Update time! No pictures at the moment because stuff has been happening and we are madly busy and I need to assemble them in a coherent way. But! There will soon be underwater video of the fish
~! Because I have bought an 'action camera' with a waterproof housing and wheeeee this is fun!
--Actually, the whole thing of the camera is part of why I'm busy.
I bought it on Saturday, charged it up, read the instructions, connected it to my phone - I can connect it to my phone
, which is so
cool! - but then it was too dark and rainy to do anything with it outside. Then on Sunday we went to visit my parents (so they could give the Good Ethnic Boy his birthday present), so nothing happened that day either. And then on Monday, I tested the waterproof housing the way the instructions tell you to (it passed), assembled the whole shebang (camera in waterproof housing attached to the end of a stick), turned it on, stuck it in the tank, aaaaannnnd the waterproof housing was suddenly not waterproof any more.
There was swearing, and drying-off of the apparently dead camera, and more swearing, and sticking the camera in a bowl of rice to get any lingering moisture out of it, and calling the shop I got it from. By the time I got it out of the rice to take it back to the shop it was working again, but I wasn't sure I trusted it and I definitely didn't trust the housing! Took it back, and the guy at the store couldn't get the housing to leak again, so he told me to try again and if things went wrong the second time to bring it back and he'd see what they could do.
I brought the camera home and connected it to my computer to charge it up again, and discovered that when it got wet the built-in screen had stopped working, and so had the wi-fi connecting it to my phone, but the camera itself had kept running! So I have about a minute of lovely clear video of the inside of my fish tank, including a really good look at several of the fish, but it's swinging all over the place as I tried to work out why the phone wasn't connecting properly any more; and then I have some (rather unflattering) video of me (looking very unhappy and also with the camera angle pointed right up my nose) discovering water inside the casing, swearing, drying the camera on my shirt etcetera, and finally about an hour and a half of video of the inside of a bowl of rice.
Then I reassembled the waterproof casing and discovered that it will seal just fine when it's empty
, which is why it passed both my tests and the ones done by the guy at the store, but when the camera's in it the seal gapes a tiny amount on one side. Just enough to get a sheet of paper in there (and obviously, water). So I'll be putting the spare door on there to see if that one seals properly, and if not it will be going back to the store again!
In other news, one of the cats is going to the vet this afternoon, my joints have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the current weather, and we will be driving a total of six hours to attend a funeral tomorrow... so, fishy videos will
be happening, but don't expect them before the weekend.
Actual aquaponics and garden update:
I got two beautiful little watermelons off the Moon and Stars vines! They're just the right size for one or two people to have a feast, and the Good Ethnic Boy reports that they're delicious and incredibly juicy. I haven't tasted them, because I love watermelon but can't eat it on pain of really impressive digestive disruptions, and if I tried them and loved it then I would be faced with either not eating any more and being sad, or eating more and being very
sad. I grew them for him and he loves them, so that was a success! He's saving all the seeds and I'm drying them to plant next year.
The capsicum (sweet bell pepper) in the dirt garden has been producing so well that we've put a tiny little greenhouse up over it in an effort to keep it alive until next year; the GEB has sort of adopted it like a pet.
He also wants to see if we can coddle the weird blobby tomato over the winter.
Speaking of the tomatoes, they're still going! I have a jungle in my hoop house, with the ones in the aquaponics sprawling all over the place; I'm going to have to prune them back so that I can keep getting down the aisle between the beds. I think I'll get at least one more batch of chutney out of them.
I pickled some mousemelons! Only a jar and a half - I'm going to plant a lot
more next year, and get them going earlier as well. (I've saved seeds from them too, and of course the spaghetti squash.) It was a very experimental pickle recipe, based partly on what I like and partly what we had in the spice rack, and it was a definite success! So yummy and crunchy.
Several plants in the aquaponics that have been sulking unhappily all spring and summer have perked up and taken off now that the weather's cooled down (and also probably the aquaponics has reached a better balance of micronutrients). The eggplant and a little sweet chilli plant were both looking like they were on the point of death for months, but now they've put on growth spurts and started fruiting. Other plants that weren't exactly unhappy before are now even happier; I've got a forest of sweet basil (not quite the jungle that the tomatoes are, but it's trying!), the silverbeet are still going great, and several of the beetroot are developing nice little round roots; I've planted horseradish and a brussel sprout in the growbed that used to have the broccoli in it, and they don't seem to be suffering any transplant shock (fingers crossed).
The fish are eating much less; the goldfish are still eating but they've slowed down a lot, and the silver perch have almost stopped entirely now that the water temperature is down below 16 degrees C. I still don't have the hoop house closed in (thanks so much, joints), but if I'm not completely wiped out by all the driving tomorrow I'm going to be working on it for the rest of the week. I've also set up a bodgy solar water heater - it's just a coil of black pipe with water slowly pumped through it - and if the sun would just shine that will help a bit. The static upflow filter I'm building is almost finished!