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PostPosted: Jul 12th, '16, 21:27 
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Hi all,

I was reading through many forums but this one seems one of two of the most informative and active one.

As written in my introduction I am an offshore worker and have background in family hydroponics from Holland and Germany.
This is Thailand and so it will be different. I had a backyard test farm of 120sqm that fed after 2 years a small village near Khon Kaen in Thailand but it got completely scrapped by our Buffalo 2 month ago.
Sure it was good for learning but also sure it was not big enough to gather all knowledge to go commerial.
So first of all i would love to Introduce here our plan and facilities in steps:

The family (Thai rural Farmers in Rice, Sugar and Rubber) is highly motivated build on the sucess with the test system. We have a reliable labour force of about 15 Family members in a spread from Farmer to Lawyer.

here the land provided by the Uncle:

https://www.google.co.th/maps/@12.65414 ... !1e3?hl=de

Any Comments positive and negative also hard critcis are highly appreciated as the are the ladder to sucess:
Phase 1 will be a test sytem of 1800 sqm greenhouse:

and some scratches made to heat up the discussions:



Each growbed will have 120cm x 1400cm x 40cm height = 5040 liter. Foget the pipes as all bed will be getting independent supply of water from the main tank.
BUT, piping is an issue for me, all tanks shall be supplied equally and the plumbing is a closed book for me.
We have no plumber in our family and also i am pretty bad in this direction. How to connect growbeds, sumps and fishtanks efficient is here the question.


And as above mentioned I have made a scratch about the plumbing. I am quite good in all kind of engineering but if it comes to plumbing, well I believe, the fish gets all chances to die when I put hands on plumbers jobs and calculations.
Here will be really help needed and highly appreciated.

Thank you all for any reply that helps me and my Family to get to sucess.

Willy


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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '16, 06:31 
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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '16, 08:01 
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Hey hoo,

who is good in plumbing and can bring some comments to it? I have my doubts that this will work or that this is the best way to go.

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will a main pipe bring the solution to fill all fish tanks equal so that all have the same flow rate?

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To put all Filters on the on a tower is my first Idea.. but when it comes to 6 Racks with each 7 x 5040 ltr througs I am looking by a good flow rate at a huge tower and pump.
If anybody has a good solution bring it on please.

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On the other hand, I like the storage space it will give me. Space is an issue, as a Greenhouse will cost, so the fish tanks (as we know Fish will only help to cover the expenses) will be placed under the racks with the deepwater troughs.

I guess these scratches will do for the first and hopefully some alarm bells are ringing.
A comment "what is this guy doing???"won't get much further but good and helpful comments are highly appreciated.

Cheers

Will


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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '16, 12:41 
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What do 1 through 8 and H1, H2, and T1 represent in the last drawing?


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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '16, 15:01 
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1-8 are the main fish tanks (planned for 6000ltr each, the only ones with cone bottom i found till now.) The 7 Grow Troughs are 5040 ltr each.

hatchery 1, hatchery 2 (9 x 2 different size aquariums is at the moment the plan)

and test fish tank 1 (for testing other fishes if suitable for business)..
these fish tanks will be connected to the system to avoid shocks by moving the lifestock..

only 2 quarantaine fish tanks, (not in the drawing) will be separated from the entire system, but the water from the system will be used to adapt eventualy "newcomers" from outside farms.


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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '16, 00:31 
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Your solution seems like a viable one but pumping that much water up to the second story and filtering it there is probably going to get pretty expensive. I would put the filters down low between the fish tanks and sump. You'd still need some form of distribution tank and you'd have to pump from the sump to this, You could just set the pipes to feed directly from the distribution box to each grow bed by setting them at an equal level to get equal flows. The Distribution box wouldn't have to be particularly large so the tower wouldn't have to be as strong.

I think the advantage of this is that all the water gets filtered but only the water that's going to the DWC gets pumped up. If you wanted to increase the flow through the fish tanks or add additional aeration to them without changing the flow through the DWC, you could run a line from the sump since the water has already been filtered (granted whether you can do this depends on how you're filtering your water).

How about an explanation of your filtration system?


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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '16, 12:48 
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Are the beds raised in an A Frame type system?

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My system setup so far.http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=22020


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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '16, 14:42 
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Quote:
Any Comments positive and negative also hard critics are highly appreciated as the are the ladder to sucess:

OK - my opinion is that this seems to be a very impractical way to go about any horticultural enterprise.
with due respect your pictures are basically ambitious sketch ups.

my disclaimer is that I have never set up a commercial aquaponics system. On the flip side I have been involved with water resourcing for a commercial scale horticultural enterprise whose aspirations and realities ended up being two entirely different things. And who are now progressing with a much more simplified pilot after significantly reviewing many facets of what they thought were great ideas.

The first question you need to answer IMO is what do you want to grow.
That will determine what your fundamental parameters are.

Second - is how can you grow it for a whole year / maximum amount of time to ensure maximum return.
what are your real greenhouse and sheltering requirements likely to be. Many temperate European options are probably not suited to tropical and sub-tropical conditions.

Third - is how can you grow max veg with the minimum amount of infrastructure - everything in your diagram looks to me like it is off the ground this requires a lot of engineering and support for circulating commercial volumes of water and media. Vegetable growing is about small returns - so minimizing establishment and operation costs.

Q1. Unless there is good reason why would you not base your operation at ground level.
The cost overheads would be significantly less.

Fourth is well represented in this forum (you need to read a lot of the threads as people have suggested).
A fully integrated mixing of fish and veg is utopian at best. It works good at backyard level but does not scale up. In many/most/all cases SEPARATING the fish and the veg operations is likely be much more effective.

In this way you run a fish operation with the best principles of aquaculture and you utilise the waste products as an input for your vegetable operations. You would never have all the tanks connected like shown because if you have any issue with one tank then it will quickly spread through your system and you will lose everything instead of just one portion.


Finally - it is most likely that your vegetable operations and fish operations will require volumes of water. This means having a quite considerable back up water supply. Most likely based around large volume water tanks or dams. So you would not have a second story option because it would simply be impractical. Most large tanks are 2m or so in height so you will get heaps of head working from that basis for a ground level based system. At worse you would elevate the tanks on a pad.


so all said and done you probably want to go something more like a multiple module ground based system. With tanks feeding filters , probably interim storage, and then maybe DWC or some quasi hydroponics like setup. As your staff are likely to be less technical, then duplicated systems are easier to manage and have lower risks than large single integrated systems.

Finally as a reality check - there is a high degree of risk in aquaculture. If you system has a heavy reliance on fish as an income then you will need to have people who have real experience/qualifications in tank based fish management.
There are lots of bankrupt aquaculture operations around the world.

the scale up lesson from a backyard AP forum is that many forum members have had fish kills and it upset their hobby....
scaled up such outcomes can send your broke.

Quote:
A comment "what is this guy doing???"won't get much further but good and helpful comments are highly appreciated.

I suspect that is why so few people have answered - 98% of members would be in the category of "what is this guy doing???"

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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '16, 20:30 
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Thanks Darren,

that are the answers I am waiting for and many are same in other forums after I kicked the stone loose.

1st. The idea with the water tower was as I made it in my 120sqm test farm and it is now the best crap i could design.

understood, saves lots of electrics and a solid made building, bunker style.

2nd. Thailand has a good climate that allows to grow the entire year. We started in our test farm with the usual stuff but after a while we used the test farm more to suitability and higher valued plants. We integrated cooling pads and started on in Thailand high expensive Import plants from Sweedes to Radish and after we gained control over the temperatures they did surprisingly well.
Even so well, that after little above 2 years we fed the entire Village with the products.

3rd. Yes, the low income of fish has to be under the plant rows and walking pathes also take a lot space in the greenhouse. I will stay for vertical dw beds as my test field was and hide all other stuff under there. My parents do this the same way with hydroponics in Ger-NL. Every sqare cm is used to grow not to walk or store.

4th the uncle of my wife grows Tilapia and shrimps in tanks for 2 higher class restaurants in relatively small amounts as side income. Just basic tanks from concrete and one circulation pump. he has a good eye and skills with his fishes and he will stop and join us for the fish.
his idea is 6 systems as in my other drawing above separated from each other. Fish will not be the main income, it is part of my wifes uncles and nephews income, the other families are farmers and go for the greenery.

last with a 1800sqm Greenhouse it is not a drama to start over again a few times.
You don't belive how hard these people were working in the dirt fields for in our point of view lousy pennies, we are talking about 50 - 180 Eur per month from 10 acres rice field 15 acre rubber plantage and sugar cane.
This gives me the joy of another challenge and for my family should it be possible in focus of investing labour to earn a same or better penny without wearing out the bones until they walking with bend backs as the grandparents do.
1800 sqm test farm is another milestone to archieve

last: Water supply. I got the land fro my wife's uncle and it had a quarry, because of the fact i am building my retirement spot there I wanted a fishing pond. This quarry is now 80 x 35 x 8 meters and it was almost impossible to empty it as we moved the dirt. the Ground water from the surrounding mountains is continously pushing cleanest water up. The quarry is literally thrieving with life as long we are visiting the place.

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Cheers for any futher comment

Will


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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '16, 20:40 
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The Concrete tower is already out of my mind and I'll bend my head over the system how i had it in the greenhose that got rampaged by my father in laws buffalo.

all down to the ground.. here as first scratch..
the dw beds will stay as vertical and all fish tanks under it..

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Cheers

Will


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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '16, 23:40 
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See Will wrote:
The Concrete tower is already out of my mind and I'll bend my head over the system how i had it in the greenhose that got rampaged by my father in laws buffalo.

all down to the ground.. here as first scratch..
the dw beds will stay as vertical and all fish tanks under it..

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Cheers

Will


Try doing some elevation drawings, with these top drawings, things will come into perspective for you.

First you said that FT's 1-8 were 6,000 lt each now they are 4,000 lt each.

""1-8 are the main fish tanks (planned for 6,000ltr each, the only ones with cone bottom i found till now.) The 7 Grow Troughs are 5040 ltr each.""

The drawing said that ""the dw beds will stay as vertical and all fish tanks under it.."" just what is dw and vertical mean??

What are you shooting for in the way of filtering how many tank volumes per day??


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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '16, 23:50 
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The swirl filter will work but a Radial Flow Filter might be a bit better at removing the solids. I don't think I'd use a sponge filter, I'd probably go with a pair of Static Upflow Filters for coarse and fine filtration just before the sump. These are basically just barrels filled with a thick layer of floating plastic media - The water comes up from below and goes through the media to exit. In the process the solids are either trapped or fall out to the bottom. To clean you lower the water level slightly (or block the outflow) and then aerate the media to release the solids while you drain. Ideally the solids from the Radial filter and the Static Upflow Filters would go to a Mineralizer of some sort and this would feed into the DWC after solids are broken down into usable plant nutrients.

The loop you've sketched will probably work but Darren mentioned setting up separate loops for the fish and plants, this is about control of the growing environment. If you have separate loops you can treat one or the other without causing as many problems between them, like killing the fish by some treatment you do to the plants or vice versa. You can run different flows and you can fertilize the plants separately from the fish because water doesn't return to the fish side. This requires additional filtration in the form of a biofilter for the fish side (a function that the bacteria along the trough in your DWC could perform if they were connected all the time). The biofiltration would be connected to the outflow from the Static Upflow Filters and then from the biofiltration the flow would go back to the fish tanks. A good choice for a biofilter would probably be a Moving Bed Biofilter aka Moving Bed Bioreactor (MBBF or MBBR). An MBBR is an aerated filter that uses floating media to grow bacteria on, it's pretty much self cleaning and requires minimal maintenance. On the plant side the flow would loop from the end of the DWC back around to the sump.

That's just one way to do the dual loop, you could also leave the flow between the two loops connected most of the time but make it so that they can be separated if needed. For this you'd need the option to direct the outflow from the biofilter either to the sump or the fish tanks. At the other end of the plants you'd need the option to direct the outflow either back to the sump or to the fish tanks.

It might also be beneficial to be able to isolate a tank of fish if you have to treat with antibiotics (this is something most people here don't deal with). If you don't isolate the tank, there is a good chance the antibiotics will cause problems for the bacteria that are needed to process ammonia.

As you add complexity the cost of the system goes up.

Now for my disclaimer - Very few people here run a dual loop system and I have never set one of these dual loop systems up. I'm pretty sure this is how to go about doing it but I could be totally wrong in places so it's strictly use this at your own risk. I'd expect some issues to crop up that need solving that no one here will be able to answer for certain but I'm sure that they can be solved (maybe not by us). Even though Static Upflow Filters and MBBR's are compact forms of filtration, I think your filtration may take up more space than you currently give it in relation to the other components so you may want to figure out how much you need for the number of fish you'll grow before everything else gets set in stone. You may find that the number of tanks goes down in order to fit more filtration.

Hope this makes sense but ask questions if you have any.


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PostPosted: Jul 19th, '16, 02:49 
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my opinion is that the fish should not be in the greenhouse at all.

I can see no reason for the fish not to be either outside under a shade setting and/or in some other building/structure. You have already said that the greenhouse priority is for the vegetation - and I think that is a fair outcome.

Particularly since you have already diminished the fish aspect in your initial plans to 'park it under the bench' so to speak, and in response to my first post with the Tilapia side as you describe it (which I see as completely appropriate because it is there today and it works). Why force this into 'inside' tanks when the local expertise is already there for a different style of setup.

Maybe you focus on how to utilise the waste water from these operations rather than forcing a small scale aquaponic fish side. Bring the fertilised waste water to a large holding tank outside the greenhouse for treatment and distribution.

on the greenhouse side:

Personally I don't see it is practical to grow everything under a DWC regime.
It may work at the home grown level but that does not make it efficient.

So maybe you are having 2-3 DWC channels along the lines of what DasBoot does (search 'Thailand' on this forum).
Then maybe you are looking at a quasi-hydroponic setup with something like bato buckets or even a channel fed media bucket system. You indicate European connections in this area so surely it would make sense to incorporate that aspect, presumably with some adaptive thinking (to which there are good ideas all over this forum).

In terms of root vegetables maybe you are looking at something else again.
It is hard for me to comment because here in Australia it would be just done in the ground on mounds - even under a greenhouse. But I suspect you follow some form of permaculture or perhaps a hybrid linear wicking bed.
Such methods would work in a labour supported system that may not be so easy in the first world.

In a simplistic sense I would see that each row would basically be a feed tank (not with fish, just water),
a linear run, and then a collection sump/container. Thus it can be isolated and managed independently.
In line with the workforce characteristics you then have people each managing their 'row'.

This is completely different to how a western setup would work, but IMO is more in line with how you would adapt an indigenous agarian population to a niche production enterprise.

The fish side needs to be its own component. Best put on the other side of the greenhouse wall.

the negative-positive about a large scale horticultural operation is that it moves into issues like waste management at scales that become problematic in a first world 'over regulated' sense. Primarily due to technology and labour costs. But in a 2nd world scenario such things can be extremely positive and open scope for things to be incorporated to re-use waste product (eg. feeding pigs, composted/manured to additional horticulture).

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Last edited by dlf_perth on Jul 19th, '16, 03:33, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Jul 19th, '16, 03:12 
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finally why would you bother with ' Sweedes to Radish' ?

even Australians (and NZ etc) don't eat such foods in high quantities, our situation has evolved very effectively to a predominantly salad and light vegetable diet - predominantly from a SE Asian influence that has a much higher dietary practicality than what is effectively the product of medieval European thinking.

I get that you might sell it to big spending Europeans as a niche market because they wont eat anything else, but I would see it as impractical as a diet for a local population who already has a very good and healthy cuisine that westernises very well.

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PostPosted: Jul 20th, '16, 03:34 
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Cheers Darren , Scotty, Old Prospector and Continuum.

I have first made up my mind up to get it down from the tower.

Filters and loops will be made in drawings as soon I have found out more also in the other forums and www research.
Sure very good opinions and many thanks for your time.

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here we go, just another few scratches inbetween and loong way not finished...

The loop idea and filters will sure follow.
Deepwater will be all grow beds as most Thai veggies and herbs plus the exclusive ones are grown that way and in phase 2 a greenhouse will follow where you will see grow beds.

My wife had found a supplier who has 6000 and 4000 ltr fish tanks, i like to stay for the 6000ltr as lower density solution.

Cheers all


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