Up and Running
We made a visit to see how our system was doing in Locavore the other week, and are pleased to see things are getting along swimmingly. Both goldfish are growing, the tomato plant is producing fruit, and some fava beans and basil have taken up residence in the other grow beds.
Here’s a video shot a couple of weeks after the fish were added – thoroughly comfortable in their new home! You’ll notice that some paper was put in back of the tank to lower the amount of sun it gets – this will help control the temperature.
Although we originally planned on cycling this system with ammonium chloride, we found it difficult to establish a bacterial colony this way. This could have been due to a number of factors, but the algal bloom halfway through cycling potentially had a big part to play in it. In the end, we decided to cycle it using fish, and this proved very successful. While it can be risky cycling with the fish to start, as conditions have to be suitable to keep the little guys alive, in this case it presented the quickest way to get the system up and functional sooner, as significant delays were proving detrimental to the start-up process.
The system still needs to ramp up to its full potential – another couple of fish, and plants in all of the grow beds – over the next few weeks. And hopefully soon we’ll be able to harvest the plants and sell them in the shop with the rest of the local produce on offer! The Locavore system was our first, so there are lots of valuable insights to be gained from it. We’ll continue to monitor the system to gather data and help Locavore where needed, but in the mean time it’s on to our next project! Stay tuned to find out what we’re working on next…