Sunday, 26 July 2015


Ray Davies of the Kinks slips into the garden. Sits down at my table and disturbs my daydream.
A warm English summer afternoon. Later there might be tea and cucumber sandwiches. Crusts cut off of course. 
 I think it was last Thursday. Summer is erratic in Wiltshire.
I am sat with a cold Mojito in reach on the table in front of me. The mint to make the Mojito is growing nearby. I think I can smell it in the air. In my daydream I am walking in Northern Spain. On my way to Santiago de La Compostela. Wild Rosemary and mint have grown over the path we are walking. Crushed under our boots their scent fills the air.
Via, Waterloo Station I am instantly back.  I forgive Ray. Like me he is just ‘Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
At that moment the pump kicks in. I hear the familiar sound of trickling water.
Except its not trickling. Its dripping. When I originally constructed this grow bed I used a 40mm stand pipe. Some time later I modified this. I ran a 32mm pipe  down through the bulk head into a T. Arms cut to fit inside the IBC terminating in contra flowing 45* beds. This rotated slowly. This reduced the height the water had to fall. Dripping not trickling. Water absorbs oxygen as it falls. The height of the fall is related to the amount it will absorb.
This prompted a complete rethink of all the component parts of my system.

The shelf system is ok but; move it out into the sunlight and I can dispense with the additional LED lighting. Cover it with a plastic green house and I can extend growing time.

The fines filter after the RFF is a pain to clean. Replace that with a MBBR and cleaning will be just turning a tap.

In quarantine mode I had to add large amounts of salt to the water in fish tank 2. With, the exception of the Samphire this devastated the plants in the associated grow beds. Alter this so only the pre and bio-filter will be operational during quarantine. Bacteria unlike most plants will acclimate to almost any increase in salinity.
The first and easiest step was to go back to the original stand pipe.
I have ordered the few additional components I require and will start construction soon.
I will be using K1 media for the filter this is already in a net bag in the sump. Bacteria takes time to grow.

I might have a ‘cherry cola’ for a change.

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