The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Aquaponics lift off!

Water testing

48 hours after my partial water change, my aquaponics tank experienced lift off! The nitrite reading had been stubbornly sitting at 0 since the beginning, but abruptly that light turquoise changed to a very faint violet. Progress! Looks like those critters are finally getting to work now that the pH is closer to proper values. (I actually overshot and went too low this time, but I think it's going to even itself out...or I'll add a bit of well water to bring us back up to speed.)

Grow bed

Meanwhile, the grow bed is really greening up. The chives have grown nearly two inches and I think the celery might be putting out new leaves. I'm excited to see how quickly the plants and bacteria work through the nitrogen and how well the ecosystem stabilizes now that it's gotten its start. Once the ammonia disappears and then disappears again after I add a second dose, I'll consider adding fish!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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