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20000sqm Aquaponic start from scratch in Thailand, phase 1.

Discussion in 'Commercial Systems' started by See Will, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. See Will

    See Will New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Country:
    Thailand
    State:
    Chonburi
    City:
    Chonburi
    Hi all,

    I was reading through many forums but this one seems 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:
    Capture1.JPG
    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:

    1-1 Filtertower with main top tank.png
    Pipeflow System.png

    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.

    Pipe system.png
    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.
    1st plumbing ideas.png

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

    Willy
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  2. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Will,
    A really interesting project to say the least. Yes, plumbing gets a lot of people so you are not on your own there.
    There are a lot of good elements in your design but some that will need some work.
    It is great that you have land and a good reliable water and power supply. Are the buildings there already. I can't see any in the satellite photo?

    Places to start.
    Go to www.murrayhallam.com for some free videos on the subject that will be helpful.
     
  3. See Will

    See Will New Member

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    Country:
    Thailand
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    City:
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    Hi Murray,

    it is almost virgin land, an old house and a small wooden house on stilts. First we want to have a full concept before we start anything and as you say there are still some elements that need another thought.
    Especially the plumbing is more or less created by common sense. There are not much plumbers out there who have ever done more than basic house plumbings. Many pictures in the www. showing Thai electrics on Road Poles where only the creator of this "nests" can find anything but mostly he just adds a new coil and cable to it in case something is broken down. And so is the plumbing regarding quality as well.
     
  4. Mike West

    Mike West New Member

    Joined:
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    Country:
    Philippines
    State:
    Tarlac
    City:
    Tarlac City
    Hi Will
    I have a small setup here in the philippines ,i looked at your plans and would love to do similar. I wish you every success to you and your family I an a retired offshore worker also and looking at your design have you considered the electricity costs moving such large volumes of water to fairly large heights ? pumps will only work at 30 % at 3 metre height.For example my system has 2 pumps to raise water to 3.5 meters to the radial filter plus the ais pumps which all take about 250 watts an hour total which is 6 kw a day and 180 kw a month, your system is so much larger with greater volumes of water i only have 4 ICB grow beds ,16 dutch buckets and 30 nft pots pretty small in comparison to your system .please consider these costs in your design and possibly look at a a more flat system . Just a thought best of luck
    Mike West
     
    JaydenTan likes this.
  5. See Will

    See Will New Member

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    Country:
    Thailand
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    Chonburi
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    Hi Mike,
    I will go as much possible for solar power. I am still at the begin of my plans and still I am not there.
    I understand, it must be worth to turn the saved space of less walking ways between the beds into profit, also the tanks under the grow beds is more space for plants in the Greenhouse and an expensive Greenhouse must make a high profit or better to keep the fingers complete off.
    Cooling is another issue to increase the range of plants that I can grow, for more varieties to stand off the common market.
    Most infos are coming from my relatives who do a successful bizz in Europe.
    I opened threads in many forums and it might be in about 2 years a complete different outcome as I am going now.

    Our countries (Thailand and Phillippines as well) are very much woking on traditions, "we have done it before and so we stay" The money or the mind to go modern is still not much present.

    But the consumer's behaviour is going more open for a new and greater variety of food and bio, so I'll try my best to optimise wherever I can and then convert these ideas into possible profit calculations.
    Example: A single Advocado was 5-8 years ago 5 EUR a go and nobody was eating it, now it's 3 for 3 EUR and you find them already in Farmer's markets and every BigC/Tesco Veggie shelf.
    Swedes, in Europe to buy for 2 EUR a 1.5 Kg piece is in Thailand around 8 EUR as small as 250 gr.

    Sure is that the water tower is already a bit of a thorn in my eye and I am looking for better solutions. For each rack a small pump might really be the better way as they will never use so much power as just one big pump.
    The tower worked for my 120sqm test field but for the next step it seem to fail.
    This is why I connect myself to forums, If guys like you put also a foundation under my doubts, it is sure a confirmation that there is a wrong way choosen.
    A good question would be now how to get rid of the tower under the filter system and how it will be even working better without it?
    As I stated: I am good in renewables, I have good farmers background with my family behind me, i have excellent marketing cracks in my family and after I supported them with the university costs they turned into diamonds.
    But plumbers I have not and I am the lousiest of all. This area, we are still not good enough.
    Every suggestion is welcome, a small fault can create a total desaster.
    Thanks for you mind and when we reach the target I hope that some here in these forums will be my guest at the opening BBQ by beer and yabbies ;-) or at least could use the experiences put together in this thread and follow up the modern way of commercial growing.

    best Regards

    Will
     
  6. Calum Greig

    Calum Greig New Member

    Joined:
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    Country:
    Thailand
    State:
    Kussoman
    City:
    Sakon Nakhon

    Hi Mike, Calum here from the Allied Achiver last year. I just came across you in this forum. I have finally started to build my little starter system. It has just over 1800 liters of fish tanks and 17 vertical towers for lettuce, herbs etc. Give me a shout sometime mate calumgreig@gmail.com or Calum.greig@facebook.com. Cheers for now...
     
  7. Aquaponeer

    Aquaponeer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
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    For those in Thailand, I have a 2.4kW Wind and Solar renewable energy system I used for an Aquaponics Research Center here in Bangkok up for sale. Highest quality components custom designed by a leading German Renewable Energy Systems Provider here in Bangkok. Please message me directly for details and or other interest. The craigslist link is http://bangkok.craigslist.co.th/ele/5921387909.html

    My email : markhind@gocerts.com
     
  8. Agnes Harmers

    Agnes Harmers New Member

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    Groningen
    Good evening Willy!
    I am from the Neherlands!
    Love to see your design.

    It is good you already did a smaller system to get experience with aquaponics. You asked for what we think of the design. You must have a good reason to put up the filters on second floor of the building. I cannot think of one. As I learned you will keep the system always as simple as possible. You will need a reason to make it more complex.
     
    See Will likes this.
  9. See Will

    See Will New Member

    Joined:
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    Country:
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    Chonburi
    Hi all,

    time for a new life sign of me.
    After going through many pages, travelling to various countries and especially consulting my auntie in the Netherlands and some web friends in Spain I can confirm what Agnes already doubted. Height is the wrong way to go and above drawings are full of errors.

    After father's (in Law) Buffalo approved to be the worst gardener in the world we have set up a completely new system in our backyard and after 2 years running upgrading and improving we are now at the point to take out the jackhammer and axes and doing what the buffalo did, to build what we have learned here, from other farmers and by ourselves and making it the small copy of what will be in two years our commercial farm and my retirement from the offshore life.

    Its time to post some photos of our backyard system before I will soon complete the rebuild and post all changes.

    here you go:

    Fig 1: A palm tree was in the way and my wife (rice farmer's daughter) was against chopping it, but where a Will is is a way around ;-).
    16.jpg

    Fig 2: Weeks later a lightning did the job and the palm tree gave up it's ghost but not without taking half the pipes with it. Hence, once again, plus adding some ebb flood grow beds, tilapia tanks, a baby Crayfish station (where the ladder leans on) shading nets...
    35480761_1738673329583979_192891959130456064_n.jpg

    and a Dutch Bucket System what also on the wanted list of my wife
    received_1600344236750223.jpg

    and so the learning started
    spring onions for the kitchen and the entire neighborhood
    IMG-20180116-WA0003.jpg

    salads from Europe didn't do well as its too hot in Thailand
    60 (1).jpg

    and as many plants and veggies have been tried successfully and some failed, but that's what the test system was all about we also had to improve filtration..
    27744896_1600049420113038_1375954802_o.jpg

    until even my beloved BBQ spot (where masses of Red Claw Crayfish and crispy salads were washed down with beer) was gone and the entire backyard was talking aquaponics.
    Here after last harvest and only the breeding stock is left ready to build our for 2020/2021 planned commercial system as small backyard system first.
    IMG-20180708-WA0009.jpg

    The story will continue when I am home again, half way built I got a call from a customer and I had to go offshore again over Christmas and New year.
    As said, forget the drawings above, we learned a lot and all is now different:
    Some examples:
    -Red Claws demand space so the grow beds will be huge (as seen in Indonesia)
    -Fish Food is expensive (so Duckweed grow beds have been planned to reduce the costs around 50%)
    -Keeping levels low
    -and the location where we want to set up the commercial system in two years has many big cities around but 20000 sqm would be overkill. 10000 sqm split in 3 Phases will do fully..
    Last stand design 10-2018.png

    Note to Murray:
    This forum and your replies is busting with learn worthy info, keep up the great job.
    I'll put a small share into the donation box today and recommend to all "freeloaders" to do the same to keep this forum up and running.
     
  10. See Will

    See Will New Member

    Joined:
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    Thailand
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    Chonburi
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    Chonburi
    Hello Murray,

    I have noticed also that you had quite a lesson learned experience in your ebb flood grow beds. believing they getting never clogged and creating anaerobe Zones which they did over the time.
    The Problem seem to be that the gravel works as a dam by creating resistance plus the inertia of the water flow in the far areas away from the bell siphon.
    It is a bit like a traffic jam that the front cars driving already but the back ones are still standing.

    I made a trial using a small container once with gravel only and then using split pipes, during 1oo cycles I added 250 grs coffee dust in the water and caught it at the bell siphon with a coffee filter.
    With the split pipes almost all coffee returned into the filter but using only gravel about 10 grs settled in the far corner of the box opposite of the bell siphon.

    As German I might not have found the right wording to understand so may be the sketch below might help for a better understanding.
    Untitled.png
     
  11. Henry Johan

    Henry Johan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    Messages:
    32
    Country:
    Indonesia
    State:
    Jakarta
    City:
    Kelapa Gading
    I'm wondering as Aquaponics does not require us to plant the food on land
    and land price is quite expensive in area close to cities,
    did anyone ever design commercial plan using buildings with several floor

    to design each floor to be separated system is not a problem,
    but I wonder if anyone have made a single system using multiple floors?
    how would the water flow and filtration system need to be designed :/
     
  12. See Will

    See Will New Member

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    Country:
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    Hi Henry,

    Good point I reckon as there are in every city lots of flats and buildings inhabitable but still usable.

    ...but then it came to my memory that a mate of mine ended up 3 floors down while taking a bath.
    He wasn't injured so it was quite hilarious to see as he was running naked upstairs just to realize his door was locked.
    Due to the noise it created ALL neighbors of that apartment flat were off cause looking outside what was happened.

    Considering the weight of a bath tub (incl my mate in it) and the weight that comes together with grow beds and fish tanks the building would cost more than Land in a nearby area.
    On the other hand we could keep the fish tanks below so half the weight would be on solid foundation but then the pump will be chosen accordingly to deliver the water into the upper floors.

    I my drawings above I had this idea at first but the electricity to use would consume a lot of profit and farming is always a hard competition where the price dictates the sale hence the profits.

    I have seen some systems that are stacked to gain more harvest on smaller footprints but also here are grow lights between each grow shelf required, new harvesting systems and more labor force needed.
    Sure one day there will be some complete automatized robot system available but when the robots take over there will be ending more jobless humans with empty wallets.

    I could imagine that hydroponics with low water flow technologies would here the better solution.
    I might be wrong but this could be answered by other members but at least its an idea..
     
  13. Henry Johan

    Henry Johan Member

    Joined:
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    Country:
    Indonesia
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    for buildings, of course we will have to build using a strong foundation, however it is still cheaper than the land cost
    to build 1 sqm building will cost around USD 300-400
    while the land cost here in my area 1 sqm is around USD 1000 - 4000 (and much higher in the city center)

    for that I was thinking ground floor (or basement) to be the sump, pump the water from sump to fish tank on the top floor (not that hard and using simple pump will do)
    then from there go to filter then flow to grow bed on each floor (we can cap the water flow to each floor using a valve)
    and from the grow bed, it fall back to the sump
    I found that currently I have to re-fill quite some water in my current system on daily basis as it is in the open and the water evaporate a lot (it's quite hot in Jakarta)
    so in a building I will have less water evaporated; however the light cost might also be higher...
    but also for the light, we might be able to use reflector system to light the plants using normal sunlight (which will be quite expensive set up, but cheap operational cost)

    however I have no idea about how feasible all this "idea" is
     
  14. See Will

    See Will New Member

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    Off Cause for Jakarta it makes sense overall.
    Just to deliver from Kelapa Gading to lets say Casa Grande Shopping Mall and surroundings you need up to 2 hrs depending on traffic over there.
    Also I was shocked about the Vegetable freshness even in recommended Supermarkets like Carrefour which is a good sign that either the transportation is very expensive or the supply for Cities like Jakarta or also Jogja is too small.
    In both places the Vegetables were withered, had partial rotten spots and would be in other countries sorted out and if possible sold to a reduced price.
    There is sure some business opportunity waiting if you analyze it further.
    Also in Indonesia the trend is going towards bio and healthy eating I could find out on my last Visit in January till March.
    Beside this is Aquaponics just becoming part of first lessons in the Universities in Indo, hence even the knowledge is way behind and this secures the success for first entrees into this business.
    The major cities like Jakarta, Jogja, and also Denpasar because of the Tourism are due is my opinion I had built up throughout my Visits.
    My target would be in your case:
    1st class Quality Bio Vegetables*
    Bio Fish and may be some high end crustaceans like crays or shrimps
    low operational Costs
    short transportation

    *it is clear that not all veggies are looking even but if you enforce a zero waste policy you will be happy for any leftover salad and greenery that you can convert into fish feed.
    You need the space to store the feeds as well and it needs to be hermetically as you first guests that realize an easy pick on food are rats, they are coming in big armadas.
    Also in a big city the produced amount of fish poop needs a special attention, It needs to be pelleted or dried, nicely packed and sold to the parcs and hotel gardens as High End fertilizer. By a production of only 5000Kg Tilapia per month you are looking at about 100Kg solid Fish Poop per day hence be wary about some "happy" neighbors when you collect that for a month. That would be 3 Metric Tons per month..
    Water supply is sure an issue as Jakarta hasn't the cheapest water beside latest studies giving the Government reasons to stop the drilling of wells in the City.
    Last are the permanent Earthquakes within Indonesia, a cracked Growbed in the upper floor could be a great waterfall in the staircase and with some heavy grow beds there will be some serious forces working on the system..

    There are a lot of pros and contras and I still think some cool trucks and an outside the city system you would be better off.
    I would take time to Visit the Aquaponic Center in Ubuk or Serpong to snatch some more info about the Aquaponic Systems.
     

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