You know what they say about a watched kettle – it never boils. And as every gardener or grower knows, it takes a lot of patience. This is something I don’t actually possess too much of! So I decided not to visit the plantation for a little while, and instead, focus my attention on the greenhouse and ponds. It is nice see the water lilies on the dog leg shaped pond, and the dragonflies dancing about over the water in the summer sun. The goldfish in the pond are very tame now, eating the pond sticks of food from my fingers, and they are enjoying the freedom of the 18,000 litre pond. We have about 30 in there, ranging from small to large so it must be like paradise to them. The alternative could have been to swim round and round in a bowl….
I then realised that the fountains and filters simply would not cope with the tilapia in the large pond, and it would need much more filtration after all. In fact, we needed some bio filters. These are filters that work on the bacteria in the water, helping to clean it as it goes through the filters, and becoming an important part of the cycle of life in the pond water. So I searched the internet and found the ideal bio filters, which Javi installed. Then, it was a matter of juggling with the water flow until the same amount of water came out of the filter that was going in, instead of flooding the chambers and flowing over the sides all the time. We only discovered this when we woke up one morning to find that several hundred litres of water had escaped, but it gave the trees a much needed drink.
Bio filters, just like plants, need patience too. It takes about 3 weeks of water circulation for the bacteria to become established, and for the natural cleaning of the water to take place. As I write, it has been about a week, and the water in the ponds still look a murky green colour, but I am reliably informed by experts that the natural cleaning of the water is starting to happen.
Next time, I can give a progress report of how the plants are doing, with pictures. In the meantime, I will leave you with the pics of the tilapia, and a story that you might find hard to believe.
Tilapia fry in theunderbuild
Tilapia in the aquaponics in the greenhouse
The duckweed growing
Here’s the story:
In our garden we have a large grapefruit tree – or rather, we did have.
As much as we both like grapefruit, there are always way too many fruit on the tree for us two to eat. So reluctantly, I asked Paco to cut it down last year so that we could plant another orange tree in its place. We juice oranges and cant get enough of them, so this seemed like a good plan.
Paco then said there was no need to cut it down. He would turn it into an orange tree instead…..
Now I have no idea what he did or how he did it. Whatever he did, it took about 5 or 10 minutes and he said that in the coming year and for ever after, we would get lots of oranges on the tree instead of grapefruit.
Now I don’t know an awful lot about gardening but I do know that turning a grapefruit tree into an orange tree is as ridiculous as it sounds, so we forgot all about it.
Until this year…..
One day, Karen called me into the garden. “Have you seen this?” she asked, pointing to the grapefruit tree.
I looked closely. The new fruit growing on the tree were indeed oranges…..
I don’t know how Paco did it. All I do know is that he did it, and we have a nice orange tree in the garden, with delicious oranges on it
More soon – look out for the updates.