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Showing posts from March, 2013

Progress

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My aquaponics adventure continues with the addition of fish to the system. The system is still cycling but, given my difficulty in finding a pure source of ammonia (outside of peeing in the fish tank) I've decided to switch to the cycling method using fish.


I purchased forty little feeder goldfish - Comets, I think they're called - and brought them home to my awaiting 200 gallon tank. When I arrived home and checked the temperature of the water, I was unpleasantly surprised to find that the recent temperature drop and approaching storms had dropped the tank to 68 degrees F. That was just outside the three degree limit of transplanting my little feeders coming from a tank that was about 72 degrees F.

Using my hillbilly ingenuity, inherited through ages of cheapskates and country bumpkins in my family, I fashioned a makeshift heater from materials I had on hand. What does every Southerner have on hand? A turkey fryer, of course! Okay, so I'm not completely Southern yet, I wi…

How My Garden Grows ...or Doesn't

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I'm not Irish, but in the spirit of St. Patrick's day, I'm trying to turn my thumb green. A few months ago I posted about building a greenhouse for the Grandchildren so we could try our hand at growing winter vegetables. We had mixed results. We had a great little crop of onions but I didn't create a trellis for the peas in time and they produced only viney bushes. The greenhouse got so hot (even through winter) that the lettuce grew like wildfire. We harvested two heads before the rest of the plants bolted.

Now, as promised, we're trying something new for this year. I've spent the winter gathering materials and knowledge to build an aquaponic garden. Of course, like everything else I attempt, I had to go cheap, so it's been a learning experience.

Aquaponics is a hybrid of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in water without soil) and can be quite enjoyable for geeks like me because the process uses scientific principles in an attemp…