Aquaponics in the Dominican Republic Part 6.
A week of ups and downs.
The battle of the hard water and high pH continues with rainwater to do water exchanges. This is made even more difficult when the town water had a pH spike to over 8.4 and became even harder than normal.
The arrival of new fish for a third system wrecked havoc on the systems when fish where put into the tank that had a breed-ready pair in it already. This separated the breeding pair and put big fish in with the small ones, and mixed the male and female. After a morning of trying to catch fish in a round tank we finally had it sorted out and nicely configured with one tank of just small boys, one with some big girls, and the third with similar sized mix of boys and girls. We will need to look in to building a grow-out-tank soon to put fish that are of eating size.
The third system is built with the new frame to hold and flood and drain grave bed. This system has the bio-filter that is moved from an already running system to a new system to speed up the ammonia conversion process. This tank has also had water from the other two systems added to it to speed up this process. This week it will get plumbed and have gravel added to it.
Work progressed well on system one, with water and rafts added to the half barrels.
Systems 2 has had grow pots added to the raft beds and some very health seedling have come out of them. I am testing side-by-side pots of seeds planted directly into the grow pots and also seedlings transferred into the pots. At the moment, I see little difference in sizes of plants although the transferred ones did take a day or two to recover from the move. It will be interesting to see the difference in root growth (if any?) after a few more weeks.
I also added some shade for this grow bed, as the sun is now very sharp in the middle of the day.
We have a seed pot in one of the gravel beds that is showing a very good rate of sprouting. The next blog will feature photos of these.
It’s always great to see people coming in to have a look around, asking questions and seeing what we are doing. It a good way to meet like-minded people and make good contacts and learn about how we are being heard about and whom we should find in the same field. A nice piece of info was that Dr. Bob, a local vet who has his own aquaponics system, had one thing I had been looking for… Duckweed… A quick trip to Sosua, just 10 minutes down the road from Caberete, I found Dr. Bob’s clinic and duckweed growing in his tanks. He was more than happy to give me some and happy to talk about his very interesting system too. Now we have another food alternative for our fish and the aquaponics community in Cabarete strengthens.