Wednesday, 31 March 2010

From Tank To Grill

We removed the Cat Fish and gave them a quick blow to the head. That prepared them for the Bar B Q. It is never nice to kill something whatever the circumstances. However these fish were bred for eating so here goes.

Monday, 22 March 2010

First Fish Harvest

Had a very successful day. Did some really through cleaning up of the system and then rounded all the fish. Time for a weighting session.
We have 20 fish comprising 5 cat fish and 15 Tilapia.
Cat fish weigh 950 grams so about 250 grams each. Not bad for 3 and a half months.
15 Tilapia weight 1200 grams which again was not bad given the fact that only 5 were from the original batch and the other 10 added later. So 5 big and 10 small. Total mass 2.1 Kilograms. Generally accepted growth as far as I was concerned. For my set up I had estimated a total weight of something in the region of 2.2 to 2.3 kilograms so no complaints. So all in all a good result.
I'll be honest I am actually very very pleased!!!!!

We put the Tilapia back in the tank and the cat fish went into a holding tank.
So the Tilapia will live for another day till they get big enough to eat.
However the catfish are being ‘cleansed’ in their own separate tank ready for the Bar B Q on Wednesday evening….I doubt they are looking forward to it as much as me!!! Photos of the dinner to follow.

Monday, 15 March 2010

New Filter = Clean Water

I've been quite worried about the bad smell and dirty water. So much so that I visited several local aquarium shops to look at different systems and review the options. But I wanted to opt for a home made one. It's easy to buy one but having made my tanks and the rest of the grow beds etc I wanted to also do this myself.
I spend most of Saturday morning thinking about all I had been reading and the local systems I had looked at. I opted for one I had seen on the web. Simple bucket with a central pipe and filter cloth arrangement. Works really well. The water cleared in a matter of hours and the fish started eating again!

Now I'm going to improve on it and make some simple 'liners', bit like a vacuum cleaner filter. It will make for easy removal and cleaning. That's the next development in this project.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Major Smell

Got home last night and the smell from the fish tank was high!! I mean high. No dead fish but several gasping for air. I also noted they had not eaten the food I had put out in the m0rning. So mentioning this to Wanna, "Yes I fed them this morning", 'So did I' chirped in Owen. Well they had had a good day in terms of food. Three times more than necessary.
Only problem is too much food is no good for them. I recalled that Travis in his manual stated if the water smells stop feeding. Done....
I removed the uneaten pellets and also the various leaves etc which had been added.
Later in the evening I decided to also remove the water. Yes the water. Pumped away about 80% and refilled with fresh tap water.
Seems to have worked OK as this morning the water was clearer and the fish still swimming, (the right way up!). I tried a few pellets but not much interest so will lay off the food for a few more days.

Monday, 8 March 2010

System Progress Update

Been a while now since I posted anything on my system progress. The past few weeks its just been a day to day routine thing, where I have been feeding the fish and at weekends emptying out the fish waste. We use the fish waste on the garden and the plants seem to like it.
Its not so exciting at the moment. That makes it difficult to write a lot but .... Today we had a good clean up and checked the water quality, pH of 8.0, bit on the low side but OK. I'm still looking for DO and Nitrate test kits. So if any of you out here can point me in the right direction please do!
The plants are doing well. Tomatoes are turning red and the chillies are surprisingly hot! Also thinned out a few of the basil and will be planting some more in next few days.
Wanna is beginning to take an interest which can only mean one thing. They are nearly ready for the Bar B Q!!!!
On a separate note I've been looking into a commercial system and will be getting round to my business plan shortly. Need to decide just how big to be and as long as it is sustainable I can employ someone to look after it up on our farm. Will keep you updated on developments.