Monday, 31 December 2012

December Update

Well for me this has been a very exciting month.

Got my own home system working much better. Today I tested the water. Fantastic results. Ph of 7.5 and NO2 and NO3 almost negligible.We had been having a lot of heavy loads from the tank clogging the filters and the pump. So much so that is was beginning to go terribly wrong. Even the large flood and drain bed was accumulating algae. First off was to redo the syphons. We made them a little shorter to ensure the water never came up above top of gravel.  I know easy enough but when we did the beds we ran out of energy to put in more gravel.. So being lazy finally came home to roost as it were but that's now sorted. Second big job was to remove some of the small fish we had. I thought we have added a lot but when you buy a kilo of cat fish they take up a lot of space. I reckon I removed about 150 small fish. We sorted them out. Kept 7 big Tilapia and the rest went into our main farm pond. Hopefully to grow and finally arrive on on plates in due course...

Next up for December was meeting with James Racoky of UVI fame who is the world renowned expert on Aquaponics.  He has retired and lives in Pattaya.  Owen and I met him for a quick coffee. 2 and a half hours later we left. Very interesting and exciting stuff. Go me more pumped up about the whole thing.

The four pictures above are of the 1000 litre system.  We are going to have a very similar construction to this one.

Above is Wanna reviewing the large UVI system construction. I think she is hooked as well.

Following on from such a meeting was then catching up with Robert 'Bob" White at Chat Takarn. Bob has been instrumental in establishing the Association of  to see a small system he had installed in a local Wat, and see his other new UVI type system in its construction stage. Really got me all fired up to get started. The small system is a 1000 liter fish tank feeding about 10 meters of flow beds. The big system is 4 fish tanks of 7000 litres each. Big and very interesting. I've added a few random photos of the systems and as you've guessed I've got a load more to help me understand what is going on. Ready for me to start on mine...

To keep me going through January I have bought a small system off Bob.  He is due to deliver in first week of January. That's the 1000 litre system.  It should produce all the greens to fed the whole family and more... We should have it up and running with in days of Bob making his deliveries. Getting excited about this. Bit like waiting on a Christmas present.

Then our big project. We are going to build one similar to the UVI system on our land. I mentioned before we met with James Racoky of UVI.  He was really helpful to support us in this idea. Already got the spot in mind. We have flat raised land, power and water. Also already have a lot of ancillary stuff. Office, store room, pumps, plastic pipes and lights etc. Just need the fish tanks which we'll make out of concrete and the various filter beds and grow beds.So now need to finalise costing and make sure it pays of itself. Then February/March we start the big system.

The last photo is form our tank. Modest but a success.

Happy New year for 2013.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Changed My Filter System

The water has been getting a be dirty. The filter system did not work properly.  So I've added to half barrels, one with baffles and one with the pump.  The one with baffles also has a toilet flush in the bottom so I can drain it when needed. Not so good but best I can do with a DIY, no cost solution.  WIll monitor progress over next few days to see how water responds to this.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Yesterday I redid the plumbing changing the big sump tank into exactly that. By removing the cat fish and using it as a proper sump and additional settlement pond. So this morning after taking the dogs for a walk I had a good look at it all again.  Very pleased with the result. The sump tank is replete with clear water and the overflow filter bucket is doing a good job.  I can improve on this with some better shaped and more filter materail. Thats a job for me to see to in next few days. First find some filter material....
But this morning I could not stop myself adding a few progress photos.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Revamp of system

Been having trouble with the pump clogging up. Noticed a lot of fish waste going into the gravel beds. I realized this was due to the cat fish I was keeping in the lower tank. Nothing was filtering their muck. I've now transferred them all into the 200 litre blue tank joining the existing fish. All seem happy enough. Now I'll monitor the cleaning out of my filter bucket and see how we can add some more improvements over next coming weeks.
They system is beginning to resemble something out of a mad professors laboratory with odd pipes here and there. I've got far to many holes in the blue tank and lots of stop ends etc. I even turned up the main discharge pipe 'upside down' to get a higher level of water in the tank. It must have about 170 litres in there. Cannot go much higher without overflowing....
Still it is working and thats the object of it all.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Water Testing

Just done a quick test. Ph looking steady. No2 improving. No3 the same.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

New Air Pump

My old air pump finally gave up. Have been using it since the start in Siam Lake View so must be 4-5 years old. The rubber in the pumping mechanism has perished. At 130 Baht for the pump its done well. But today as a replacement I bough a better one. Has 4 outlets and can do up to 30 litres per minute. So two outlets into top tank and two below. Doubt it does 30 litres per minute under the pressure of being in the bottom of my tank but it does give far better air then previously.  WIll monitor progress.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Water Testing

Just tested the system again for Ph, NO2 and NO3.  No real change but all looks OK?......

National Developments

Things here in Thailand are moving forward.  I've just joined "Association of Aquaponics Thailand". Lets hope we can develop this into something useful.

Check it out.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday Progress

Nothing much of interest to report.  I've left the testing to give it a week to settle down. Don't want daily bad news anyway....

Two more dead cat fish in the sump tank. Not so surprised as there is little nutrient but a lot of crap in there. Again I'll leave them for now.

In my concern for more veggies I have added in some Paw Paw I found starting in the garden, also some onion cuttings and some herbs again from the garden. Should help the plant side a bit.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

2 Dead Cat Fish

Had two cat fish die on me last night. I know the Nitrate  and Nitrate levels are extremely high but have been hoping to weather the storm. I've started off some seeds in grow beds, peppers, Bak Choi and Corriander also added in a few small plants from the garden.  I know, I know I should have taken my time and got it established before adding fish but...... We'll see how she goes.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Water Testing

Finally bought a couple of water testing kits. Ph and then Nitrites and Nitrates.  Did my first testing yesterday. Ph fine but No2and No3 are through the roof. However the fish are still swimming. (did have 2 dead cat fish...) and they are all still hungry.  It was not till I opened the No3 test kit that I discovered the colour chart was missing. I emailed Tetra and almost instantly had a reply with a colour chart attached. Will be checking water again today. I've added this detail in a chart to the side of my Blog.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Progress update.

All seems to be going OK.  Just checked the Ph sitting at about 7.2.  Looking very good.  Having a bit of a problem with the siphon in one of the beds. I think following Murray Hallum's advice I'll add an elbow to the outlet and see if it helps things along.

We seeded some Morning Glory which is doing well, Bak Choi and the coriander have yet to sprout. In the smaller tanks we have Thyme and Rosemary and another type of Bak Choi. All doing OK. We did add in some Pawpaw but these may take a bit longer. The two banana plants appear to be OK. Early days for them as any change to their condition will tame a long time to show.

I also added a kilo of small cat fish to my overflow/sump tank. Logic being that some food is spilling over and they will act as cleaners. Wait and see. That's it for today.

Saturday, 24 November 2012


Been a couple of days now since we plants the seeds. They have grown and beginning to look like real plants!!!! Also been doing some 'tweaking' in the syphons and all seems much better.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Back to Front

I've set up my system and added a big grow bed I had used earlier for hydroponics. Now as I say 'back to front' I have to calculate the number of fish I need.  I'm going to check flow to see the full cycle time of three different tanks and then work out the suitable number of fish the system requires to feed these three beds. Fish density is not my main concern as I ca see water throughput is quite high. I need to make sure I get enough fish waste to make it sustainable.

I've got about 180 litres of water, two half full barrels with aggregate and one grow bed 2.4 x 1.2 x 8cm deep.  Will update when I've got this sorted out. Off to by some seeds.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

And we're off

Added some fish. Tilapia today and some banana plants 2 number.  We put those in first last night. Not possibly the correct order of doing things but could not wait. Wanna added some seeds so now we wait to see if anything will grow. Interesting and strange the pump cuts out when I turn on the florescent light which is on the same circuit.  Any ideas why this should happen?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Ressurected System


Having met up with a bunch of like minds Aquaponic types last weekend in Bangkok I decided to get my system out of mothballs.

Started setting it up yesterday and today. Gone away from the high level flood and drain system to a sump tank. I think in my case this should be much easier. Need now to get pump working properly.  The old one  lasted 5 minutes and died. Then I need to add stone to the grow beds and buy some fish. Going again for using Tilapia. Fairly hardy and it gets me up and running. To think I've been sitting around here doing very little and had all this gear stuck in a store... Oh well no excuses now....