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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '12, 07:12 
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System spec.
10 lined earth ponds (8000L each) up to 2 tonnes of fish x year (mainly trout, will try perch,carp,eel,catfish)
4 Polytunnel (30x5m) = Ebb'n flow 140sqm + DWC 3200 holes
2 Polytunnel (30x5m) NFT = 2400 holes
CHIFT PIST 2 style


We are building a small aquaponic farm and the first quarter of the project has been done and next summer will begin expansion in stages, to give time to the bacteria colony and the whole system to establish as we go, also giving us time to study the local market and preferences.
We are using certified organic trout feed and seeds in our system and rooting coconut sponge plugs for propagation of DWC and NFT.

I'm a private events chef and my aim is to serve my clients with food that is herbicide and peticide free, mostly produced on the farm, other clients will be a few local restaurants, the neighbourhood, and farmers markets as a way to market the business. I've previously run a trial system for over a year in my back garden in London and that convinced me of the great potential Aquaponics can bring as an alternative to current farming systems.

At the moment I'm finishing to adjust the syphons and some leaking pipes, the electrician is coming tomorrow and soon we are ready to turn the system on, the water has cycled over a month ago when we had to start filling the sump and the DWC.

The second phase of the farm upgrade will be aimed at self sufficiency, 4Kw solar panel for the electricity and hatching facility.
Unfortunately we will rely on fish feed that is commercially manufactured as it will be impossible to try make trout food on a small farm situated inland.

Current cold weather conditions are not particularly favourable for starting up a new system...down to 2'c at night..

update coming soon...


Attachments:
File comment: water distribution system, INDEX VALVE to fill 2 GB simultaneously.
DSC04226.JPG
DSC04226.JPG [ 160.3 KiB | Viewed 11637 times ]
File comment: 12 GB (4x8ft)
DSC04233.JPG
DSC04233.JPG [ 153.13 KiB | Viewed 11637 times ]
File comment: the first section where the holes are closer it is a sump and an aereoponic system combined
DSC04218.JPG
DSC04218.JPG [ 107.06 KiB | Viewed 11637 times ]

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '12, 08:01 
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:thumbleft: Very cool, the biggest problem I keep hearing from people who have never had a commercial system but are convinced they are not ecconomically viable is that it is difficult to find a market that will pay a high enough price for the produce to make a profit when competing wth tradtional agriculture. By using your industry experience and contacts to develope a niche market where quality, freshness, organic/chemical free, and low food miles are valued you have overcome this, and by value adding your own products you make the venture even more viable.

I have a feelin you will be very successful :flower:

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '12, 08:43 
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Very neat and tidy guys, I wish you all the best :headbang:

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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '12, 18:31 
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Hello Bio

Looking very good indeed, everything nicely laid out and accessible. You have obviously worked very hard and invested a lot of the folding stuff. We will all look forward to seeing the fruits of your labour next year.

Interesting your mentioning eels as we know there is a market for them with the Chinese community especially live eels but getting hold of the elvers has proved difficult and expensive.


How many pumps have you got working on the system at the moment and what wattage are they?

From speaking to people that come to us and from reading entries on this site the South West of England is going to be the engine room of aquaponics in the UK. Hooray.

WD and OH.

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PostPosted: Nov 19th, '12, 07:41 
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Thanks guys,
Phill, there are two pumps (400w=20000Lxhr)
one is in the fish rearing sump on a repeat cycle timer 3 min ON and 7 min OFF,
and the other one is in the aereoponic/sump at the end of the DWC raceway, controlled by float switch and It does only work 10 min x Hr, so my estimation is that I will use 200W x hr in average.
Eels...well it's hard but not impossible, smoked Eel market price is about £70x KG, here I'm surrounded by water courses, stream,rivers,lakes and ponds, let's see..
I've been working 12 hr today with the electrician to get everything done and tomorrow I will post some pics with more detail.
CIAO

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PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 05:35 
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everywhere it's flooded, gale force wind are testing the strenght of the structure, part of england it's a flood zone and it'a challenging situation, the pond I've digged are full of water and I now have to change the plan, we are using 10x 8000lt tanks for the fish instead of earth ponds, it's too risky have them at ground level, plus I need to dig trenches all around the greenhouse to let the water flow away for now, later I will fit rain gutter all along the lenght of the polyhouse linked to 16 IBC to harvest rain water for system top up's.
the sump at ground level now needs to be poured with concrete as the liner comes up when the water table raise, this is all experience from living ina new place with little local knowledge, lukly it can be sorted out now before the system will be live. photos of the floods will be follow soon...

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PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 06:28 
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Live and learn is one of the best lessons of life. All looks good and will be interested in your new photos. Good luck with the weather.

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PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 12:17 
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wow thats one cool setup, success for you :)

about eels, i think in chinese markets it is rice paddy eel, while europe is the "unagi" eel or the seawater eel(they do come to rivers to mate or something)

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 Post subject: The great flood
PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 18:14 
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This morning the field was still very watery, temp down to -2 and a lot more work to be done.


Attachments:
File comment: the floating liner is the submerged sump!!
DSC04242.JPG
DSC04242.JPG [ 138.89 KiB | Viewed 11487 times ]
File comment: threnches to go all around the polyhouse filled with gravel.
DSC04244.JPG
DSC04244.JPG [ 215.27 KiB | Viewed 11487 times ]

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PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 18:24 
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Gee... a fish and a leaf. Thats original. :think:

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PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 18:28 
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Be fair Charlie. Bioaquafarm isn't the only member to use a fish and a leaf as their avatar.

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PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 19:57 
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Charlie
I think aquaponics should be a whole comunity under one logo if we have to be united in this quest, and it appear to me that in the worldwide aquaponic comunity there is a lot of contraddictive mentality, that would seems to be leading to unnecessari competition, and that is equal to a non proactive thinking, possibly a constructive comment could help.

1)If I had to be original I would do other than farming methods from ancient Aztec.
2)In my opinion branding food or companies it's a corporation mentality.
3)I've attached the full logo for your information


REMINDER; Quality nutricious food does not carry a label!


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PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 20:45 
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Alright, alright just being a smart ass no need to get excited people :D

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PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '12, 23:52 
Hi.... don't understand your system... system flow....

You say

bioaquafarm wrote:
System spec.
10 lined earth ponds (8000L each) up to 2 tonnes of fish x year (mainly trout, will try perch,carp,eel,catfish)
4 Polytunnel (30x5m) = Ebb'n flow 140sqm + DWC 3200 holes
2 Polytunnel (30x5m) NFT = 2400 holes
CHIFT PIST 2 style
....
At the moment I'm finishing to adjust the syphons ....


And that you're using an "indexing valve"...

bioaquafarm wrote:
Thanks guys,
Phill, there are two pumps (400w=20000Lxhr)
one is in the fish rearing sump on a repeat cycle timer 3 min ON and 7 min OFF,
and the other one is in the aereoponic/sump at the end of the DWC raceway, controlled by float switch and It does only work 10 min x Hr, so my estimation is that I will use 200W x hr in average.

I don't understand how/why you're using a timer/timed pump configuration.... with Chift Pist 2... and siphons.... and/or an indexing valve...

And what sort of indexing valve are you using???


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PostPosted: Nov 24th, '12, 05:33 
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Hi Bio#

Not that it is any comfort but we are in the same position as you with the weather. The whole of our large "Aquadrome" has been flooded as water off of the top field has washed through bringing mud and grass into the building. We have managed to clear most of it out today. The increased wet in the building has lowered the insulation resistance of some cable causing the sensitive RCD' to trip. We have managed to sort that out and replaced one run of cable.

One reservoir in the small greenhouse is totally submerged and the submersible pump is just pumping flood water round the lettuce. Thank goodness it is a hydroponic system in there or the fish would have disappeared over the fields.The winter lettuce seem to be OK. I think it will take a week or more for the flood water to flow away completely and fingers crossed it does not rain too much this weekend.

It will all be a bad memory in 6 months time when we have a hosepipe ban again.

WD and OH

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