Aquaponics 101 – Birds of a feather.

Well I eventually fitted the bird netting at the dam today after losing most of my small Tilapia to the dreaded Comorant. He had obviously realised that this is a great spot to catch a meal and from the droppings on the center pillar and on the walls, he has made this his home. I basically had two choices, either buy a box of pellets and shoot him, or invest in the bird netting which was far more expensive.

comorant.jpg

Being nominated for the Best Green Blog in the SA Blog Awards obviously ruled out the former, so I’ll have to take my chances with the Child Bride when she finds the invoice for the netting. The larger red Tilapia seem OK, which means that the Fish Eagle hasn’t paid a visit yet, but the netting should keep him out as well.

fisheagle.jpg

I will build another “gate of Ell” tomorrow and I may just catch the last of my small Tilapia anyway and move them to the commercial site. I have ordered some more fingerlings and brood stock from Stellenbosch University and will fetch them once they give me the go-ahead. I’ve received my permit from Cape Nature Conservation, valid until 31/03/2009, so I can fetch fish from Stellenbosch as I need them now.

This is what the bird netting looks like fitted to the dam.

birdnetting.jpg

I have received quotes for pond liners for the 4 small tanks and with everthing going up in price, I may as well get them now in case they increase by too much. On the same topic, the two greenhouses arrived last week. We were quoted and ordered them in Euros in January. The price has escalated, because of our week Rand, from R33 000 to R43 000 !! This really stuffs up one’s budget.

On the home front, I am busy constructing 6 strawberry towers inside of the greenhouse. They are made up of 80mm plastic down pipes suspended from the greenhouse rafters. I have bought another small submersible pond pump which I’ll put in the one pond and then pump water up and then down into these suspended pipes. I’ll post photographs and instructions once I have finished.

Now I have to find a cheap solar pump.

Enough for now.

Synaptoman

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