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PostPosted: Dec 14th, '11, 20:34 
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Hi community! I have read a lot about all your systems and troubles and learned (or so i think) one or the other thing.
As the little colorful paper notes get rarer with the day, and costs only skyrocket, the step to AP was/is/should be a logical one.
I have started on own business together with a partner and now, just a year old, we can see it'll go somewhere but it's not quite enough yet. Hence my thought on doing something rewarding in the garden and getting as much out of it as possible ;-)

I have had troubles with the 'discarding'-society back in good ol' europe, and i have to say it's not any better here in asia. So i made it my goal to build this aquaponics system for free or nearly free, to prove a point. Even if it doesn't come accross. :think:
Until now i have spent 2 weeks collecting material and i have spent about 1.70 $ on tubing. I still consider this 'inside the boundries of the plan' ;-)

I have seen quite a nice indoor setup on http://www.windowfarms.org and their vertical design intrigued me, as space is not an abundance where i stay at the moment.

Anyhow, below you find some images of a first test-run. I wanted to know "if-possible" with the small pumps i had left-over from fish tanks, but except some finetuning it makes a good first impression.

The drain and overflow will be changed, as the bamboo already leaks and i need a better waterflow through the first filter tank.

Hoping for great input! Thanks in advance!


8

P.S.: i will put the images in another post. it seems to log me out when i try to attach them...


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PostPosted: Dec 14th, '11, 21:32 
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The images are not the nicest ones and the angle is crappy. But to my defense, i was taking with laptop and webcam, while trying not to stumble over the work-left-overs ;-)

As mentioned before, i will improve the drainage and the overflow in the 'sump' but it has to go with the plan.... Free or nearly free

I will use local guppy's to cramp the tanks. I had them for years and they seem to adapt to very condition and they reproduce like rabbits ;-). Plus, they eat plants and small moskito larvae - both will naturally occur in the FT after some time. You can catch them in every smaller flowing water around here, so it seemed convenient.

Growing media will be coconut hairs in little plastic cups that fit perfectly in the bottles.

Now i read somewhere here in the forum that there have been try's with banana skin in the growing media to add iron to the system. Does this work?
I would realy hope so, as the island where i stay is pretty limited in terms of availability of stuff...
And i gotta stick to the 0$ plan :thumbright:

When i expand the fishtank later i will raise some fish one can actually eat :headbang:

Until now i only convinced my GF that it could work but i hope to 'plant the seed' with my neighbors and friends too.


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PostPosted: Dec 14th, '11, 22:09 
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Welcome to the forum, nice to see another system in TL.
Some comments:
You may find coco coir is too wet, I am trialling a similar system right now, though horizontal in bamboo, tomatoes seem fine but the lettuce seedlings all died.
I may have planted the out too soon though, have another batch on the way.

Your transparent tubing will clog within weeks with algae, becomes high maintenance, been there done that as they say.

Banana skins add potassium, not iron, but P is good too.
If your PH is high, adding some chelated iron with help with iron take up, symptoms are yellowing leaves.

Good luck.

Dui.

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PostPosted: Dec 14th, '11, 23:26 
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Welcome Bender!

I'm fiddling with vertical bottle setups too, ran out of warm weather this year though. Hope to continue with it in the Spring:
viewtopic.php?p=295596#p295596

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PostPosted: Dec 14th, '11, 23:54 
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Your transparent tubing will clog within weeks with algae, becomes high maintenance, been there done that as they say.


Cheers Dui! But it was the only pipe i could get here in this diameter. Popping over to Surat-thani for some pipe is not an option.
For now i reckon the little maintenance (20 plants it'll be) is justified.
I was originaly looking for black or green pipe but even the aquarium stores are shitty stocked down here, and you have had your own experience with 'next-year-delivery' :D
As soon as i produce the smallest leaf of groceries i will have access to the 'family funds' and we will get a proper system running. At least thats the plan. In the end it should save the trip to the market ;-)
Additionally i might get some ducks if i can persuade my landlord to dig a pond ;-)
I just love ducks, and the eggs are more tasty than chicken ones.
Also i have Oyster mushrooms growing in my bathroom.

So the AP was the only way to coninue, as the land here was filled up with some sort of clay-like sand that does not realy like plants. At least not the ones you can eat.

I will probably move up to Chiang Mai beginning next year and already dream about setups that keep the temperature. haha

Surprises me that not more AP is coming from Thailand, as every second person seems to have a fishfarm and to study hydroponics, but let's see.
I hope the small system works, as it could catch on and i love to ruin tesco's daily balance :headbang:

As for the coconut hairs: i have had the opportunity to tour 2 backyard setups in france and they utilised the coco in growbeds and vertical layouts with good outcome.
Plus i'm a little stuborn ;-) and have to try it. I want to prove you can make AP from garbage and the poorest could have it!

Thx for the pottasium tip! You don't know by accident a source of phosphor too do you ;-)

Plus, i have unconfirmed informations that the salt level in the system can be raised permamently if the oxygen saturation is near max. The guy is somewhat a guru for hydroponics and wants 3500 Euro for the course and the book so i think that comes later :notworthy:
Did catch a glimpse at his 'aerater' though and i will try to copy the construction.

P.S.: Thx for the welcome! i intend to stay :cheers:


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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '11, 00:03 
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@dave:
wow. cool idea. i might gonna borrow it in the future as i also prefer to go upwards instead of limiting the process to the growing beds.
Indoors it did help a lot to line the floor with silver foil, then you can stack them even tighter as the shade area gets drasticly minimized.


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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '11, 00:13 
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You might try to cover the pipe somehow, with some tape maybe.
Sunlight causes the algae to grow, once it starts in those small diameter pipes it just blocks it, completely.
I think AP could be huge here, esp. in the poorer, much drier NE (where I built my 8k litre system)
CM is exceptionally well irrigated with klongs and waterways, so the benefit is so not great up here.

I will also persevere with coco coir and bamboo, because it's almost free.

Be careful what hydro people say, they almost certainly don't know what's good for the fish...
Not saying this guy doesn't, just beware :)

I also have some mushrooms growing under my computer desk, Shitake, or Hed Hom in Thai, just as an experiment.

Ducks are also on my list, was in the local pet shop the other day buying seeds and they had some babies for 40 baht each, but someone else had already got dibs on them.

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '11, 01:50 
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haha. speaking about dibs - they're selling a wild baby hog down at my local gas station - but as mentioned - i was too late :shock:

ducks are about 150 a piece here, but min. 4 months old. My old neighbor had some really nice ones (white with grey bands over the wings) all of which popped out an egg a day.
I will ask him for the thai name of the buggers ;-)

I know veggies and most fish are dirt-cheap in CM but it's different intentions.
I don't worry to much about setting up business with this, more to have my own home grown stuff (which is soooo rewarding).

As for the hydro guy... i won't believe a word until i have seen it. The other AP growers i met in france have had contact with this 'guru' and recommend him. But before paying that amount i need a lot of mistrials, dead fish and plants and probably some sort of disaster to be persuaded. :lol:

i will probably ending up covering the pipe, but i still try to figure another solution.
The pipe mainly serves the purpose of not having dripping water on top of young plants - as i intend to raise from seeds and i was strongly advised to take care of this matter.

Then again - the whole system should be composable (for most parts) from common household garbage/waste [ the possible "eco" side will give the small system another [+] argument, i hope ]
I thought this as a way to raise peoples awareness that everybody can do it! And of course that i might save money myself while testing 8)

I have always had fish (never saltwater tanks, but lots of fresh), and even did breed some tropic fish for sale back in europe. Taking care of them comes naturally to me - don't ask me why. But i never had a green thumb.
Finally i might be able to compensate :cheers: i love AP!!!

There was a lot of learning for me over the past months (and there will he heaps more). As there was and is probably for a lot of you. But this is so interesting, i'm molesting my surroundings with it i was told ;-)
haha i don't even realise. can't hide the excitement, it seems to much like a 'holy grail'

@Dui:
Get your mushrooms next to your sink or in the bathroom and you won't believe your eyes. I don't remember exactly how much but even shitake love 60-80% humidity. Try to stay below 80 - as far as this is possible on purpose, otherwise you'll attract things like green wood mould and other nasties.
To much water can't be done as the shroom will only take what it needs, just humidity should be monitored. I have great results spraying my packets with water 3-5 times a day (placed in the far corner of the bathroom on a rost for air circulation). I reckon i pick between 200 to 400 gr every 2 days from about ten 1 kilo packs. Supposedly they last 8 months but i'm not sure if it'll last so long with this growth-rate.
I have seen your bamboo trays (nice house - no neighbors in sight ;-) ) - how long do you have it in use yet? Real question is: Does it show signs of degrading / mold being constantly in contact with water? Got a lot of that stuff growing not far from the house and thought about utilising it but i have concerns about the period it'll last...


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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '11, 10:29 
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83ND3R wrote:
Real question is: Does it show signs of degrading / mold being constantly in contact with water? Got a lot of that stuff growing not far from the house and thought about utilising it but i have concerns about the period it'll last...


Not been using it for long enough to know that.
If it lasts a year, I'll be happy, I wouldn't use it anywhere in the system where it was a lot of work to change it, if this fails, I just replace it.
I know Mae Jo Uni use it in their Hydro Unit.

Thanks for the shroom tips, first time growing for me.



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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '11, 13:27 
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interesting. they seem to have cut open hole sections or to and fitted the plants on small trays 6-8 at a time from what i can see.
My girl just tells me she still has friends there, so will try to get more info about this. Do they only do hydro or AP too? Well i might figure that out, but thanks a million for the tip ;-)

I have seen a couple of projects with 'farrang' input (marine biology, farming, etc.) where they get into co-ops with local schools or universities. 'Farm-schooling' is big here anyway, maybe 'back to school'? If they give an ED visa for this too, i'd like to try.


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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '11, 13:37 
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My neighbour in the last house was studying hydro at that Uni.
I though she would take a huge interest in the AP system, but other than a quick first look, wasn't remotely interested, odd I thought.
She was also supposed to take me to the open day, but never showed up.
A tie up with the Uni could have proved very useful, but there we go.

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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '11, 16:49 
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ha. i can imagine. but studying is mostly enough for 'em ;-)
Sanuk is more important!!!

Little setback. I was cutting flow regulators from bamboo to insert into the pipes and cut myself on the stuff like i never did before. Who thinks paper is mean has never tried bamboo.
My neighbor reckons stitches - i try to convince him that duct-tape is a surgical tool ;-)

Anyhow, i don't really want to play with warm water here with open wounds so this forces a break on me...
I will check back with updates and pictures.


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PostPosted: Dec 15th, '11, 19:51 
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Bah...
Duct tape, dip it in PVA, wait 10 minutes, job's a good 'un.

Hope it repairs itself soon mate.

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