Thursday, 14 April 2016


The Crucian Carp are like sheep. The sole remaining Perch reminds me of a faithful sheepdog. Standing guard or herding the flock.
I have read that Carp in the presence of predators such as Perch or Pike adapt to their presence  by getting a rounder shape. This change can become genetic and passed on to subsequent generations.
Fascinating that this tiny fish could have a generational effect.

Breeding would be fun but I would need to do a lot of reading and research.

Sunday, 10 April 2016


This is what has kept me busy for most of the winter.
I really tried with the 6cm square line down pipes but was unable to solve the leaks.
As you will understand with NFT, constant water flow, even one drip is a serious problem.
The 110mm pipes system presents it own challenges but end caps with a good waterproof seal are available.
I increased the hole size to 7cm.
The connecting pipes are all 21.5mm waste pipe. Including bulkhead fittings These are probably some of the cheapest fittings available in the UK.
I offset the hole I cut in the end cap allowing me to vary the depth in the tube.
The terra-cotta underground pipe system was slightly cheaper. In my opinion also more attractive but I was overruled. SWMBO.
I had intended to do a straight flow through system. That is tube one flows into tube two etc.
I had the 22mm manifold from last year and also the 10mm taps and pipe so in the end used them. More control.
There is probably a 4cm drop of the water into the tube. This adds oxygen.
The Up-flow filter was the original I made from the main system.
I replaced this with my new “U Tube” filter.
The Up-Flow filter is fed from 3500L pump in the sump. Really it is too powerful. Its what I had. Using a, ’T” I divert some of the flow via a tap back into the sump.
During the initial water integrity tests I pumped on a 15/45 timer.
This tended to overfill the bottom tube. Now I can control this via the individual taps. BUT this F&D allows me to use the bottom tube to encourage root growth from new plants.
I intend to grow cherry tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers in this system.
The copper strips you see are snail slug deterrents.
In addition I will also be planting companion plants. In this case marigolds.

Calendula. These I understand are edible. Now I can scatter petals across a salad but does anyone have a calendula recipe?


Continuing my interest in samphire I to day tried some cuttings.
In Marlborough we have a Saturday market. It includes probably one of the best Green grocers in the South West. Imported from Israel he told me. English production not commercially viable. I had considered buying from Waitrose but theirs, also from Israel is pre-packed. Also probably injected with Nitrogen to preserve,’freshness’
The market samphire was a bit dull but with a good salty taste.
Using a scalpel I made a diagonal cut just below a node.
Licked it and then dipped in rooting compound.
I was watching the football on TV at the time. It is possible I may have dipped then licked some of the cuttings.
I then put the cuttings into, ‘Rootit’  sponges. These I had previously soaked in warm water. Into which I had dissolved a tea spoon of sea salt.
I decided not to use my heated seed germinator.
They now sit across the kitchen from where I write this.
Under the 20Watt LED light I bought from E Bay.

Sufficient power to germinate seeds but not much else.


Cooking dinner tonight I glanced out of the patio doors. A  six inch trout stared back at me from the patio floor. Covered in dirt I picked him up and gently washed him in the trout tank. He moved in my hand. I let him go. He floated, upside down, slowly descending to the floor of the tank. I again held him.
He swam free of my hand.
Contrary to reports on family social media CPR was not required. At no time was mouth to mouth resuscitation performed.
Our patio door is about 4.5 meters from the trout tank. A look at my previous post will show the plastic netting I habitually use on trout tanks.

I have just checked,”Houdini “ All well. 

Friday, 8 April 2016


I have been so busy with various things and found little time to post.
The on going construction of the round NFT tubes has progressed and I have now done the water integrity tests.
 More on this later
The trout are feeding and growing well. I have noticed a marked difference in size. Some are now twice the size of their tank mates. What to do? I tried using two types of food. Larger floating food to attract the big guys The smaller sinking food for the small ones. This worked to a degree but in the end I decided to add a smaller grading tank.
Just to recap. The tank is a 250L UK cold water tank. A 1400L pump raises the water to a home made Pre-filter. A simple three stage plastic box with a combination of £1 shop plastic brushes and pan scourers. This feeds to a home made bio filter. Bottle tops/rawl plugs and K1. This then flows through a UV light Clarifier. ( This is turned off at the moment) I then diverted 40% of this water through a cheap 80L plastic box. A simple 40mm SLO and it exits into the main tank through a separate pipe. Therefore two pipes splashing into the main FT creating oxygen. The third inlet into this FT is fed from the main system on 15/45. Through a bottom drain detritus is swept out of the bottom drain into a GB.
I moved four of the smaller trout into the grading tank.
The imprint of the old “pecking order” stayed for a while but they are now hitting their food regularly. I feed them the smaller pellets and think that leftovers will be swept, downstream.
Trout are jumpers. Hence the plastic netting.

Grading Tank

Crucian Carp
The other main event was the addition of the new Crucian Carp. Again more later but I did want to share the photo