Thursday, 28 January 2010

Progress Update

A week last Sunday I had planted some seeds in the barrels. Corriander, Basil, Spearmint and a couple of Thai Herbs. So checked up yesterday on progress. Thats 10 days on and we're doing OK. Also the tomatoes and egg plants aer doing well. These we had put in earlier. Tomatoes are not red but getting bigger. I do think they are slow but cannot be sure. Just me in a hurry as always.
The cat fish are another story.  We put them in on the 16th Dec, they were tiny back then. And now 5 weeks later. they are big Difference in size is amazing. My wife will probably give them a few more weeks before they do a one way visit to the Bar B Q....

When we purchased the Cat fish back in December they were about 6-8 cm long. Now I estimate them to be about 12-16 centimeters. Only guessing! If I was a real fisherman I would be telling you 30 centimers!!!! As would any other self respecting fisherman.  Thats me on the right with the newly bought Cat fish.
But seriously, the next time round the system is going to be very closely monitored and recorded. I want to get a real feel for costings. I know a small barrel is not the final solution but its a start, a very good start.

Monday, 18 January 2010

One Dead Fish And Some Tomatoes

Never nice when things die, and that even goes for my nameless fish!
He was a small one (probably from the second batch we bought). And he appeared to have some sort of infection around his eyes, watching him I had noticed the cat fish attacking him a few times. Not a good sign. I took him out of the tank and had a more detailed look at him. No energy, and he did not seem bother to suck in the air,  and on putting him back in the tank it was clear he had lost interest in life. What to do? I was worried he would infect all the other guys so unfortunately he had to go. Where you ask? Over the wall. Finished. Sadly.

The tomatoes on the other hand are doing OK. Minimal disease and only a few white fly to worry about. Interestingly around the flood pipes to the grow beds where we have put a small mesh to stop the water flowing too fast it is attracting numerouns bees. Seem to be the water which they are after. Maybe also to whatever it is thats in the water.

Also planted some seeds, 5 different Thai herbs, so will wait and see how they develop. Interesting.
And might even get some red tomatoes in a  few weeks. Watch this spot.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

No Prawns.....

It is now a safe bet to tell you the prawns did not survive. I had a good look this morning and no sign of any. All gone.
The cat fish on the other hanad of course look 'frisky', that is, if cat fish can look such a thing.
This weekend will see me clearing out the accumulated sludge that has built up in the header tank. Might also be a good idea to install a bottom drain tap to make it easier for cleaning the next time round. I'll buy the fitting this afternoon and see how I feel on Saturday about doing anything!!!
I'm also thinking about adding a second tank for prawns but really I do need to let this set up work its way through one cycle first. Its only been on the go for 40 days. What I will be doing is weighing the fish and from here on in will be checking them on a weekly basis. Should be an interesting  exercise and indeed I will also start to monitor and weigh the food I give them. Make it all a bit more scientific.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Adding a few prawns

Watching fish grow?.....However does it really sound so interesting?... If you were to tell me yes I don't think I'll believe you!  But for me yes...
It is a patient business and I can assure you that they, the fish grow slowly. In fact they grow very very slowly.
Last night to add to the 'interest' we purchased some 'jumping' prawns and added them in. The prawns were small. Only ones available in the market. I felt sorry for them really as I expect the cat fish to eat them all. Will be checking this evening to see if there are any left. If not, I will need to make an additional tank and have a seperate section of the system just for prawns.  Exciting?... I can watch them grow as well.
Well, if the cat fish have eaten the prawns then they will have had an extra special dinner. Well worth watching... err....
What is worth watching is the video of these type of prawns. Make for tasty eating for us let alone the cat fish.... This much I do know.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

2010 Update

I've now been at this Barrel Ponics for about 6 weeks and all going well. I've got the ladder well placed to inspect the filling tank and as you can see also aquired a small light. Thats only 3 Watts but attracts insects which die and fall in the tank. Extra food for the cat fish.

In total when we started there were 20 Tilapia and 10 cat fish. 4 tilapia have died and 2 catfish. However there appear to be only 4 cat fish remaining? I know they can jump out as we put 2 back a few days ago after we found about 5 meters away! However no sign of the missing ones.

The plants have also done well. Better in the barrel on right handside but not so well on the left. I think the left side gets to much sun and is also for some reason  more full of dirt. But the good news is that I see the tomatoe plants are begining to flower so I am optimistic we should get a crop. I've also added in egg plants and
some Thai herbs so will start to see and record progress over the next few months.

One thing that seems to be going very well is the float/flood control. For the leverage system to open the flush, instead of following Travis with using some rollers and a moving wire (could not find any locally) I've used a short piece of plastic piping as a 'rocker' lever, connected it to some old electric wire and cut a grove in it and in the top of the tank where it is positioned. I then for safety put a second piece of wire across the top just to stop it jumping out of position. I have been expecting it to break down but so far so good. It is so simple and I am 'chuffed' to bits about it.