Bangkok Lab

Everything started in 2015 when Regis got interrested in Hydroponics and built a first Hydroponics experiment. 



The results were disapointing, both in terms of product taste and system stability. Having to polute the environment by rejecting chemically loaded water every two months was not acceptable. The system was also very small and therefore very unstable chemically and in water temperature. 

After a few months, the decision to swtich to Aquaponics was made. Outsourcing a fish tank and a couple of Flood and Drain tanks. Manufacturing the rest of the required equipment, like the Deep Water Culture (DWC) tank, and the filtration system. 

A biofiltration system was added.

Bio filter

Regis took a training course at Aquaponics Thailand, where a “Dual loop system” was taught and advised. Regis build a system that could be used as both conventional single loop system (fish - filtration - plants - fish) and dual loop system (fish - filtration - fish and filtration waste - plant).

It was clear, after a few months of trial, that the dual loop system was not working as well as the conventional one. The only advantage is to keep the fish isolated from the water used for plants, enabling pH control and addition of fertilizer in the plant water. We thought this was against the concept Aquaponics. The dual loop system was dismantled and a better new filtration system born. 

Several filtration systems were experimented. Swirl, baffle, combo, mesh, horisontal and vertical. Finally, after a few months of trials, the best system was tested and maintained in place until now. These experiments were at the fundation of AHA-Services commercial unit system. 

A full mineralisation system was also added in the loop. This has proven to be the best way to maintain the mineral content of the water at required level without the addition of any supplement. 

Filtration

In order to be in full control of the environment in the lab, a cooling tower system was build, and further improved a year after. 

Cooling

Two nursery principle were built.
One flood and drain nursery based on the original Bangkok lab design. 

Nursery 1

And one slope nursery based on the learnings from Pinky Aquaponics lab.

Nursery 2


Once we reached an optimised desing of the fish and filtration systems, the bangkok lab was then used to experiment on several grow media 


Flood and Drain

Flood and drain beds are a great addition to small systems for their biofiltration capabilities. 

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One of the main issue is the reliability of the syphon. Conventional bell syphon are very dependent on water inlet flow rate and are therefore unreliable. AHAS have designed a floating syphon that is very reliable and has a very large flow rate window. It has now been working in the Bangkok lab for over 2 years with no failure. 

The issue with Flood and Drain beds are the collection of sediments and organic matter that, after a few months, starts to be host of an anaerobic bacteria environment hurting the aquaponics ecosystem.  

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Deep Water Culture (DWC)

There has been a great evolution from the first DWC we built to the MIT. But all over these years, the DWC culture system has been a 100% success. It has therefore been selected to be the chosen one to be the AHA commercial and Backyard systems backbone.  


NFT

NFT has very limited success. Probably its only real application in Aquaponics would be a strawberry garden. It suits well Hydroponics systems, where the volume of water is purposely limited in order to reduce the quantity of water, and therefore the cost of the chemical fertilizer, in the system. But in Aquaponics, we want to maximise the quantity of water in order to optimise bacteriologic and temperature stability. NFT is very sensitive the enviroment heat variations.  

High volume NFT have been tried, but without much success either. Plants are definitely not develpping as well as in DWC. Probsably due to the space limitgation for the roots. 

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Dutch Buckets

Dutch buckets provide a good support for the roots

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Unfortunately the dutch buckets system suffers from water inlet plugging and outlets being blocket by roots after a while. The bucket overfils, or the water supply plugs.

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Buckets in DWC

This is an evolution of the standalone buckets that works much more efficiently by eliminating its issues. The plants are grown in large pots, using porous media that are placed on top of the DWC MIT. 


Towers

A good system fro plants enjoying aeroponics, like strawberries. It needs to be of a minimum of 4” diameter. The 3” pipe has been found too small for a proper root system to develop. 

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The towers are also prone to root plugging after a while. Need constant maintenance.

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Wall

A great growth rate. Keep the roots cooler by water evaporation. But the wall system requries very fine water filtration and can get dirty very quickly. This is therefore to be used for long term growing systems like decorative living walls, but not optimised for Aquaponics vegetable production. 


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MIT

We have experimented all different types of growing media and techniques. All these experiments led us to the design of the MIT. We incorporated all learnings acquired during years of experiments in the Bangkok lab into MIT for the benefit of our AHAponics Customers. 


Then the MITGen4 born … ...

© Aquaponics Hardware Asia, AHAS CO., LTD, 2016