Zak

DWC Virgin (Philippines)

17 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hello to all and greetings from El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines. 

I am completely new to aquaponics but have jumped right in at the deep end and am in the process of building a small 70sqm greenhouse in which I aim to produce 2000 heads of assorted lettuce each month in a DWC system. 

I have done a fair bit of research over the past year but now its crunch time with the main construction almost complete so I am probably going to have a lot if silly questions concerning plumbing and aeration real soon. 

I do hope that you guys can me in my quest to feed-the-need in El Nido. 

Heres a photo of my earthbag build so far and theres another of my local beach so you know who I am and where I am. 

I very much look forward to being a part of your community 

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Edited by Zak
Typos (see edit history)
bigdaddy likes this

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Zak, welcome. Looks like a great build. I look forward to lots of updates on your progress. 

Zak likes this

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Hi Zak

Welcome to APN/HQ

Nice pics thanks for sharing :)

cheers

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So, the shade cloth is fitted to the south facing roof as is the ventilation / mozzie screen. Just need to tidy that up this week then onto the dreaded plumbing. 

Heres a couple of updated photos. Whilst I am here I should explain how the set up is 'supposed' to work. 

There are 4 fishtanks of approximately 2 cubic metres apiece. 

There will be 2 x 1" venturi attached to each, taking all the fish waste collectively via a 3" pipe to a radial flow filter which is around 1 cubic metre. The overflow from the radial flow filter will then drop into the sump which is the whole length of the greenhouse and will contain filter screen and airstones to hopefully ensure that once the water gets from end 'a' to end 'b' the remaining suspended solids have either been caught or have settled. 

The 16,000 litre per hour pump will then send water back to the fish (2 x 1" per tank) and also to the growbeds, of which there are 3 rows, each row consisting of enough space for 4 pieces of 4' x 8' floating styro. 

Each of the pieces of styro will receive fresh water from the pump via 2 x 1" taps and the overflow from each row will run into the next row for added water movement. 

Each row will be home to 12 airstones and each fish tank with 2 airstones. 

As for flow rates I am not that far yet but will plumb everything with ball-valves to make adjustable. 

Please let me know if there are any major flaws in this system. I really appreciate the help. 

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Jcnielsen4 and ande like this

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Hi Zak, and welcome to APN,

Just a question,

I'm looking at your sand bagging and can see how you can access your right hand side ank middle right tanks for cleaning and maintenance,but how can you access the left hand side tanks?

Cheers.

 

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Thanks for the welcome, bigdaddy and well obseved re:- the build. 

Unfortunately I had an issue with space, width in particular. Therefore I opted to do away with walkways on the left side. What I will do is make a kind of L shaped platform which if you turn the L 90 degrees it becomes a kind of step/platform to give me something to balance on, if that makes sense. 

I am in the Philippines and the people are a little bit smaller than me so it will be a breeze for them to pick the crop. However, since opening this thread I have been advised by the village headman that I cannot plumb into their water mains for such an 'alien bizzare' project so my aquaponics farm is currently only ponics and zero aqua!!

I have just taken deliver of a 16000l/hr pump so I may have to fill the thing (20 cubic approx) direct from the river and just buy a 300m hose. Hahaha

The nursery will be finished tomorrow and the electrics/plumbing in the greenhouse also, so will be sure to post some fresh pics. Heres the nursery this far....... Not pretty but a few nuts to tighten and she'll be good to go

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Hi Zak

 

7 hours ago, Zak said:

However, since opening this thread I have been advised by the village headman that I cannot plumb into their water mains for such an 'alien bizzare' project so my aquaponics farm is currently only ponics and zero aqua!!

I have just taken deliver of a 16000l/hr pump so I may have to fill the thing (20 cubic approx) direct from the river and just buy a 300m hose. Hahaha

It's not unique to your area with regulations against hooking up a aquaculture (or other agri/industrial facilities) to the mains suply.

Also it's common with regulations on how to hook up the AQ-unit to prevent crosscontamination (phatogens virus etc) of production- vs drinking- water if you are hooked up on the mains.

Given the size or volume of your system (small) I would go in a dialouge to get a permit still.

You will need a relyeable water source for topup, cleaning, processing, emegency etc. (aside from filling it up to start with)

Filling up direct from the river might work, however it can cause big trouble without pre-treatement (phatogens/metals/nitrogen/etc.)

So before deciding you have to check up on the quality of your source water (regardless of source)

A solution for first fill around here (Norway) for some filling up their ponds/pools etc. the first time,, have been renting the local fire department to truck in water from a good quality source.

Cheaper than using the mains (drinking water) and without chlorin/cloramin.

https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/AS/AS-486.pdf

Good luck with your system :thumbsu:

 

cheers

 

 

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Thanks for the feedback, Andre. 

I believe that most of the water in the river is rainfall from the rainforest nearby. However there is - as you rightly pointed out - a chance of there being some nasties in the mix too. Theres a few rice paddies nearby and pretty sure these farmers are using all kinds of Monsanto junk to spray their crops. Maybe a little splash of swimming pool chlorine may do the trick prior to cycling the system. 

I would have thought what this onld man is drinking would be pretty good stuff. Seems to have served him well for 1000 years!!

maybe an additional 1km of hose tapped into the waterfall at the top of the mountain gravity feeding me opposed to scraping the bottom of the barrel in the river??

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Jcnielsen4 likes this

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Fish itching to get out of the pond and into the tanks. 2" now!

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Ok so a couple of updated photos. The electrics are done, the plumbing is done. My main reservation is the venturi's from the fish tanks (25mm) attached to reversed reducers into 63mm to get to the radial flow filter. 

Pond liners to go then drilling/fitting the styro rafts then its just the pump and air to plumb in. 

The nursery is filling up. 500 seeds planted, mainly herbs and lettuce. Another 500 over the next few days and hopimg that a fish free cycle will take less than 3 weeks in the warm weather. 

More to come shortly..

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So, finally managed to get some water. To the tune of 5 trucks and $250 USD!!!

All tge styro is now in place as are both the water pump and air pumps, and everything appears to be functioning as it should. 

One slight problem. Although there are no leaks I appear to be having to top up the sump with 200 litres a day. In a 20,000 litre system this represents 1%. 

Is that an average number of evaporation to expect bearing in mind we're in the heat of the summer?

I have sealed the small plumbing leaks, but I still have a few gaps between the growbed walls and the styro to plug but any other suggestions on how to reduce loss would be greatly appreciated. 

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bigdaddy and ande like this

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Hi Zak

 

On 23.2.2017 at 1:20 AM, Zak said:

One slight problem. Although there are no leaks I appear to be having to top up the sump with 200 litres a day. In a 20,000 litre system this represents 1%. 

Is that an average number of evaporation to expect bearing in mind we're in the heat of the summer?

I have sealed the small plumbing leaks, but I still have a few gaps between the growbed walls and the styro to plug but any other suggestions on how to reduce loss would be greatly appreciated. 

 

1-3% is an average number, so you are on the low side :notfair:

cheers

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So here we go. Baby seedling transferred after two weeks to the main arena. 

Ammonia dropping, nitrites at 5ppm and nitrates off the chart. Might be a bit too much for such young seedlings. Lets wait and see. 

Thanks for the feedback about the water levels. I think I have got it down to below 1% loss now. Just plugged a few exposed holes up. 

Having trouble with heat though. Two layers of shade cloth not doing much. May need a third layer or an air conditioner!

any thoughts on a couple of tomatoes in the centre of each growbed to add a bit of cover?

also iron. Some leaves are yellowing a little. I though deep water well / river water would have enough to see me through a month or so but looks like its not happening. Chelate hard to come by here. Any ideas for substitutes would be very welcome. 

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Is anyone aware of any pharmaceutical alternatives to chelated iron?

its hard to find here and naturally looking for a quick fix before everything turns yellow. 

Maybe iron supplements for humans will work if its ferrous, right?

 

thanks

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Posted (edited)

On 06/03/2017 at 6:31 PM, Zak said:

Ammonia dropping, nitrites at 5ppm and nitrates off the chart.

Hi Zak,

I would of expected the readings to be the other way around.

The ammonia dropping makes sense and is how I would expect your cycling phase to be at this stage. I would of expected The Nitrites to be off the charts and the Nitrates to be at 5.

If your nitrites are off the charts. I would do nothing ATM and they should come down soon. I'm not aware of high nitrites effecting your plants, so just be patient and do nothing apart from daily testing and logging.

If your nitrates are off the charts and your ammonia and nitrites are at 5 you are further along the cycling stage but you still have not fully cycled, It's not until both the ammonia and nitrites get to 0 you have fully cycled. To lower the nitrates, I would plant more plants if you can so they can feed off the nitrates and lower them in your system.

BTW what is your pH reading and tank temps?

Cheers.

Edited by bigdaddy (see edit history)

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Hi Zak

 

14 hours ago, Zak said:

Is anyone aware of any pharmaceutical alternatives to chelated iron?

its hard to find here and naturally looking for a quick fix before everything turns yellow. 

Maybe iron supplements for humans will work if its ferrous, right?

 

thanks

Maybe you can get it here http://aquaponicsphilippines.com/

Or try to connect (PM) with some other APN forum members in the Philippines http://aquaponicsnation.com/forums/search/?&type=core_members&joinedDate=any&group[9]=1&group[4]=1&group[11]=1&group[8]=1&group[3]=1&group[10]=1&group[6]=1&group[7]=1&core_pfield_12=philippines

Maybe you should make a new thread posting your  system in the "member system" sub forum, some members only visit spesific favorit areas and never look in "the welcome wagon" so you'll reach more members with your Q .

And/or post the Q in general discussion forum using chelated iron in the heading

I know this Q have been up for discussion earlyer but can't find the thread(s)

good luck

cheers

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