Friday, 6 November 2015

Crayfish Part 3

Been a quiet period. Started with 8 crays.  We discovered 5 were male and three female. Bad planning !

We've added an automatic fish feeder which seems to preform OK. Simple battery operated thing. Very basic but does the job feeding them twice daily. Just seems to be like the air pump, keeps on working. Great for when we are away for a few days.

Anyway we've lost the 3 females. They jumped out of the tanks. Happened during a couple of really heavy rains. Not sure why this is, possibly a coincidence. Will need to cover the tanks with some netting to avoid this happening again. As for the loss we decided to replace them in next few weeks.

They a few days back, in fact two Saturdays ago we lost a male one as well. Again why we do not know. But Wanna found the little fella on the ground outside the front of the house. Would seem he jumped the tank and went with the rain water across our flat roof and out the over flow pipe. Very sad. Now down to 50% or if you prefer, 4 male crays.

But and its an amazing but ..!  We went to eat breakfast last Saturday in a local restaurant, one we use quite often, and the adjacent shop sells live "Koi" fish.  We always stop to look at these. Lovely colours etc. But this time we notices the tank also contained Crays. Great excitement we asked where they got them as we needed some female ones.  Owner told us her husband breeds them on the first floor. And on the second floor is where he breeds the KOI. Big excitement as we have arranged to go back and see his set up next week. And of course get some female Crays.

Another thing happened to us also on the Saturday.  In the evening we went to watch the rugby and as one does we got talking to a guy sitting near us. One thing led to another and we talked about why we were in Rayong etc.  He responded "I build, install and run Aquaponics systems". He explained how he had been travelling the world installing "fodder" factories and various fish farms and more recently Aquaponics systems. So watch this space.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Crayfish Part 2

We've now had our 8 Crayfish since 25th August.  That's 17 days. Not so long but its been interesting to see them make themselves at home. They have some plastic pipes to use as houses and netting to play in !!!   Well we started off with 8 number. Put 2 in each plastic bowl, one male and one female.

They have all molted at least once.  One died I think because it got caught up in the shade/netting cloth we have put in.  It was something for them to play in. It got caught up whilst having a soft shell and no doubt our constant "playing" with them did not help !

In all our excitement to get them in the bowls the other week we did not measure them. We were told when we bought them they were two months old and nominally 2 Inches long. So now nearly 3 months old. And last night we did some measuring and they are nearly all 3 Inches long.

Great. Good growth.  They seem to enjoy the fish/prawn food, raw potato slices and a little veg. Exciting...  Remember at 6 months they mate and should produce lots of babies. Then we will get things up and running.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Crayfish Part 1

I know your reaction. Whats this he is up to now ?

Well I was reading about crayfish and decided we would give it a go. Wanna then found a local farm selling crayfish near our place in Ban Muang.  She got excited about it as well. Seems the farm lady, she has been doing crayfish breeding for 3 years. Retired from teaching and now sells starter crays in packs to lots of people like us. She has editable and well as red and blue claw.  (See I know about these already.

Anyway we had a look round her place. All looked simple enough and well organised.  She as mainly small crays from breeding which she sells on. However the biggest in one tank was was about 250 mm long. 2 years old....  That's a long time to wait for a decent meal.

We went last Friday to the farm and chatted away. Very helpful and informative. And agreed to buy 4 pairs of 2 month old crays.  We were excited and stopped on the way home Friday evening buying 4 black plastic bowls for their new homes. Also collected some old plastic water piping from my store for their new "homes" and some garden shade cloth for them to "play"in.  :)

Saturday early morning, saw us back at the farm and we found our crays already prepacked into a polystyrene box complete in chilled and oxygen saturated water, Also in the box was feed sufficient for 1 year. Small packet of food it was to. So I imagine they will not grow to much....

All set for the trip to Rayong. She explained that she exports round the county using this system, so we had a good 12 hours where they would be OK as they are. So they were dormant. Tiny things about 4 centimetres long.

Off we went back to Rayong. Rushed upstairs and got the air pump working, water temperature sorted out and them slowly released them into their new homes. Checked pH of about 8.0.  All OK.

Cray on left of key.  Very small.

More baby's

Review of progress with our house workers.

Slow release.

Not aquaponics but a fun addition to the whole aqua "thing".

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Rayong Aquaponics Part 2 Roof Layout

Still getting the house ready to move into but that does not stop me planning next aquaponics move !!!

Roof photos just to let you see what is available. All looks a bit dull and untidy at this time. Will add phoots when repainted. Planning on white walls to give good light reflection.

Flat tiles concrete roof south facing. Width 5 m and length is 8.5 m.

3 meters of the length is covered with a concrete sheet roof and enclosed with burglar bars.  idea to stop fish being stolen.... :)   

The covered area is the ideal location for positioning the fish tank(s) swirl filter and bio tank and sump etc leaving the open area for growing. Also plan to use the roof top for bar ba q  and sitting area so some careful "land use" planning coming up.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Ban Muang Aquaponics "Food for Thought"

I just in my last post talked about air lift pump tests.  All good stuff I know but I got to thinking about the more simplistic side of aquaponics.  Walking around with my camera I stopped to photo/video the fish we had just put in our tank.  I call it a tank. Just outside the kitchen we have a concrete pipe on its side with a concrete base.  We set it up there several years and we filled it with water Lillys and some small fish.  Main reason was to locate the pipe somewhere useful !!!
I got to thinking.  This is really a small aquaponics system in full balance.  We add water as the evaporation requires if the rain does not do it for us, and throw in some food time to time. No measurement of grams per fish weight or water volume etc,  and indeed I suspect when we are away, in fact I very much doubt if anyone bothers to check on our tank or look to see if anything needs feeding. Bit of a pun coming up but "Food for Thought !!!!"

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Air Lift Pump - Aka Al's Lift Pump

Done it.

Make me a lift pump.  I followed You tube Video Air Lift Pump.  Did myself a sort of ISO sketch and a take off for parts needed. See below.

ISO for 2" airlift pump
After that it was a simple trip to Global and buy the bits. Got them all in Rayong except for the check valve.  Had to wait till Khon Kaen for that.  Everywhere sold out.  So conclusion is there are a lot of persons out there doing air lift pump tests....all at this time.....

Anyway got it sorted and then had my friends Steve and Phil assist with the testing.

I have two air pumps. One is a 30 litre/minute  low pressure on and the other is similar but I am guessing more in region of 100 litres plus per minute.  (label missing ! Other difference is the small one is about 30 watts and one is about 200 watts.

2" flap valve and 1/2 " riser

And more bits

And some more Bits......

Results were interesting. Not well recorded but good enough as we were covered in water !!! However conclusion is it seems pump output volume is main factor in water movement.  And smaller vertical pipe gave a bit better lift height. Not we only used the piping we had and did not go into a lot of extra cutting and splicing etc. Needless to say it worked. So whilst I expected it to work I was still very pleased with the results and need to thank Steve and Phil for this assistance.  Wait I did thank them.. We had a beer together.... :)

So I plan to stick with 2" check valve and have 2 smaller ones for sale !

I've added a video.  poor quality as I've having trouble getting my Sony camera to talk with my software. Will get it sorted eventually. its a bit long but shows you the fun we had... Not at all scientific but so what.....

Friday, 10 July 2015

Rayong Aquaponics Part 1 Moved house and organising new set up

Hi Guys,  Seems ages since I posted. There has been little reason to do really as nothing has happened on the Aquaponics side of things. But that's all changing.

We're in process of moving house. Due to move end of the month. The  new place has a flat roof. South facing. About 8 x 5 meters. Part of which of covered and secure, which lends itself to providing ideal shelter for fish tank(s) and filter systems etc and the remainder of the area for growing out veggies etc.  So Siam-Aquaponics should soon be back, up and running.

I am planning on copying to a major extent our last system with some modifications. Main reasons to copy are simple, firstly I know it works, secondly as I can reuse a lot of the bits and pieces and thirdly I should be up and running in a short space of time.

So 2 x1000 or single 2000 litre fish tank and DWT for the growing.

For filtration I've been looking at a first stage a rotational settlement tank for the initial solid filtration to remove large solids, the second stage a simple filter (See an item here sold as oil/grease traps which I think will do the job very well) and then a third/final chamber full of filter balls and a lot of air stones. Early days I know, but I'm enjoying the time out to think about it all.

Before, in the old system I used a water pump and air pump. This time round I am thinking of using only an air pump. I know everyone tells me they do not give enough lift or even if you can get the lift they tell me not enough water quantity to meet circulation requirements. In other words they are not a good substitute for a water pump. Well check out on You tube Airlift pump I think this will impress you and should just about, but only just, meet my requirements. If one is not enough I'll use 2 of them.... The advantages of air lift instead of water pumps for aAuaponics are enormous in every sense. One pump system, no blockage, fantastic aeration, no moving parts (except check valve). And air pumps are cheap and cheerful, low maintenance. Way to go.....

I've got 5 days holiday starting on Saturday and I plan to use one or two of these days to make an  Airlift copying the video.

So next postings will be about my planned layout and the making of an air lift pump. I've already bought the parts.... Followed by the rest of the new build.
 I plan on keeping very good records this time round. I did a reasonable job last time, even if I say so myself, but things got curtailed due to work etc. This time no excuses.

I know, waiting for more posts..... the suspense is killing, but it will be worth it !!!!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sound of Silence Echo

Last post was 13th Dec last year. Seems ages ago. Been busy with work and visiting other aquaponics systems. Notably my mate Rene's. No photos from him.
Also visited "ponic wars" on www.youtubecom . He seems busy with all sorts of stuff.
For me, and why I'm posting this is to let you know I'm moving house in a few months. Found a place with about 50 square meters of flat concrete roof and some shade area suitable for fish tanks. So things will starting to happen again soon.
Cheers for now and happy growing.