Mk Neal

pollinator
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since Feb 02, 2019
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dog forest garden fish foraging urban cooking food preservation bike
Torn between wanting a bigger garden and loving the city life.
Chicago
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Recent posts by Mk Neal

Financially,  have been both winner and loser in the real estate market.  Big "win" in 2005 on a townhouse that increased some 50% in price during the 14 months we owned.  Winnings bought a condo at top of the market with enough extra for a comfortable lifestyle avoiding loans through law school.  Then luck changed and in 2008 after the crash we lost $10,000 trying to offload the condo our family has outgrown. Then bought a house that seemed affordable until taxes went up and we had to replace the roof and line the chimney all at once, so we were counting pennies each month.

So what does that mean?  Realize all the best plans can't predict the outcome.  I think don't look at property as a money investment.  Just a place to live.  Decide how much you are willing to pay as part of your income now to live there now.  No telling what the future brings.  Even a paid-off property can be lost to liens, fraud, force, or nature.

2 days ago
In our similar aquariums we take two approaches:

1. Predatory “assassin snails” which you can buy at the fish store (petco etc. may not have them, but stores that are just for fish)
2. The occasional bait-and-purge.  Put some cucumber slices on a skewer in the tank.  In a short time, the cucumbers will be covered in snails.  Lift the whole thing out and compost it.

This just barely keeps it from being solid snails.
4 days ago
Welcome!  Love your hobbies!
5 days ago
I think you should try to replicate the watering-can video in real life before basing your aquaponics system on this idea.
5 days ago
My (male) chihuahua used to do the same thing.
6 days ago
Haha!  Where's the Starbucks?  

I remember when we sent the first cameras to Mars in the early days of the world wide web, and I would look at the NASA images in dorm computer lab.  No internet hookups in the actual student rooms then.
6 days ago
A siphon only works if the outlet is lower than the inlet.  It is useful for getting over a higher obstacle in between (like the wall of a fish tank) but the end result is just transporting water downhill with gravity.  You will not be able to get water from the bottom tank back to the upper tank just with a siphon.
6 days ago
So are you looking at basically a big plastic cube filled with water and a plastic tray of plants floating on top of the cube?  And this fish live in this cube?  Or the fish live in a separate cube below/adjacent to the plant cube?

I have not done aquaponics, but do keep several home aquariums. You are not going to have a healthy environment for the fish without some form of bubbling or agitation to aerate the water in a small, cubicle, indoor system. There just will not be enough individual water molecules encountering new oxygen from the air. Plant roots at the top of the water will not contribute significant oxygen, in fact, plants covering the surface can interfere with oxygen exchange. Submerged plants give off O2 during daylight hours, but not necessarily through the night.  If you do not want to connect it to an independent power source, then maybe find a way for the aquaponics system to make use of some excess power from other household sources, or some kind of green power like a small solar cell, or a chinchilla wheel.  Or commit to daily manual water change.

Even though your IBC tanks may feel very large, as others have said they are nothing like the scale of a natural pond or stream which would support fish large enough for human consumption.


1 week ago
Order and clutter are in the eye of the beholder, and I believe that the state to which a person's living space settles depends on some core psychological traits.

Some people enjoy having visually intricate artwork and knickknacks around, the same as some people like to have music playing throughout the day. Just keeping our senses happy. Others find the constant sensory stimulation stressful.

People have differing needs for empty space. One person may find a spacious room with smooth empty surfaces tranquil, but another may feel threatened or exposed by the emptiness. Two men in my family who were widowed in their 50s became more or less hoarders, I suspect partly as a reaction finding themselves alone in large houses. Maybe a house full of stuff feels more like it is still full of life.

Some people have a mental map in their head of every cupboard, drawer, closet in their house and fairly easily retrieve things that are put "away" even if it is all jumbled up inside. Other people just can't find items that are not right front and center. "Put away" to the latter sort might as well be "buried and forever forgotten."

It can be stressful living in a household with people whose psychological traits and needs conflict with your own. It can help to think about what psychological need a person may be meeting with their own behavior, to find a way to harmonize.
As a slicer I love Cherokee purple, as already lauded by others. For salads and pasta also really like the "principe borghese," which is marketed for drying.  It low-acid, low-water tomato, and bite-sized or a little bigger.  Cut in half and briefly sauteed with garlic, olive oil, and herbs it makes a great quick pasta sauce.  Also great in lettuce salads b/c you get a bright tomato flavor, but not the sogginess of juicier varieties.
1 week ago