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  • June 23, 2017, 04:12:40 PM

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Author Topic: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics  (Read 32782 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #540 on: March 22, 2017, 08:58:49 AM »
DF wants to build me a greenhouse.  But I'm zone 4ish so without heat?  It isn't going to be enough to overwinter anything.  But I'll be able to start plants in March and have stuff in there probably through to Christmas most years.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #541 on: March 22, 2017, 05:19:18 PM »
I have no idea what zone we count as - we're "cool temperate" on our maps, which in practice means we get just as hot as places in the "subtropical" zone... just really briefly, for a few days in the middle of summer, whereas they have to deal with it most of the year. Then we freeze hard at night in winter (less briefly), but during the day can often get fairly warm.

Outdoor Girl, temperatures like that would give me an excuse to build a rocket mass heater or similar. >:D
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #542 on: March 28, 2017, 06:28:51 AM »
*rubs hands together* Update time! ;D

First, a fishy update! The silvers are getting a lot bigger and were actually visible this afternoon:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXdhjUNW5bM

I harvested my potatoes!


The soil was nice and loose, and fairly dry despite all the rain we've been having, so I was able to tip it all out onto a tarp and sort through for treasure tubers:


Found quite a few, too! 1.7 kilos of free potatoes! (Also found a small ant colony, which was not as much fun. >:()


I took the broccoli out of the aquaponics; they weren't heading up at all, and were supporting a thriving colony of white fly that laughed at all the fish-safe insecticides that I tried on them. So they had to go:


The celeriac and radicchio plants that have been half-smothered under them for months are probably very relieved to see the sun again! Then I had to pull the root masses out. And I do mean masses:


The flat edge on there is where it was pressed up against the edge of the growbed; that's the one that was growing under the water inlet, and it's obviously been enjoying having the first go at all the nutrients!

When I started poking around and getting some of the clay balls out of the root mat, I found two baby yabbies that must have gotten sucked up by the pump! One was dead :'( but the other was perfectly fine and has been returned to the sump - I don't have a picture of the live one, because it was trying really hard to jump out of my hand, but here's the other:


Methinks I should put flyscreen mesh around the pumps to keep the baby critters safe!

And finally, a quick peek at one of the local magpies being cute:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb9ywHw5qlg
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RevMaxx

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #543 on: April 02, 2017, 10:06:49 PM »
Love love love it! Treasure tubers, yup.

It's all a wonderful trip you've documented.  :D

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 #544 on: April 10, 2017, 06:59:08 PM »
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! ;D

--Actually, the whole thing of the camera is part of why I'm busy. :P 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. :o 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. ;D ::) ;D

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. ;D 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!
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 07:03:04 PM by Mel the Redcap »
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #545 on: April 15, 2017, 07:32:04 PM »
Fishtank video! *flings confetti* Whee~!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYk8_0m1hjk
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Lady Tempest

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #546 on: April 18, 2017, 06:35:07 PM »
Wow Mel, it really gives you an idea of just how big the tanks are. Neat to watch, especially the aeration.
I expect it would make a good meditation  :D

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #547 on: April 18, 2017, 09:48:08 PM »
Wow Mel, it really gives you an idea of just how big the tanks are. Neat to watch, especially the aeration.
I expect it would make a good meditation  :D

There are hour-plus long videos on YouTube of fish tanks with bubbling noises etc, posted as relaxation vids, so I suspect you're right! ;D
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #548 on: April 22, 2017, 08:03:44 PM »
Y'know, I kinda thought fishy videos would get a bit more of a response, given how many people requested them. :-\ Did everyone go on holiday for Easter? :P

Anyway, it's a good thing I got that camera when I did, because two of the big goldfish died on Thursday, the one with the red freckles on silver/white (and the big foofy tail) and the one with multicoloured freckles on silver/white. Nothing visibly wrong with them, nothing wrong with the water parameters, all the other fish looking fine, just bam! two dead goldfish when I went out to feed them that morning. :'( No idea what happened there.
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RevMaxx

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #549 on: April 23, 2017, 12:07:58 AM »
aww, goldfishies. I abhor when we plan and the unexpected catches us off guard. {{{Mel}}} :-[
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mandycorn

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #550 on: April 24, 2017, 04:25:02 PM »
Oh no, I'm so sorry about your dead fish, especially because your fish tank video is awesome.

Did the waterproof case just need the replacement door or did you have to exchange it?
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #551 on: April 24, 2017, 06:58:44 PM »
Did the waterproof case just need the replacement door or did you have to exchange it?

I had to exchange it, because the spare door isn't intended to be a waterproof one - it's got two big gaps in it that I hadn't noticed before I posted. I think that one's meant to be for when you want the camera in the case for protection, but you're going to be using it in circumstances where it might overheat or fog up if it was sealed. They swapped the case for one that was in their display and everything's worked just fine since.

I tried to get some video of the yabbies in the sump tank too, but the wi-fi won't work through water (fair enough, it is a tiny little camera!). So I was sort of vaguely waving it around and poking the lens at various pipes in the hopes that yabbies were lurking there, and there's one brief glimpse of a yabby off in the far recesses of the sump tank as the camera pans past and goes back to looking in empty pipes. ::)
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mandycorn

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #552 on: April 25, 2017, 03:20:48 PM »
I'm glad they were able to exchange it! That sounds like a pretty cool set (now that all the parts are working).

I feel like randomly poking your camera into yabby-holes might become a regular part of your routine (and is easily one of the weirder things I've ever typed on this site).
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln 

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #553 on: April 25, 2017, 06:36:33 PM »
*snerk* At least it's a fun potential part of my routine! Plus, I promise to share any neat yabby closeups that random pipe-poking gets me. I've already used the camera to get a closer look at how much gunk is in my radial flow filter, so I could decide whether or not it needed cleaning yet. ;D It is a cool little set; the camera is about the size of one of those big Duplo blocks intended for little kids who are too small to be trusted with Lego yet, and most of the box was full of different clamps and connectors to attach it to various things (bike handlebars, helmets, etc).
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Mel Has Fun With Aquaponics
« Reply #554 on: April 25, 2017, 06:37:28 PM »
RevMaxx, I forgot to ask - is your mad canning extravaganza over, and how was hunting season? *hopes you're not knocked too flat by it all!*
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