Rice Fish culture success

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Erich Sysak, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. Erich Sysak

    Erich Sysak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher, farmer
    Location:
    Sakon Nakhon
    Climate:
    Wet dry tropics
    The sticky rice has flowered this week in my rice fish culture experiment. Essentially, my bottom field below a dam/road was badly eroded many years before I purchased the property. The previous owner had dug a trench directly to a canal, so every year the water and soil flooded in and out with the level of the canal. He wanted water for a summer crop, etc...The field is about 1 meter lower than the surrounding area.

    I built the road and dam and designed the drainage system, but was still left with an eroded field. When rainy season begins the field fills with water almost immediatly making it very difficult to plant.

    Solution was to dig a pond at the bottom. Made a deal with a local company and traded the dirt for their labor and equipment. They dug a pond about 45 meters long, 15 wide and 6 meters deep with no berms along the field side. The dirt went just across the road, no more than half a click away.

    Wonderful results. When it started to rain heavily the water flowed down into the pond leaving the field wet and tacky. I sowed it with sticky rice from the previous year, just tossing it by hand (whan kao). Very easy.

    A few weeks later the pond filled and I stocked it with about 20 tilapia fingerlings. Tilapia will begin breeding almost immediatly and here in Thailand ponds tend to collect snake fish and silver barb without any effort. Soon after the pond overflowed and the whole field was underwater. The rice was growing and the fish were feeding among the rice plants.

    Very easy to control the water level with a monk pipe that drains into an adjacent field. And of course no fertilizer at all, just leave it alone.

    I will drain the field when it is time to harvest the rice (around late December perhaps), try to dry the field out a little. But, we will still have the pond full of water for another crop, helping to keep weeds down, etc...The fish can enjoy the winter in the pond, reproduce, and get ready for next season.

    Not able to upload any pics for you because the maximum file sizes in the forum are quite small...

    Best,

    Erich
     
    Grace Pignatello likes this.
  2. Grace Pignatello

    Grace Pignatello Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Urban Site Manager, Homeschooling Mom
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    Desert
    Thank you so much for sharing! I learned so much and was encouraged!

    You said, "Made a deal with a local company and traded the dirt for their labor and equipment. "
    Love this!

    You said, "Soon after the pond overflowed and the whole field was underwater. The rice was growing and the fish were feeding among the rice plants."
    Great idea for the fish to interact with the rice. This happens on the plains in Africa. You are also creating a great healthy diet for humans. So this is how we feed the world!

    I shared your post with my facebook group.

    Thank you!
    Grace
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
    Erich Sysak likes this.
  3. Erich Sysak

    Erich Sysak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher, farmer
    Location:
    Sakon Nakhon
    Climate:
    Wet dry tropics
    Update to rice/fish culture: draining the field was more difficult than expected so the rice was ready to harvest when we still had ankle deep water and mud. Many of the rice plants were too happy and were so huge they fell over into the water. Just required a little extra drying time. Not a big deal. We used a big, mixing tub made of plastic that floated as we harvested, tossed the rice stalks into the tub. If I knew of a perennial that could survive the wet dry cycle I would plant it instead of rice...Huge numbers of fish now. We are building a simple windmill now to pull water from the bottom pond and send it to the canal which feeds a small pond at the top of the property and is used to irrigate the trees, fields and gardens above.
     
    allyann, Grace Pignatello and 9anda1f like this.
  4. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes Received:
    161
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Excellent update. Great idea for the pond as a retreat for the fish during low water ... kind of the natural model for aquaponics.
    Very interested in your windmill. For photos, uploading them to photobucket or similar, then linking in your post works best and no file size limitations.
     
    Grace Pignatello and Erich Sysak like this.
  5. Erich Sysak

    Erich Sysak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher, farmer
    Location:
    Sakon Nakhon
    Climate:
    Wet dry tropics
    Hello Bill,

    http://s1067.photobucket.com/user/sakonperm/story

    The dam/ road is below the fence line. This is the basic design of the windmill in pic, but there is more detail. Will build it next week and send some pics when finished. I can review the details if anyone is intrested.

    Erich
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
  6. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes Received:
    161
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Thanks Erich, great pics. Can't wait to see the finished product. You must get significant winds at times to make a windmill viable ... monsoon season?
     
    Erich Sysak likes this.
  7. Erich Sysak

    Erich Sysak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher, farmer
    Location:
    Sakon Nakhon
    Climate:
    Wet dry tropics
    Strangely enough, Bill, we have about 12 days each month from December through March with wknd speeds around 19kmh (monsoons Tibet?) when it is very dry and then rainy season from June to October very calm winds. Another farmer in our co op who is an engineer built this design to work with low wind speed and tested for a few years with good results. Luckily, I get to add in the improvements he figured out. Most of the improvements are for added stability to the sail area and how it is anchored to the ground.

    http://i1067.photobucket.com/albums/u431/sakonperm/received_1593564424003612_zps8avfcayq.jpeg
     
    Grace Pignatello likes this.
  8. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    Hi Eric,congratrs on gettting your harvest in. It did bring Fukuoka and the one straw revolution, to mind.
    I wouldnt worry too much about not having a perennial to replace your rice with.It is traditional crop with a traditional cycle and you have your fish to complement it.

    I didnt understand what you were trying to say with your windmill and the winds being 'wkend'. Was that weakened or weekend speeds?
     
    Erich Sysak likes this.
  9. Erich Sysak

    Erich Sysak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher, farmer
    Location:
    Sakon Nakhon
    Climate:
    Wet dry tropics
    Hello, I mispelled wind. About 12 days of each month during the dry season wind can reach 19km/ hour. It seems like enough, but we shall see in a week or so. Ponds are already going dry here about 1 month sooner than usual....people seem to be burning much less, but this may be economic rather than good sense as the price of rice is lower than the cost of producing if you use tractors, etc....

    By the way, I enjoyed your photoblog, particularly the cheese and quality carpentry....
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,623
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    Thank you. If I ever get to put the linen cupboard up, you'll love that too.(have to wait for one of my kids to turn up and help me sort out the new system photoblog put in place.
    Back to the winds. Is 19 k/hr quite strong for your area? Or is it what you need optimumly for your windmill to work properly?
    i had an oppurtunity to get a wind mill but because I didnt understand the system and because of the buildings and trees around me I didnt get it. I would love to have one though.
     
  11. Erich Sysak

    Erich Sysak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher, farmer
    Location:
    Sakon Nakhon
    Climate:
    Wet dry tropics
    I just finished a very lopsided chicken coop and am learning to appreciate patience and detail when building. Even the seemingly easy things are so difficult!

    About the windmill. I think about 13kmh is the minimum, so I figure if I can get at least 10 days a month it is enough water. I dont need huge amounts because there is a smaller pond at the top of the property that has never been dry, but in order for us to extend the swale orchard system across 2 more acres I will probably need the extra water from the windmill. The windmill pumps to a canal that runs up to the small pond and I pump water from the small pond to the garden and an orchard. 10 dollars a month for electricity which I share with the neighbor!
     
  12. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes Received:
    161
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Hmmm, and all this time I've been telling myself that chicken coops are supposed to be lopsided! ;)
     
    Erich Sysak likes this.
  13. Erich Sysak

    Erich Sysak New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher, farmer
    Location:
    Sakon Nakhon
    Climate:
    Wet dry tropics
  14. allyann

    allyann Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Near Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia
    Climate:
    warm and temperate, coastal
    Great work!
     

Share This Page