So, yesterday, DK set up a hydroponic floaters farm, in the Shrimporium. She generally doesn't like floaters in her tanks, as they shield the light from her moss, and get in the way when she's netting, etc. They also pose problems for her overflows in each tank, as potential cloggers. But, she wanted an instant supply of them on hand, in those times when she needs to deploy them strategically.
She believes in the power and efficiency of biology, and whenever possible tries to engineer a biological
solution to any problem in a biological
system. The beauty of a biological solution is that it is self-regulating
. By this I mean that when my nitrates increase in my well water, so ALSO will the growth of the floaters and their metabolic rate, effectively matching the challenge. When the nitrates are depleted, the floaters wane and may yellow, reporting to me on quick inspection that I may need to start nitrate injections. We let biology do the work for us, whenever possible. Biology is the ultimate automation.
She had an extra tank hanging around that was not ideal for shrimp, so she pulled the substrate, made it a clear-bottom tank, and dedicated it to farming floaters.
The tank is automated, so will receive her carbonated well water at greater than normal flush fraction, twice daily, this should give the floaters a nice diet of CO2. She elevated the tank up on stilts just under the lights, so the floaters should receive decent light. The stilts are parts 'n' pieces also on their third iteration of use.
And the flush water has micros, potassium, and phosphate dosed. Her well water often runs a few ppm nitrates, and if it starts to be too low, she can inject nitrates into the water source, or throw a root tab in the farm tank.
Now, she feels a bit more secure, come next corn growing season. It isn't every year, but some years the fertilizers move through the soil as a thin layer and hit her well all at once, resulting in tap that's in the red zone
Fortunately, even if it's toxic levels of nitrates for shrimp, when it enters the automated tanks it is only a fraction of tank volume each cycle, effectively diluting the nitrates quite a bit. If I have any sort of metabolically active nitrate-sucker in the tank, the tanks can suck up the nitrates as they arrive, and the shrimp are none the wiser.
Many thanks to some of you out there who came running when DK put out a call for help, with floaters. In the DEAD of winter. In an arctic front. These guys put out priority boxes for me within 24 hours of my asking for help. Lesson is, build bridges, don't burn them, in case of fire, someday, right? You know who you are...
She used the gizmo below as part of her plan. This is its third use as a piece or part
, recycled. Anyone know what it ACTUALLY is? I'll bet the dobie man knows.
No fair telling, Shrimptern 0.0. - we also used some chunks of this in the Watersnake install.