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  • June 25, 2017, 02:16:06 PM

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Author Topic: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics  (Read 32976 times)

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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #480 on: February 05, 2017, 07:01:49 PM »
More updating and photos! Woo!

My tank arrived!


The outlet and overflow are on the other end; that big black circle on top is the inlet, with a strainer (to keep leaves and bugs out) and sunlight excluder (to stop algae growing inside). They messed up slightly and didn't put the level indicator I ordered in, so they're going to either mail or courier it to me and I get to play with a holesaw. >:D

This is where it is going! As you can see, this Will Not Do. The previous owners of our house had a water treatment thingy here for their huge saltwater tanks, and when they took it with them they didn't lay concrete over the hole or anything; they just filled it in with bricks, dropped a paver on top, and gooped silicone around the edges.


So I got a bunch of boards cut to size and some make-a-bracket pieces:


...filled in the hole with small gravel to give the boards a level base to sit on:


...fastened everything together and hauled it into place.


The Good Ethnic Boy is going to help me move the tank tomorrow, Tuesday afternoon. Not today because he's going to be watching the Superbowl. ;D

Also! My strawberries are happy and starting to ripen fruit:


The teeny capsicum in the aquaponics is starting to colour up:


And the watermelon bachelor party was surprisingly short-lived, because we have the first female flower today! Woohoo! There was a bee hanging around and I also hand-pollinated it, so fingers crossed!
"Set aphasia to stun!"

ladyknight1

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #481 on: February 05, 2017, 07:04:31 PM »
So much progress! I hope (fingers crossed, prayers spoken, heart set) that we will be buying the house we have a contract for, depending on the seller being willing to help with the three required fixes, and the mortgage folks playing nice.

Then I will have a walled garden to plan and build, a small garden in the back to level and build, and an outdoor kitchen to build!
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Chez Miriam

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #482 on: February 06, 2017, 04:54:07 AM »
Yay!  That is awesome; looking forward to the pics of the tank in situ.

And watermelons!

Ladyknight1: fingers crossed (good thoughts, everything crossed, etc) for your house purchase [I still remember the stress of ours, and that was over two years ago].  I hope you will start a thread so we can follow your progress.  Mel the Redcap's thread really is one of my favourites on eHell. :)
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  - Julian of Norwich

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #483 on: February 06, 2017, 04:31:44 PM »
Ooooh, good luck ladyknight1! Fingers crossed for you, and definitely post about your progress - it's easier to cheer you on that way!
"Set aphasia to stun!"

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #484 on: February 11, 2017, 03:29:09 AM »
*whine* It's soooo hooooooot! :'( The temperature hit 41 degrees C both yesterday and today (106 F), and the water temperature in my aquaponics was over 32 C late this afternoon. It's going to cool down significantly over the next few days - the forecast high for Tuesday is only 27 C (81 F)! - and while that's great, I'm worried that the temperature swing will be fast enough to seriously stress my fish. Fingers crossed!

In happier news, the Good Ethnic Boy and I wrestled my water tank into position on Thursday (before it got so hot!!!):


the beans are flowering:


my tomatoes think this weather is just awesome:


and the watermelons are taking off! ;D We're up to five female flowers and the first one is growing very well:
"Set aphasia to stun!"

PastryGoddess

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #485 on: February 11, 2017, 08:40:40 AM »
we set our growing melons on straw and pieces of stone to keep them off the ground.  and also to find them later in the season
Maryland

ladyknight1

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #486 on: February 12, 2017, 08:20:59 PM »
News: our new house is on a significant slope, with the street a few feet above the house, and the back yard sloping further.

We have to put in a retaining wall and then soil to cover the foundation of the back covered porch. I'm thinking I'll put the retaining wall in and then cover that with rock and use it for container gardening.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

PastryGoddess

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #487 on: February 12, 2017, 09:17:48 PM »
That's a great idea.  It's like a huge raised bed.  Your plants will be very happy with you. 
Maryland

RevMaxx

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #488 on: February 12, 2017, 10:07:05 PM »
Oh Lawdy, how I love this thread!

LadyKnight1--Positiveness - I will envision "LordKnight1" carrying you over the threshhold! Let us know that he does?
(Good use of the retaining wall too, instead of being a negative!)

PastryGoddess--we actually use used (yup used) white, plain paper plates for different melons.  By late Fall, they are so battered that they mulch in well when DearHubs rototills their area.

OutdoorGirl--when I do freeze tomatoes, after they thaw, I drain off the near-water liquid, add salt and we have some 'tomato juice'.  The meatier bits go to sauce.

Did I hear Mel and the GEB slurping tomatoes??? (Gawd, I love that sound)

Tomorrow-heater on in the 'nursery' room. Then Tuesday, bunches-o-seeds get
started! ((YAY  ;D )) So excited, even though we shoveled 4 inches today of snow/slush/sleet.
What sign was I born under you ask? Under the sign, "No Parking".

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #489 on: February 12, 2017, 10:16:27 PM »
we set our growing melons on straw and pieces of stone to keep them off the ground.  and also to find them later in the season
Yup, I plan to do something like that, probably with sugarcane mulch since it's what I've got the most of! ;D

News: our new house is on a significant slope, with the street a few feet above the house, and the back yard sloping further.

We have to put in a retaining wall and then soil to cover the foundation of the back covered porch. I'm thinking I'll put the retaining wall in and then cover that with rock and use it for container gardening.
Ooh, yay! That sounds awesome! And, y'know, a slope or a paved area can be very useful for setting up an aquaponic system... >:D

Oh Lawdy, how I love this thread!
<snip>
Did I hear Mel and the GEB slurping tomatoes??? (Gawd, I love that sound)

Tomorrow-heater on in the 'nursery' room. Then Tuesday, bunches-o-seeds get
started! ((YAY  ;D )) So excited, even though we shoveled 4 inches today of snow/slush/sleet.
Hee! So do I! ;D

The GEB hasn't been slurping tomatoes, he's been eating all the cherry ones and popping them instead. Me, though, I have definitely been slurping - one of the best ways to eat a good meaty tomato is with salt in the palm of my left hand, tomato in my right, dipping it in the salt and eating it like an apple. (And slurping! >:D)

Hooray! Seed starting is always fun!
"Set aphasia to stun!"

PastryGoddess

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #490 on: February 12, 2017, 11:23:38 PM »
Arrgggggh I'm so jealous,  I'm at least 4-6 weeks from starting to plant here in my area.  But I've got a plan.  I'm introducing biochar to my raised beds this year.  So I can start that in another 2-3 weeks, since it needs some time to get in the soil to start building a bacterial colony. 

Heirloom tomato seedlings are going in as soon as they hit the nursery in April.  They take a long time (80-100 days) to mature and I want them early this year.  My standbys, Lemon, Celebrity, cherry,and grape tomatoes will go in around May 1.  My hope is that I'll start harvesting everything in Mid June rather than July this year. 
Maryland

RevMaxx

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #491 on: February 12, 2017, 11:53:13 PM »
Arrgggggh I'm so jealous,  I'm at least 4-6 weeks from starting to plant here in my area. ***Your area is actually ahead of the Poconos. We start from seed, the same time as your nursery  :) . But I've got a plan.  I'm introducing biochar DearHubs swears by biochar. Our primary heat is woodstove, so it's abundant. He says it conditions the soil for a century. (He's the expert, I follow his lead. But it's done us good! LOL) to my raised beds this year.  So I can start that in another 2-3 weeks, since it needs some time to get in the soil to start building a bacterial colony. 

Heirloom tomato seedlings are going in as soon as they hit the nursery in April.  They take a long time (80-100 days) to mature and I want them early this year.  My standbys, Lemon, Celebrity, cherry,and grape tomatoes will go in around May 1.  My hope is that I'll start harvesting everything in Mid June rather than July this year. PastryGoddess-If you'd like to try a beefsteak-style that is lower in acid, PM me and I will send you seeds of DearHubs family heirloom- the "Ugly Limbaugh". Our "mission" is sharing heirloom organic seeds.  ;)

I think we're all just too happily excited growers!
What sign was I born under you ask? Under the sign, "No Parking".

PastryGoddess

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #492 on: February 13, 2017, 12:50:14 AM »
Arrgggggh I'm so jealous,  I'm at least 4-6 weeks from starting to plant here in my area. ***Your area is actually ahead of the Poconos. We start from seed, the same time as your nursery  :) . But I've got a plan.  I'm introducing biochar DearHubs swears by biochar. Our primary heat is woodstove, so it's abundant. He says it conditions the soil for a century. (He's the expert, I follow his lead. But it's done us good! LOL) to my raised beds this year.  So I can start that in another 2-3 weeks, since it needs some time to get in the soil to start building a bacterial colony. 

Heirloom tomato seedlings are going in as soon as they hit the nursery in April.  They take a long time (80-100 days) to mature and I want them early this year.  My standbys, Lemon, Celebrity, cherry,and grape tomatoes will go in around May 1.  My hope is that I'll start harvesting everything in Mid June rather than July this year. PastryGoddess-If you'd like to try a beefsteak-style that is lower in acid, PM me and I will send you seeds of DearHubs family heirloom- the "Ugly Limbaugh". Our "mission" is sharing heirloom organic seeds.  ;)

I think we're all just too happily excited growers!

Thank you I appreciate the offer.  However, I don't grow from seeds.  I have a local nursery that has a wide variety of vegetables and plants and they they have a YUGE! greenhouse that they plant and procure their seedlings from.  When I plant, I'm planting seedlings that are ~15-20 days into the process, therefore allowing me the opportunity to get my tomatoes that much earlier. 

However, when I win the lottery, I'm buying 40 acres, a mule, and setting up a greenhouse. :)
Maryland

RevMaxx

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #493 on: February 15, 2017, 09:28:44 PM »
YUGE mule? LOL

Happy-almost-a-week-later Birthday, Mel theRedCap! 

You're a blessing in disguise, Girl.   :)
What sign was I born under you ask? Under the sign, "No Parking".

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #494 on: February 19, 2017, 07:06:36 PM »
Yesterday we passed a huge milestone - cooking and eating a meal where all the major ingredients were grown in my aquaponics! ;D 8) Yaaaaay~! And it was delicious. It was based on one of the recipes the Good Ethnic Boy found, but modified to fit in with what I can and can't eat; the original included onions and garlic, for example, which we left out completely, and IIRC the vermouth was a spur-of-the-moment addition that turned out to be brilliant.

It started with both the spaghetti squash my teeny vines have produced:


They were cut in half, seeds scooped out, insides rubbed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then turned cut-side-down on a lined cookie tray and baked for 40 minutes. Then the GEB went to get cherry tomatoes out of the fridge, realised we didn't have any left in there (because he'd eaten them all >:D) and asked me to get more. So I picked this bowlful out of the aquaponics:


As you can see, the cherry tomatoes are producing like mad, it's awesome. I cut about two-thirds of them in half, and the GEB sauteed them in a little oil, then added chicken stock and vermouth. Then he discovered that we'd also finished the baby spinach he thought was in the crisper ::) and sent me out to pick some young silverbeet leaves, which got ripped up and added to the pan, and he simmered the resulting deliciousness to reduce it down:


Once the spaghetti squash was cooked we scraped it all out of the skins with forks, put the sauce on top, and discovered that it was glorious. This one's going on our list of recipes to repeat in the future, and next year I'm planting a lot more spaghetti squash!
"Set aphasia to stun!"