Sunday, August 8, 2010

Progress Report - Week 8

Fish seem healthy, though I did lose another this week.  But she had been swimming straight at the airstone for a while, so I suspected she wasn't going to make it.

I've removed all of the aquarium gravel, and put in the last of my clay, in the hopes of having a surface to help filter the detritus without raising pH:

I also removed all of the rockwool today, transplanting those plants directly into the clay.  I also transplanted the seedlings I'd started a few weeks ago.  The growbeds now have about as many plants as they'll be able to fit in, once the plants get bigger:

pH remains stable at 8.1, though I am treating with small daily doses of acid.  Perhaps with all the rockwool and gravel gone, it will start to lower.

Nitrates, nitrites and ammonia are good.  Water is still awfully hard, but that'll clear up in time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Progress Report - Week 7

I think things are starting to get dialed in.

pH has remained high, but stable.  Nitrates are up, Nitrites got measurable but I reduced feeding and it went back to negligible.  Two dead fish.  Plants remain the same.

I had read in several places that gravel can raise pH.  So today I pulled out the majority of the aquarium gravel:

I also added some vinegar, and the pH is currently in the mid 6's.  We'll see how it looks tomorrow.  It used to return to ~8 within 24 hours, so we'll see what the removal of the gravel does.  No, I didn't *mean* to drop it so low so quickly.  Sigh...  But it's there now, so I don't want to do anything else until I see what happens.

I also planted some seedlings a lady gave me (free!) at Market Night on Thursday.  Dill, Thyme, Oregano, Sage, and two dwarf Tomato.  So they, and the Basil and Chives, all seem pretty happy:

I also started some more seeds.  I planted more of the herb seeds from the first batch... but darned if I remember exactly what or where.  I know I planted more Cilantro and Parsley, and I think I planted Mustard, Oregano, and Thyme.  I think.  I'll know more when they get big enough.  lol

And then Friday I planted some Arugula, dwarf Pak Choi, Spinach, and Cress.  And many of those have already sprouted!

So fast!

And today Paul and I worked out more of the details of the big(ger) system we want to put in the back yard.  I'm really excited about it.  I like that I'm learning on a small (and relatively inexpensive) system.  And one that is right in the kitchen so I don't have to trek out to the yard after work.  But it's difficult to figure out what to grow in 6" of airspace!  And when things go wrong, they go very quickly.  A larger system will naturally buffer itself better.  But this is great for learning.

UPDATE: Only a few hours, and the pH is back up to 7.8 again