A blog about trout and bacteria

Aquaponics October 22nd, 2010

So here in Canberra we’re pretty lucky in that we can grow trout. Well whats so special about trout? Apart from the fact that they grow quickly (9 months to plate size) and they’re delicious smoked, they are surface feeders. And what’s more, they’re aggressive surface feeders. What this means is that when you throw the food in, you’re likely to get wet.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B (click it for a higher res image):

The violence at which they throw themselves at the food is really quite impressive. They’re certainly not like gold fish, hoping to pull something in by gobbling at the surface. When they come up, it is with great intent and purpose. They’re not just going to gulp and hope, they’ve picked a target and they’re going to smash it.

Whilst we’re on the aquaponics theme – I want to direct your attention to a truly amazing article on bacteria in the human body, and the wonderous ways in which nature uses bacteria (or does bacteria use nature?!). The article is here, and the reason it’s relevant is because bacteria is oh-so-important in aquaponics, because they’re the things which make the whole gig possible – Ammonia->Nitrite->Nitrate. The world has such “germ phobia” that it sickens me. We need bacteria more than it needs us. Oh the whole, it is natural, and necessary for our (and almost every other species’) survival.

I should also mention that I saw a Black Soldier Fly (BSF) the other day. So around October they appear in Canberra.

2 Responses to “A blog about trout and bacteria”

  1. Garth Says:

    Ah, nitrification – I just had an exam question on that. I have been absolutely blown away by learning how plants work, and how much humans understand of the processes. And I thought computers were cool! 🙂

  2. gemmell Says:

    Yep “nitrification” – usually heard in a bad context as in “nitrification of our streams” which is where the fertilisers used on farms run off into the streams and causes algae to grow like crazy (algae is a plant after all!) which stuffs up O2, pH and blocks light to the other macrophytes.

    In the scientifically controlled little eco system called aquaponics we work really hard to keep the algae in check by having the veg suck up the nitrates, and keeping direct sunlight off the tank.

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