quiet?
  13. Thanks Toga, here we go, at least one reply and negative experiences were made. I will not stop experimenting and see If I was only lucky because they didn't like the plants I put in and preferred their home cooked pellets from Duckweed, Soy, Carrots and Tilapia (head, scales, bones guts). As long I do it in my test farm in my backyard it isn't a disaster. And when I go commercial I always keep them contained in the Duckweed grow beds where I want to produce their food. May be safes me producing the food at all ;-) btw, I have made with Duckweed the experience that Tilapia grows much faster than without Duckweed in the mix. Lucky here in Thailand Duckweed grows like mad and I can keep up with the production I need (40% in my Fish Food, the rest Eggs, low quality veggies and Tilapia parts added with some fish garbage from the local fish market, (cooked off cause)
  14. they are looking great and sure juicy, please let us know how they taste compared to soil grown ones. I gave some imported peppers a try but most of my 'immigrated' chilies (beside the Thai ones) had no fire at all, the taste was blunt and waterish.
  15. Hi Johnny, I have started over 5 years ago with a trial system and also learned a lot of lessons. Check my post. I have still 2 years more before I am going fully commercial and still there are many questions like. Growing fish is "just" breaking even,, waste management,,, Deepwater Grow beds, making them deeper as usual and grow red claw crayfish in them... fruit trees in huge dutch buckets... swapping tropical seeds from other countries might create a market niece... and so on and on... Also I am looking for more answers which I think to know, but may be they are just not right..