Journal: January 2010

In January we eliminated much of Model 1.  Model 1 was our first mode with two 50 gallon aquariums in a spare bedroom.  We built Model 3 in its place.  This entailed installing a 150-gallon round tank with a nitrification filter. We moved the +150 yellow perch from Model 1 to Model 3.

In January, we attended the 12th Annual Midwest Value Added Agriculture Conference & 4th Annual Wisconsin Local Food Summit in Eau Claire.  Some of the most interesting presentations included:

  • Will Allen’s Keynote – “Growing Food and Community in the City”
  • Melina Hemmelgarn, Food Sleuth – “Feast or Famine, a Fork in the Road” and “It’s Too Easy Being Green:  Decoding and Deconstructing Greenwashing.”
  • Bartlett Durand and Diane Mayerfield – “Can Meat be Sustainable?”

While we are keenly interested in promoting aquaponics, we’ve expanded our views to include the need to build a broad-based local food economy.  Building a local food economy seems to be a good direction for our efforts.  More on this in months to come.

Portfish’s gardener, Michael, has been experimenting in the solarium these last few months.  We’ve met with great success in growing yellow cherry tomatoes. There is also Chinese cabbage, water cress, pak choy, chives and basil.  Based upon what we learn grows best at what time of the year, we hope to build a year-round growing cycle. We’ve only just begun this process.

Keeping the balance between good bacteria and bad is an ongoing challenge.  Toward the end of the month, there was an ammonia spike that put the 160 yellow perch in Model 2 in significant stress. The problem lasted about six days during which we lost 15 fish (RIP). By using several water exchanges we were able to drop the ammonia level and the system is moving back into equilibrium.

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