I spent some time in the fish room yesterday and today. I was able to get all of my shoplights running (replaced dead bulbs etc.) and plugged in some of the pumps I use. The bank of three brine shrimp hatchers are now up to par and all I need is add eggs. Fortunately I still have a couple cans.
I stripped, cleaned and refilled a bank of seven 5-gallon tanks and will probably do another bank later today. They are running, the filters in place and now just need to warm up to room temperature and I can add a few pairs. I suspect I will chase down a few Rivs and a pair or two of Nothos just to get my focus back on those fish. I also cleaned all of my fry tanks, trays and egg storage bins (plastic screw containers) as well as attacked my dried out bucket of peat moss. I suspect the smart thing to do will be to boil all that old peat.
I have 7-8 styros filled with peat/dirt that used to be my white worm containers to reset. I suspect mostly it will be a matter of wetting the peat moss until it is the right consistency and then adding some white worms to get the cultures started again. It will take a good month to start harvesting from those cultures once they are up and running.
I’ve been looking at my electric heaters for the fish room and when the furnace people show up with my new natural gas boiler, I am going to see if they can place some sort of radiator system in the fish area. I don’t know if they exist, but a nice fan operated ‘hot water’ radiator off the main house system would work nicely and help keep the electric costs down. But that is a job still a week or two away. Until then I am using the old electric heaters.
I have six larger rubbermaid bins for a daphnia culture ready to go. I am debating checking out some local ‘farm’ ponds to try and catch some daphnia pulex, but admit I am bit hesitant. Up here in the wilderness, its likely the farmer would come out with a shotgun and shoot before asking a question. We have a few (hundred) rednecks where I live. I used to have a great spot to collect daphnia and … yes … mosquito larvae, but the village decided to drain that area and ruined the best live food source I was aware of. Several years ago I literally collected a reverse trio of daphnia that initiated my original fish room cultures that I maintained for many years. (Okay maybe it was more than a trio, but it was not a large number.) In its own way it was fun to start a small culture in a gallon jar, watch it explode and split the jar into more and finally into the bins. It took just a couple weeks to build a large active culture.
On a side note, I am looking forward to the middle of June. My wife and I are holding a retirement party for a friend and Dr. Dan and Inkie Nielsen along with Len Futterman and his wife Mary Teelin are coming up for a few days. It will be like an old UNYKA meeting for a bit. Who knows what we will do other than eat and drink soft drinks.
I am sort of disappointed I can’t make this year’s AKA convention, but it’s simply not viable yet. It’s not the trip, I’ve been to Disney World and travel fine since my health issues, it’s more along the lines I am just not ready to drive it. I am seriously considering next year … I vaguely heard it might be in Tampa? That’s a long drive, but by then I should be able to contribute.
Yes I am rambling … wife needed the hot water so I had to find something to do.