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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '16, 00:38 
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Gday skeggley :)
Yes the days are getting warmer although it's raining here tonight. It's unusual to have rains in October.
It's been a very unusual winter this year !
Have you got the Flow hive going yet ?
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I made it years ago out of an old gas cylinder, Its had some alterations over the years mainly smoked tailor fillets. I'm only just working out how to do the Trout properly. Will have to keep the heads on next time & hang them through the eye as a few of this lot ripped through the tails. Always glaze them in a mix of soy, brown sugar & home made chilli sauce to enhance the flavour. :wave1:

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PostPosted: Oct 8th, '16, 20:55 
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:wave1: As predicted today was windy and raining so I spent the day redesigning my worm farm. Now I have a bank of worm farms.
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The intension is to use the grating on the bottom of these farm trays to sieve the used expanded clay/grow media. Using three layers of trays to wash the organic matter through to the worms.
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This water is then used on the dirt garden as a soil improver.
I've also started a Black Soldier Fly Larvae farm in an effort to have a more sustainable food source for the fish. I purchased a quantity of BSFL on GumTree to get the breeding cycle started in the initial farm setup and they are incubating now. BSFL also like the warmer weather.
I'll post some photos as the larvae/pupae turn into flies in the next days/weeks.
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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '16, 09:00 
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Picked up a new colony yesterday so not long now, weather permitting.
I use panela now instead of brown sugar, recommended by a chef friend and won't go back now.
Good job on the gas cylinder, do you light a fire inside then shut it up?
Our worm farm used to crank with bsfl, I remember pre AP going thru it pulling out all the little black cocoon looking things and despatching the evil things that weren't worms... Now with all the kitchen scraps going to the chooks Bsfl are less common, the fly however, still frequent the wrong side of the windows .
Is your washing of media a maintenance thing or what?

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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '16, 13:44 
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Hey skeggley
The bee's must be on the move this time of the year too. I got out of the surf the other day, walked up the dunes and could hear a buzzing noise, a couple of seconds later and I was surrounded by a swarm ! I just duct down to get out of their way and within a minute they had moved on. I don't think I would like to see an angry swarm like that !
With the smoker it depends on what is to be smoked as to how I go about getting the smoke going. With larger things like a chicken I'll light a fire in the bottom add a few hot rocks to get the heat going then smother the fire with saw dust/shavings shut the door and watch the smoke vent out of the top. But with fillets a colder smoke is required so I put a gas burner in the bottom and add the saw dust to a tray on top of it, this way I can control the amount of heat is release into the cylinder to smoke the fillets not cook them. Thanks for the tip, I had never heard of panela before I'll look for some at the shops for next time.
The idea of washing of media is just to recover it from big root balls like from clumps celery etc. I'll just scrape out as much as I can & let the worms break down the rest.
The BSFL is a bit of an experiment I tried to get them going last year but with no success, starting a bit earlier this year, with a bit of luck they will breed.
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A few photos of the BSFL farm.
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incubation lid to retain the hatched flies
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:wave1:

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PostPosted: Oct 9th, '16, 19:53 
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Today was mostly sunny so I decided to do some maintenance on the system. Clear out one of the IBC GB'S of the plants that has gone to seed and divide some of the onions, chives and shallots.
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Cut the root balls off the bigger plants for cleaning.
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Collect and hang plants for seed.
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Spread new seed ready for germination for the warmer months.
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Time for a beer :cheers:

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PostPosted: Nov 16th, '16, 16:16 
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So we had a 42*c day Monday & the trout were showing signs of stress in the afternoon when I went too feed them. :dontknow: After checking the water temp I new why, the FT water temp was 27*c !
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Not wanting to risk them dying over night I decided to harvest them, the trout became easier to catch as they all came to the surface ready to be neted then dispatched & put in a ice slurry.
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Once the trout had been cleaned & washed they were put back into ice/brine slurry ready for the smoking. In the morning half were vac packed & frozen for later, the rest are in the smoker now.
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So the figures for the 2016 Trout are:
Consumed 22 Kg feed
Total weight 19.54Kg
Largest 581g & 34cm

The temp data reading shows the spike in the FT water temps on the day. It also shows that the FT temps are perfect for the Barra to thrive. So I transferred all 24 of them into the big tank yesterday & they were feeding well this morning.
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:D :wave1:

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PostPosted: Nov 17th, '16, 19:19 
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4 odd months in and have lost one marron, and the rest are growing. The silver perch fry seem to be growing quiet slowly. The grow bed has become quite productive now, although have had trouble with the bell siphon being temperamental at times.
Should I be draining a portion of the tank out periodically, although I am on tap water so wouldn't think I would be able to top up without adding too much chlorine. Currently am adding water when evaporation drops the level with buckets that have sat for 24hrs in the sun. The PH is on the high side but everything seems to be working.


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PostPosted: Nov 18th, '16, 10:43 
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Hi Willo :wave:
Good to here you are getting some product from the GB & things are ticking along. Don't expect fast growth rates for the SP, they will feed more during the warmer months. But they will never grow as fast as Trout.
Definitely a good idea to let top up water sit for awhile. The town water in Geraldton is pretty hard and eventually a build up of calcium and magnesium carbonates may occur, but it will take along time before it would effect the fish. Water changes aren't necessary if the parameters are within the limits. Although AP water is good for the dirt garden & pot plants. I get my water free from the windmill so I don't mind splashing it around. :funny1:

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PostPosted: Dec 18th, '16, 16:26 
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Well I've finally got some BSFL on the go, after a bit of trial & error.
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The larvae I bought hatched did out but, didn't seem to breed. I had them enclosed in a mosquito net at first & maybe it wasn't a large enough space for them to breed ?
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The last of them I just let go & a few must have come back to breed. Hopefully I can keep the cycle going & get a sustainable feed for the fish.
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PostPosted: Apr 19th, '17, 18:21 
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After a couple of decent rains the grow bed showed me how it should produce, lowering the PH slighty I guess. As it usually is on the high side with town water. I am going to start adding some PH down from the pool shop in small doses in top up water. the SP and Marron are still growing, but my issue now is I seem to be losing flow through the grow media (expanded clay) it is pooling and not draining so well where it discharges from pump but bell syphon is still operational and draining well around immediate area. Its not plant roots stopping flow but algae and muck by the looks, I am starting to put some worms from my worm farm to try and keep the media clean not sure how I should be cleaning the media while keeping it cycling?


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PostPosted: Apr 19th, '17, 22:50 
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Hiya mate, try removing the bell and standpipe for a week, the muck in it should keep the plants wet but should let some of the muck degrade. I'll leave the bed barren with the standpipe out every now and then and have no muck build up at all.

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