Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Aquaponics disaster!

We ran into a snag with our project. Which happens to the best of us; Laura's house was accidentally burned to the ground by her daughter Rose. Our snag wasn't quite on that scale, but there was a little bit of death.

I was so excited to add fish to the tanks, so we ran out and bought 25 feeder goldfish. The kind that cost 17 cents from Petco. It's easy to keep goldfish alive, right? I once won a goldfish at a church carnival, and it lived for almost a month in a cookie jar. We put them in the aquarium tank, and fed them goldfish flakes, and watched them frolic in their new, spacious home.

And the next day, 2 were dead. It happens; 17 cent fish are not the hardiest. And the next day, 1 more had died. Oh well, we've still got 23, right?

And a few days later, P went downstairs to visit the fish and look at our sprouts. And noticed that the water was coming out of the pump in spurts instead of a constant flow. So, he lifted up the pump, and the water intake was clogged. With a ball of dead fish that had somehow melded into a clump of scales and fins and eyeballs. There are no pictures of that one for you, sorry.

This prairie girl can handle a dead mouse. She's removed a live bat from her house. And she's certainly capable of dealing with goldfish clumps. If she has to. But sometimes, it's really nice to have someone else to take care of those things. Thanks, P!

At the end of the mass die-off, two incredibly hardy fish were left. And I learned some things about biological filters and the toxic effects of ammonia on fish.

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