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Finally, 50 little cod about 15cm long are coming out of hiding when I feed them. They now hover about 30 cm under the surface waiting for the pellets to fall. A total change from when I first bought them and they spent all their time hiding. In the last few days, they have slowly been coming closer to the surface. I’m now starting to see the different colours and markings on individual fish.

The jade perch are all over the food as soon as it hits the water, sometimes splashing me. They dart in and out like it’s the last feed they’ll get.

Wife dragged me down to look at the above ground pools at K-mart the other day. As we walked into the shop the bloke on the PA was telling us all about the 3.6 metre x 76 cm pool he had on special. Only 2 left at $79 each. Shopping done, next question was, “Wife, can we go now?” Not that easy. So I suffered in silence, (I thought I was silent) and went deep into the bowels of K-mart and found kiddie pools $7 each. So I got one for crays, one for platys and a spare. Two of them are now soaking in a plastic tub for when I get time to set them up. I think I’ll take some time off building the house tomorrow and play with the fish.

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I’ve only had crays for about a month and so far the only place I’ve seen them try to escape is through the air line. I placed a fridge shelf on that end of the tub. I’ll hit the dump dude up for some more fridge shelves to create a jail for them. I’m more worried about friggin toads getting in.

I just finished setting up a toddler pool under one side of my Aquaponic growbeds. I placed a layer of polystyrene under the pool and was looking at how I can hang some fridge racks down from the shelf that holds the grow beds. I’ll also have to protect the pool liner from the racks resting against the liner. It seems to be a good quality so I don’t think the crays will rip through it.

I also have to redesign a filter I made for an IBC to fit the toddler pool. Height is the problem. The IBC will be used as a settlement filter on the large pool. I know settlement filters work best when round but I think the volume will make up for the shape.

I didn’t get a day off the house like I’d hoped. Wife and I started hanging Gyprock today. I love my Gyprock hoist. You can never have enough tools.

We’ve got plenty of room for fish and ponds. Our problems are that the ground leaks and it’s costly running power to the ponds. I plan to play around with solar and dc pumps. Once I get the pumps sorted, pond liners will be ordered and the tractor fired up. In the meantime, I’ll be researching my options.

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Breeding feeder fish is part of my journey to growing six foot cod. Wife gave me a couple of days off building the house, so I’ve been working on the platys house. As I said last week I set up a kiddie pool. I also wrung out a couple of foam filters and threw some algae in last week and it already looks good. I built a swirl filter with a 20 litre drum and a sump with a plastic 60 litre tub. It has three dividers, creating four chambers. The first chamber is for scouring pads, the second for a combination of filter foam and scouring pads, the third is only filter foam and the fourth for crystal clear water. The foam filters have been growing bacteria for about six months in the aquaponic beds and the scouring pads were seeded from the foam filters. They have been in the sump for about a week.

My next job is to empty out the pool and carve some styrofoam to shape a cone base. I haven’t used sand as I don’t want soil on the weed mat in the green house. There are already enough weeds growing through it.

Here are a few photos of the platy house build.

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A week's growth of algae.

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Kiddie pool seasoning while waiting for silicone to dry in filters. With a second kiddie pool soaking in it.

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Sump.

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Today I tapered the bottom of the kiddie pool for the platys and was happy with the results. While filling it with the garden hose a lot of crap was funnelled to the centre. So with two outlets on the pump, one for the filter and one for directional flow, cleaning it should be a quick siphon from the centre. I've also thought about the option of a pump in the lowest point to dump the crap into the 20 litre swirl filter (as Grover65k suggested) that I've added to the system. I'll probably end up trying out both methods to see which one works best.

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You can see where all the crap gathered in the centre.

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