So, I bought about 9 big bags of hydroton to add on top of the existing gravel. I really like the hydroton - it's so easy on the hands! I know that sounds pretty wimpy, but digging through the gravel really does take it's toll, while the hydroton is so smooth and light, it's easy to manipulate.
I found some old spinach and broccoli seeds from last year. So, I threw them in the far right bucket, and things seem to be going pretty well. The spinach in particular seems to like the conditions. A note on the pipe grid - I started out pointing the water down, but I noticed that any changes in water pressure could cause the water to splash off the hydroton, and any lost water is wasteful. So, I flipped the pipes over, and now it's like little fountains splashing all around. I hope it will also prevent roots and such from clogging the insides. I didn't glue any of the grid, which I found helpful, as I've had to clean them out fairly frequently from gunk getting sucked up and sent in from the pond pump.
So, all my fish survived the winter, and all the plants, too! In fact, the plants appear to be doing better at this time of the year than they were last year. I can't even imagine what they'll look like come September.
I ordered some tilapia, but I will likely cancel. We decided that we're going to try and sell our house and move closer in. It's not a decision that we came to lightly, but we're excited about the prospect of living in town and spending a lot less time and money in the car. Of course that means I'll have to start from scratch and probably build something on a smaller scale, but I'm looking forward to the challenge!!
3 months ago