I purchased a timer relay, and after some consultation with my electrical engineer of an uncle, managed to set everything up nicely. As we speak, I've got my pond pump running for 60 minutes, which runs the waterfall and floods the grow beds, and as that switches off, an aerator switches on for 30 minutes, allowing the grow beds to drain fully while still providing the fishies with oxygen. As a bonus, the aerator only uses 15W of electricity, which is a fraction of what the pond pump uses. So, for 8 hours a day, my electricity meter will be spinning a little more slowly.
The garden this year will feature heirloom tomatoes. We've been enjoying the spinach, arugula, and cilantro. And with such a warm start to spring, it looks like it won't be long before the first fruits of summer!
So, out of 30 fish delivered, this was the end result, with all fish harvested by 3/31/10:
- 1 fish died during/as a result of delivery on 12/4
- 5 fish were 10" or under at time of harvest
- 3 fish were in the 15", 2-3 lb. range
- 5 fish were in the 13-14", 2 lb. range
- Most fish were around 12", 1 lb.
- 6 fish were pregnant females. I didn't keep the roe, as I have no way of raising fry/fingerlings. The roe looked like those little corn on the cobs you get with asian food.
Total number of fish cleaned and ready to eat: 23
Total number of fish under-sized and not worth the effort: 5
Total number of missing/unaccounted for fish: 1 (where the heck could this fish be?!)
All in all, I think this was an extremely successful trial run! I am shocked at how quickly the trout get to marketable size. In only four months, several fish basically doubled in length and probably tripled or quadrupled in weight. I hope I'll have the same success with tilapia this summer!
Update (4/6/10): There are still 2 trout in the pond! So, instead of getting shorted one fish, I've got one extra! Both appear to be around 13" in size. I'm torn - part of me wants to see how long they can make it in > 70 degree water. What if one is a pregnant female? That would be a great way to get trout for next year... But the other part of me just wants to catch them and eat them before they die of heat exhaustion.