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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Unfortunately, I had been putting too much food in one of the tanks. That combined with the venturi uptake clogging, caused a few fish to die. The best thing I could do was buy a large stock tank and move the fish to clean everything. One of the grow beds has cracked as well. We’re making some major changes this week but they’ll allow for better filtering and more growing space.

100 Gallon Stock Tank with autofill valve and a temporary circulation pump.

The new filter is based on “Jim’s Crazy Bio Filter”. It will allow for easy emptying of fish waste to be dumped in the compost pile or other garden spaces.  The missing piece will be a homemade venturi to aerate the dirty water being pumped to the bottom. I combined cornstarch and silicone to make a sort of rubber concrete and filled a 3/4″ piece of pvc. It’s nearly set and I will use 2 different step drill bits to make create the venturi effect. I will also be adding a skimmer to remove protein waste and further oxygenate the water.

We really didn’t have enough growing and filtration space available to support this many fish and make up for small mistakes. Tilapia grow fast and poop a lot.

The new bio-filter setup near completion.

The chicken pen finally has a proper roof. The old roof was made of recycled, corrugated plastic sheets. They only lasted about a year before dry-rotting and causing a huge mess. The new roof is galvanized steel and should be good for a long time. I doubt the chickens will miss their skylights, especially after a hail storm.

It’s going to be noisy in the hail storms.

The greenhouse walls are ready to go. Roof trusses are nearly all assembled. They will be painted before installing. Once those are up, the polycarbonate panels are going in place. The floor was built with a insulated, reflective surface under the decomposed granite. There is about 70′ of coiled pex tubing in the floor for a radiant heating system. Once the roof is installed, the collector coil will be mounted to get the most sun.

It’s really green… “Bell Pepper Green”

Here’s a small video of our chickens with the re-framed, new-to-us nesting boxes. 3 hens have pretty much stopped laying so we’re looking for new homes for them. In January we plan to add another 10 hens to our flock.

The aquaponics are still doing well too. Had a small problem in one of the beds with aphids attacking the arugula. We pulled all of it for chicken food and restarted seeds. The basil and beans have been growing fine without any pest issues. We just got in a new high power water pump and it’s going to allow us to add a few more beds with more bio-filtration area.

Lettuces, Basil, Beans and Baby Arugula