Solar Power

Fixing up my solar panel and then moving it to the new ponds to run aeration compressors.

I will run the power from this  panel to regulator and then to a battery or two and then to the 12 vote compressors and then through air lines to the ponds, I will keep the air stones  off the bottom of the ponds to allow for silt build up, another swim coming up to place the air stones.  DSCF0926.JPG Solar power is ok but the nature of the beast is when the cloud cover is persistent over some days there is no power this will not matter to the outside ponds however you cannot rely on it for permanent power or even backup.

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Putting the new jetty in place, the water is cold but not to cold the fish will be thriving, the amount of plankton in the water is unbelievable.

The jetty provides many benefits no just for our access but cover for the fish, protection from birds, these fish love to be under things and in the dark its where they feel the safest and of course if fish feel safe and have enough food then they will breed.  DSCF0922.JPG

Blackfish Challenged

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The waterway above is Scott’s creek in south-western Victoria it has water all year-round and has some nice deep holes and as you can see it has good habitat for River Blackfish and yet there are none, talking to people who have lived in the area longer than me and before the Heytesbury forest was bulldozed ( 1950s ) I have been assured that there were Blackfish and platypus in this creek and some of its tributaries such as the Cooriemungle creek.

We have a duty to put those fish back and assist the platypus as well, do some rehabilitation works and improve habitat along the waterways. I note the work done by CMAS and Landcare where trees have been planted along some stretches of the creek.

Note also the trees that overhang the creek they are mostly Blackwoods and a few gums, that is a hint for those of you who would like to try and breed Blackfish, the second photo from the top shows an undercut below the tree that is where Blackfish like to hang, the top photo shows some gravel left over from bridge works and it is acting like a small runnel this is good for the water because it adds oxygen to the water and stirs up potential food for fish further down stream all good.

Copepods

Food is essential if you are going to successfully farm fish especially natives so I spend a part of each day collecting food, the food can be anything from earthworms, cricket, moths grubs etc however there is one food that I don’t have to dig net or chase and that is Copepods, Copepods make up a large percentage of Blackfishes diet even larger fish have been found to have vast quantities in the stomachs.DSCF0903.JPG The water that is coming out of this pipe comes from a dam at the bottom of my property about one hundred metres from this tank, it is pumped via a windmill the windmill does not have an impeller so it does not damage the Copepods on the way up the pipe and delivers them into this fine net so I can distribute around the farm.

Decking for cover

I finally got around to making a the deck for pond 4 it will be put it in place today and then some legs underneath and planks on top so people don’t keep falling through.

On a serious note the deck provides access to the deeper water of the pond to do things like test water quality hang breeding boxes and feed the fish it also provide the fish a sense of security these fish like to be under things.DSCF0900.JPG The frame is 9.5 metres long and 1.2 metres wide I will put 1.4 metre cypress pine on top to make a nice wide platform, this design has proven to be both strong and durable.

The hoop iron straps provide lateral support mainly for transport to the dam site.