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Aquaponics Explained

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andy

In this post I will try to answer questions if I can? Help with the best of my knowledge if possible. Firstly I am not a full time 'Farmer'. In the 60s and 70s I worked as a kid on local farms to earn a little money. I came from a poor background. I have always worked hard and craved knowledge and learning.

 

Like Kenny in the late 70s I was interested, and studied Hydroponics. But in later (self taught years). I saw the advantages, and challenging disadvantages of Aquaponics.

 

Firstly. We must understand the basic needs of what a plant needs to live and grow.  Water, Nutrients, Air, light, Temperature, space, and time.

 

Water - To feed (just the same way, we need to drink) and used to carry the nutrients. Too little or too much water or nutrients can also be harmful.

 

Nutrients - The most important nutrients for plants growing needs are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is necessary for making green leaves, phosphorus is needed for making big flowers and strong roots, and potassium helps the plants fight off disease.

 

Temperature - Most plants prefer cooler nighttime temps and warmer daytime temperatures.

 

Air and Light - Fresh, clean air and light are essential for healthy growth. Plants are the greatest consumer of solar energy, using power from the sun to mix up an energy rich meal. The process where plants make their own food is known as photosynthesis.

 

Space and Time - Plants need room to grow. Without enough room, plants can become stunted or too small. Overcrowded plants are also more likely to suffer from diseases since airflow may be limited. Finally, plants require time and care.

 

To go back and answer a question? Most seeds will be required to germinate in darkness.

 

Paul mentioned lighting? Back in the early days, and still mostly now! The lights used for hydroponic growing would be very expensive 600w.

 

With the new technology of LCD lights on the market, and now very good growing media available via the internet. I had returned some years ago to experiment with Hydroponic indoor growing again. The following photo's are of working prototypes. Drip feed and Flood and drain systems.

 

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This is a drip feed system to accommodate four young plants. When the plants grow too large they are moved into their own single unit.

 

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The pipes can be placed freely and water flow can be regulated via the taps. The pump works with a timer. The built in temperature gauge is nice useful feature.

 

post-1230-0-22593300-1453138189_thumb.jpg

 

This is a Flood and drain system (without a Bell Syphon). Again the pump is on the timer! When the pump stops, the water flows back via the pump.

 

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Same concept, just slower return flow (use for large plant).

 

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Just some of the components needed to build. I use the air-stone in the grow bed to give more oxygen to the plants roots. This all works on the watering cycles, when the timer ends the pump and air stop too.

 

post-1230-0-80742100-1453139092_thumb.jpg

 

Flower used to illustrate.

 

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LCD Light can be adjusted accordingly.

 

All the parts I used to make the above prototypes are storage components, from a well known European furniture outlet! Now very well established in Thailand. 

 

Split from Aquaponics thread.

Edited by Paul
removed dead space. added link.
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Parrothead

Thanks, Andy! I can only imagine what sized aquaponics installation I could have, with a pond that is 12.3m x 10.6m and going to grow larger, as we need more fill.

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andy

I can see the potential (Remember when you joked about the size of my fish tank!) "Just enough fish to feed the Cambodian family". Think about the size of your grow beds (what you would like to grow). What growing media will you use. You only need half the space and time of a soil based plant. In one year you will have four crops.

If you decide to go into Market Gardening, you will need a supplier (only to start, as you will produce your own seeds and cuttings). But you will need a Buyer.

Would you think about livestock, and what kind? In this I am talking animal, not fish. But saying this, that is also to be considered. There are so many variables.

 

You could use Aquaponics and Hydroponics. The later here is easier to manage, and control.

 

post-1230-0-12825900-1453150235_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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Parrothead

I can see the potential (Remember when you joked about the size of my fish tank!) "Just enough fish to feed the Cambodian family". Think about the size of your grow beds (what you would like to grow). What growing media will you use. You only need half the space and time of a soil based plant. In one year you will have four crops.

If you decide to go into Market Gardening, you will need a supplier (only to start, as you will produce your own seeds and cuttings). But you will need a Buyer.

Would you think about livestock, and what kind? In this I am talking animal, not fish. But saying this, that is also to be considered. There are so many variables.

 

You could use Aquaponics and Hydroponics. The later here is easier to manage, and control.

 

Well, fish is definitely one I would want to grow. The reason is, Khmers, like other SE Asians, typically overfish waters. This includes ponds and small rivers. They will catch and eat fish you and I would NEVER consider keeping. I'm talking they are happy when they catch a fish that is under 10cm long! I call that bait, not fish. 

 

Also, I want to be out there full time to watch the place. Khmers would raid my pond, not caring at all, and would gladly walk away with every fish they could muster from a pond. They would have a field day if they knew they could catch fish in our pond that were 30cm or more. 

 

It reminds me of Filipinos catching sail fish off the coast of the Philippines, which were 5 feet (152cm) at most. For me, that's a baby and would not keep it. Over fishing their waters, typical. :(

 

Anyway, aside from the fish, I would have some cattle. There is enough room out there to do that, if we want. chickens are a given, and probably some ducks. 

 

There is a guy out of - I believe Phnom Penh. Maybe Siem Reap. Not sure off the top of my head. Anyway, he has seeds he sells and sends to others in country. I got a lot of sun flower seeds from him last year. 

 

Not that we would really need a buyer. But, I'm sure that, over time, others would hear about what we were selling in the area, and would probably spread the word. The best advertising. 

Edited by Paul
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Parrothead

Oh, something else that I have been trying to get sorted, but not very successful at it, as yet. (Guys saying one thing, but not following through with it, mostly.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honey Bees. I would like to get into having bees. Maybe a Langstroth, or a Top-Bar hive? Not sure which, yet. 

Edited by Paul

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andy

Paul I do agree with you! Your pond would be empty in no time at all. Cattle is a good choice for livestock. Don't know too much about this large animal. (Had a girlfriend once who wanted me to invest with her in Cambodian cattle). If she was right the price return is good.

 

The following would be my choice.

 

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Tilapia - Easily available in Cambodia, very popular, easy to care for, vegetarian by nature, fast growing, good to eat.

 

post-1230-0-07445300-1453153496.png 

 

Growing media - Clay pebble's, Sterile, easy to clean and re-use (If there is availability). Alternative - Small Gravel.

 

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Bell Syphon - Flood and drain system. (I can make my own and fine tune). Plants - Vegetables and Fruit.     

 

post-1230-0-13340400-1453153526.png

 

Asian Black Pig - If available in Cambodia. In Thailand I have friends who rear Black Pigs. The costs are variable! But at the time I was out with them in the countryside. Pink piglets were 600-800 baht. Black piglets 800-1000 baht. The price at market for the grown Pink pig was 5000 baht. Black pig 7000 baht. Problems I was to understand, were you would be guaranteed a good price if you where involved with the buyer, whom would sell you the piglet and the pig food!!! But to do it independently! Black Pig was in demand, and good eating.

 

Hands on Educational Aquaponics Center - When fully operational, for anyone who has an interest and would like to learn.    

Edited by andy

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Guest Kenny

 

 


There is a guy out of - I believe Phnom Penh. Maybe Siem Reap. Not sure off the top of my head. Anyway, he has seeds he sells and sends to others in country. I got a lot of sun flower seeds from him last year.

 

Take a look at DUPAY VEGETABLE SEEDS Paul.

[https://www.facebook.com/dupayseedstrading/?fref=nf]

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andy

One thing I regret on my last visit, is not taking the offer of that personal invitation to visit the hydroponic farm! I will make it a priority next visit.

 

Paul look at this for you interest. And possible seed supplier, and don't forget they have a branch in Seim Reap.

 

https://www.facebook.com/HydroponicsInCambodia

 

I don't do facebook, but I telephoned her. She speaks excellent English 

 

099-601034, 012-894 999, 016-898 269

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