Monday, December 7, 2015

I am not dead!

And here we are..  Some 5 years later!
The system as you see it here, no longer exists.  A few years ago, we moved out of our house.  Things were getting too cramped, and we went to rent a bigger place, while renting out ours..  I had to break up the entire system, and got rid of most of it, with the exception of some parts that I consider irreplaceable..

Good news, is that we are moving to a smallholding this month, and I will be building a brand new AP system!  Watch this space!

Monday, October 24, 2011

New video added

Something is wrong with blogger.  I am unable to embed a video..

pls see the link below for the latest video..

Spring 2011 #1

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spring is here and I have killed my fish!!

Spring is FINALLY here!!

A lot has been going on...  Sorry for not posting for so long.  Fact is that not much has been happening.
I managed to kill all my trout by sheer stupidity.  Re-planted my DWC system with some tomatoes and basil.  Also made a fishtrap with some success..  I further added a new growbed, and I introduced a few local bass to my system.  Feeding them with "reject" koi from a local breeder.  I still have some tilapia that made it through the winter.  Planning on having a number of litters to feed the bass.  Check out the pics..

Plants currently in the system:
* 1 tomato that survived the winter (doing very well)
* a bunch of new tomato,s different varieties
* cucumbers
* peas
* squash
* corn
* mango
* chilli
* paprika
* green peppers
* basil (two types)
* Thyme
* Parsley
* lemon Balm
* Oregano
Wow.  Did not realise it was that much...


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I am still alive!

Long time no post.

It is winter now and things are not so good.  The weather is too cold for summer crops and it appears too hot for winter crops.  My cauliflower and broccoli have both gone to seed because of hot weather.  Spring is upon us, so I am starting new seedlings so that I can get a head start...

I have Trout in the system right now, and they are getting quite big.  Will be eating some of them soon.  The Chest freezer is back in commission, and working AWESOME!  - it is nicely sealed (it took ages) and the tilapia are as happy as, well fish in water.  As soon as the system water heats up, I will put the remaining trout in the chest freezer, and use it as a keep-cool tank.  I plan to add a block of ice every day to keep it chilly.  The tilapia will then move back into the system.  I also plan to trap some bluegill fish and use that in the system.  Will post pictures soon!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chest freezer out of commission

So the freezer somehow sprang a leak.  had to top up the water every few days.

Decided that I should do away with the liner and rather fix up the freezer properly.
This is proving to take longer than I had hoped.  As in going on 2 weeks.
Result is that most of the tilapia have died..
Those that are left are probably genetically disposed towards tolerating the cold weather..
Bruno my dog had a field day.  He ate every last dead fish..
For some reason I am unable to add pictures to the blog today.  Will try gain later..

In other news, the trout are doing very very well!
They are eating like starved banshees.. will be eating a couple of them tonight!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fish are balmy in the freezer!

We had a couple of fish deaths from the cold.  I lost maybe a dozen or so fingerlings and one plate-sized guy,  You may remember old Geoffrey from an earlier post.  I took hm back outside since he was all better and the cold water promptly killed him.  And I did not shock him.  I lowered his temperate overnight before taking him outside..  Oh well.  A memorial service is scheduled for old Geoffrey.  Felt really bad about it.

Decided to do something about it.  So I got me a beat-up old 350L chest freezer..  
(while my wife rolls her eyes)

So why would I use a chest freezer if I am complaining about the cold?   - because the freezer is very  very well insulated and will keep the heat inside.   Of course the freezer is not turned on   :-)

I lined it with black plastic. 
Getting it in and neat is quite difficult...  Involves a whole lot of patience.  That substance that I have soo much of.

But a bit of packaging tape helped it along..  Was worried about the lid pinching the airlines, but it appears ok.  (If I put my ear to the closed lid I can hear it bubbling away inside)

Please notice the all important lid-closing device on top...  Will install some sort of latch to keep it closed.  Later.      And please also notice my helper on the side..  She felt the needed to check he seal personally..

And this morning, I checked the temperature again:   28 degrees Celsius!
And they seem happy!

Woo hoo!!
This is fun..

Next steps:
I would like to measure the effectiveness of the insulation.  So I will be monitoring the temperature in the tank (it should go up and down as the heater switches itself on and off) - from this I could figure out how much power I am using to maintain the temperature.  I have the option of adding more insulation, but I think 90% of the energy loss at this point comes from the cold air that is getting pumped in via the aerator.

Tomorrow I am getting trout for the AP system!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rafting update

An HSM is an aquaponics term, short for a Holy Shit Moment.  Defined as an indeterminate period of time during which all hell breaks loose in an aquaponic system, and where serious intervention is required.  In some cases accompanied by severe fish losses and lots of swearing and running around like a mad person .  Examples include broken pipes, serious biological imbalances (nitrite spikes etc), and in some cases, you get dogs OPENING YOUR FRIGGIN' DRAIN TAP.  I lost maybe 1000L of water today.  This is the 3rd time.  No idea how they do it, no idea how to stop them from doing it.  Maybe I should apply liberal doses of chilli to the handle... <GRIN>
Luckily the super clever design of my system will never leave the fish without water, so I did not lose any fish because of this

First winter casualties
Arrived at the smallfry tank this morning after our first particularly cold night, and (apart from the HSM) found two little bite-size dead guys.
Here is one of them.  I assume they could not handle the water temp dropping below 18deg C.  I am convinced not all of them will die, because tilapia are flourishing in our local dams, which get as cold as 12degC in winter.  But I am worried.  I would prefer not losing half the fish..  And the water is not even that cold yet.  I need to make a plan and quickly..

Rafting update
Here are the promised pics of the rafting system.

The cabbage are doing particularly well.  I have some pots open where I plan to plant a second batch..
Some nice roots growing out of the pots and hanging into the water.  The water is well aerated to keep the roots from rotting.

Making chillisauce!
 I had WAY too many chillis harvested, and I don't really like the taste when raw, so I made chillisauce!

DO NOT TOUCH EYES OR NOSE when handling chilli.  And if you are male, DO NOT GO PEE!!!  (Or if you do, go freestyle!)

That is all I am going to say about that..

Recipe?  Comment to the blog if you want it.  I used lotsa chillies, some fresh paprika, 2 red peppers, 2 red onions and a LOT of sugar.  yum.

Luckily I do not make a huge mess when cooking.  

The result..  A very sweet, medium hot chilli sauce.  Sort of tabasco plus sweet chilli sauce plus a truckload of sugar.  Plus maybe some more sugar.

Did I mention it tastes sweet?