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#1 andy

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 06:08 PM

Today I was out and about, looking around Battambang, and what was I to stumble across, a new fully setup aquaponic's study venture. I was on the other side of the fence! I managed to catch the attention of the students, and express my knowledge and interest.

Then I was told to meet one of them at the main gate, where I could go through security to be allowed inside.   

 

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What an interesting setup, clean and simple. grow beds and Nutrient film technique (NFT).

 

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The mature students where keen to show me their workings and findings of the system.

 

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Plant life I was shown, from seeding and variable stages of growth.

 

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seedlings just planted this morning in the NFT. I must say I was impressed at the root systems and growth. Very healthy vegetables.

 

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The fish where impressive, so clean and healthy. Housed in their 1000lts IBC.

The English of the students was fair! But I was glad my young lady came along. Any fine necessities in conversation where easily sorted.

Next week I have an appointment with the tutor in charge.    

 

 


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#2 Paul

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Posted 31 May 2016 - 08:09 PM

Next week I have an appointment with the tutor in charge.

 

Wiley rang me about this a couple of weeks ago.

 

We dropped by and looked at it one afternoon. But, it was too late to go inside. It appears to be separate systems, Andy. That is, aquaponics and hydroponics, if I am correct here? 

 

The head of that program is who Chan spoke with. He is the guy who told her about the 1000 liter IBCs over at the Thai-Cambodia Market over the border from Pailin. The guy who did the main part of the construction is the guy who will build ours. 

 

Take a look at the half barrel rack. I liked the design right away. Also, look at the steel frame covering the system. I didn't look close to see the welds. But, the general layout and design seems solid.


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#3 andy

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 01:30 PM

Wiley rang me about this a couple of weeks ago.

 

We dropped by and looked at it one afternoon. But, it was too late to go inside. It appears to be separate systems, Andy. That is, aquaponics and hydroponics, if I am correct here? 

 

 

It is a pity you did not have the time to have a close inspection of the basic system and its workings. I would ask why you would employ someone to build a system for you without inspecting their workmanship? As it is! the work is very good. Will he be building a copy of this system? Or a system to your specification and needs?

 

In answer to your question? yes it is two separate systems! Or would be, if the person in question had the knowledge to mix the additives of the correct quantities for the hydroponic system. (don't forget this is a prototype, a learning and study centre to say the least. I have the confidence they will do very well.  



#4 Oz Jon

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 01:43 PM

Very interesting - thanks for your input!

 

It certainly looks very neat and clean and professional looking.

 

You mentioned students. Is this a university backed project?

 

I don't know, but I suspect that this kind of thing has been done before overseas.#

 

If so, they could speed-up their learning curve by searching the academic literature.

 

 

#

certainly, hydroponics is well understood - my daughter ran a commercial hydroponics lettuce farm in NZ for more than a decade before selling it last year. (wanting a break from a 365 days a year business!)


Edited by Oz Jon, 01 June 2016 - 01:55 PM.

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#5 Paul

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 07:38 PM

I would ask why you would employ someone to build a system for you without inspecting their workmanship?

 

I wouldn't just do that. I should have said tenatively. However, most welding work I have seen here is quite suitable. Not to mention, this guy has set up other metal work for the school in the past. That is a good sign of his workmanship.

 

 

As it is! the work is very good. Will he be building a copy of this system? Or a system to your specification and needs?

 

No. My system was designed before this one was built. I am not going to go and change it now. Plus, ours will be 100% aquaponics. I don't want to introduce any fertilizers, even those known to be "organic", into my system. I want to make certain I know everything that is introduced to my system.

 

With that said, I do like the idea of how he constructed the support frame for the barrel ebb and flow system. Also, the same basic design, I think, perhaps with a gable roof instead, so I can collect rainwater from it, if necessary. (I doubt I will need to do so, though. The roof system for the house should provide ample water supply for my needs.)

 

 

You mentioned students. Is this a university backed project?

 

Yes, Jon, this is a school sponsored system. They have about $700 USD in it, from what they told Chan.

 

 

If so, they could speed-up their learning curve by searching the academic literature.

 

Some of the resources I have in my Aquaponics Folder on my Dropbox account, alone, would teach most people what they need to know to get started. Trouble is, the vast majority of resources I have are written in English. Here, English is NOT widely spoken, nor is it widely understood. This school is similar in that aspect. This is one major thing that is keeping this country held back, the lack of English communication here.


Edited by Paul, 09 June 2016 - 03:55 PM.
Corrected price. Yesterday, I was told they have about $700 USD in it, parts only. Labor was free.

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#6 andy

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 12:21 PM

I agree with you Paul, the workmanship on the system is good! I have always said the metal workers (welders) are first class at this type on work.

The housing of the grow-beds (blue barrels) is strong and sturdy. They seem to be using a bell-syphon method. I have found with my past experience, this way of discharging water from the grow-bed can be troublesome. This could be rectified in your system to use the more trusted U-syphon. The other thing I noticed was the growing media! It seemed to contain limestone? I again in the past have used small quantities to change the pH to the system. But being unfamiliar with growing medias in Cambodia it would be something more to learn.

The housing of the aqua-hydro system is first class! I like you, don't understand why they don't use a gutter arrangement to collect rain water. Also the walls of the construction could be covered to keep out unwanted pests. Fans and sprinklers could also be incorporated into the design.

I suppose they have to work to their budget, and learn with what they have. I am sure progression will move forward. In saying this I have recently been informed of another collage in the area, where the tutor had left, resulting in the suspension of learning practical hydroponics, and a system left dormant.

Has for The aqua-hydro study project the system is running fully on aquaponics. Like I have mentioned before the student was unaware of mixing the minerals for the organic feed. I suspect when the tutor returns from PP he will have the information.              


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#7 Paul

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:13 PM

The other thing I noticed was the growing media! It seemed to contain limestone?

 

I may be wrong here. But, I believe, while watching some aquaponics videos, I learned that limestone is alkaline. If so, they would play hell trying to keep the pH down to a suitable level for the plants and fish. 

 

But being unfamiliar with growing medias in Cambodia it would be something more to learn.

 

The way I understand it, Andy, is take a glass and put some of the rocks / stone in it that you wish to test to see if it is safe for aquaponics systems. Pour in some vinegar. If the rocks / stone do not continue to emit bubbles, they are pH neutral, thus, being fine for your system.


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#8 Paul

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:14 PM

I like you, don't understand why they don't use a gutter arrangement to collect rain water.

 

I have yet to test the city water here. But, I would be willing to bet, even having not tested it against rainwater, that rainwater would be a MUCH safer bet to use for these systems.


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#9 Paul

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:17 PM

Also the walls of the construction could be covered to keep out unwanted pests. Fans and sprinklers could also be incorporated into the design.

 

Agree on both fronts. I see no reason why we couldn't use green shade cloth for the walls, to keep bugs out. 

 

 

I have recently been informed of another collage in the area, where the tutor had left, resulting in the suspension of learning practical hydroponics, and a system left dormant.

 

Sad, but quite common, I'm afraid. What is even worse is, just about everything one could dream of, may be found online - completely free, thereby helping them get a good jump start on building and running these systems. The problems are, they either do not speak / read / write enough English, or are not self starters to want to get things done. It wouldn't be that difficult, for just about any Khmer teacher, who REALLY WANTED to learn, to start digging. Heck, I post links to my resources all over the place. It's free for the taking. 

 

The only thing I keep to myself, are eBooks and other resources that I personally purchase through online websites. I have those in a separate folder. But, to be honest, I have listed the most useful resources already, on this site. 

 

 

I suspect when the tutor returns from PP he will have the information.

 

The one MAJOR drawback about running an aquaponics system. It screams for attention. Although it doesn't require you to watch it 24 / 7, you have to be by its side every single day. No more long trips out of town, unless having someone VERY trustworthy to look after it for you. 


Edited by Paul, 02 June 2016 - 02:25 PM.

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#10 andy

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:30 PM

Your not wrong Paul. They may be limestone in the system to higher the pH, like I have specified. This is not a bad idea as it can be removed when reaching the required levels. Has for the water! I would use rain water at anytime over city water, for its qualities in being nearer pH neutral.







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