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Sandponics in Vietnam

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  • #16
    Great work ! Easy fix on furrows. Really impressive system. Thanks Gary for your posting dedication.


    • Gary Donaldson
      Gary Donaldson commented
      Editing a comment
      You're on the money, Ande. I'm almost certain that the new arrangement will mess with the water movement in the furrows.

      Thanks Steve. These little Sandponics systems are already proving to be a useful learning platform. There's so much difference between "knowing" how a system operates and understanding all of the nuances of integrated aquaculture. Knowing what's happening...and how to fix essential.

      Have More For Less is my studio...the place where I explore and jounalise my simple living and self-reliance interests. I want people, like you, to drop by, share ideas and enjoy a bit of fellowship. Thank you.

  • #17
    Thanks for sharing this.


    • #18
      About four weeks have passed since I left Vietnam. Development of the Te An Sandponics system has continued...and there is evidence of some innovation - but there are also some problems.

      The pumps that were supplied for the project were much larger than I specified. To solve that problem, my young associate attempted to resolve the problem by installing a bypass in the discharge line from the that he could moderate the flow into the sand beds. The problem with this, of course, is that not all of the water from the fish tank was being directed to the sand beds...and this has created water quality issues...evidenced by the presence of algae in the fish tank.

      Before installing the bypass, Nghia re-arranged the furrows because the inflow to the beds was too much and it was eroding the furrows. His solution was to set the furrows up to accommodate the inflow rather than to install pumps of the correct size. This is the second issue.

      There are supply issues when it comes to places like Vietnam. It's not always possilble to buy the pumps and other fittings that are so readily available in Australia or the US. When something is unavailable (or costs too much), the locals will design their way around the problem. Sometimes it works...and sometimes it doesn't.
      We don't know what the exact position is with respect to water quality because we have yet to obtain a freshwater test kit...and this is the third problem.

      When I built the IBC system, I had a number of considerations in mind:
      • It's not the ideal way to build an iAVs. It's a reflection of what's available...and cost effective....and what will be used by local it has to accommodate these facts.
      • It was always going to be a learning system...a test unit to establish what works and what doesn't.
      • It has to accommodate operator knowledge, skills and experience.
      • Making mistakes is part of the learning process.
      It's important for Nghia to know what to do - and why....and it's just as important for him to know what not to do - and why.

      The system will perform much more effectively once we have the correct pumps in place, the furrows are built correctly and we are able to test the water.

      I will be back home in about a week...and one of my first tasks will be to build an IBC Sandponics system so that I can demonstrate and compare with what we have at Te An.


      • ande
        ande commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi the rearranged furrows could be "easy" fixed by moving the pipe with the outlets to fit. just pick of the bend/pipe before it

    • #19
      Or maybe put a small tank on top of fish tank large enough to accommodate the water discharge, direct discharge to this tank and put a drain in the bottom to allow the water to flow into fish tank.



      • #20
        Hi BD...I just re-read this post...and I can see a problem. Assuming I've grasped your intent correctly, it appears to be no different (in effect) to installing a bypass in the dischargel line from the pump. You still have unfiltered water returning to the fish tank. Or is there something that I've missed?


        • #21
          Do you have an update on how things are progressing in Vietnam with the Sandponics system?



          • #22
            Hi Billy,

            Welcome to HMFL. Feel free to set up a system thread for yourself so that you can chronicle your iAVs journey.

            The news from Vietnam isn't good. The system was beset with problems during the construction phase. The availability of materials was an issue...the sand came from half a dozen different sources...language was a name it, it went wrong. No sooner did I arrive back home than my VIetnamese 'apprentice' decided to make a series of changes (without consultation) that rendered the system unworkable.

            When I last checked, the sand had been replaced with coco coir and was growing plants to the complete (and totally unqualified) satisfaction of the client. Such is life.

            Upon reflection, it was a good learning experience...particularly for those contemplating iAVs in remote locations. Fortunately, such places are ideally suited to iAVs...and the ideal situation is to go into such places...carrying the core elements of the system - like the liner and suitable pump(s) - with you.



            • #23
              Thanks for the welcome Gary. I can well understand the challenges you encountered in your Vietnamese build. We've had some of the same here in Kenya which I'll detail in the build post. (By the way, I tried the iAVS sub forum, but it is showing no posts and no option for posting.) Sorry that it didn't work out as planned, but that's how we learn. Well, that seems to the course of instruction I happen to be enrolled in anyway. It also shed some light on other challenges we might encounter when taking iAVS to the villages.