Thursday, May 20, 2010

Home Aquaculture Progress: Rebirth

A few weeks ago, my 700 gallon tank looked like this after draining it, scrubbing it, and bleaching it. The items in the tank above are sitting in a few inches of bleach water to sterilize them.

Years ago, way before 98% of people had ever heard of tilapia, I grew them in this tank. It was a time when tilapia were not in grocery stores either fresh or frozen. When I told folks I was growing fish in my back yard, I was always asked, " What fish?"

"Tilapia", I would answer ... and then I'd wait for the blank stare and the question ...

"Tuh what?"

After a few years of tilapia growing, I let my permit for them expire during a tight money time and just used the tank for holding various aquatic captures, from my baby turtles to rescued pond fish after a drought.

Lately, I've been thinking it's time to scratch my aquacultural itch again.

So it was, that several weeks ago, I transferred the inhabitants (turtles, minnows, bluegills)from this tank to livestock tank in the garden and then began the cleaning process.

A flaw in my old system had been the lack of a cover to keep rain, leaves, and palm fronds out of the water. Creating a cover that is economical and strong has been the main task this week.

As usual, I am working out of my head and not from a plan, but it's beginning to look like something.

I created this component to level the top cross bar. With this, I didn't have to stress over getting the two pressure treated 4X4's exactly level.
This slips over the top of the 4X4 and then can be adusted until it is level. At that point, it is nailed and later bolted to the vertical 4X4.

There is the bracket in place, but not yet attached.

The upright nearest the barnshed was just a wee bit higher than the opposite upright, so I used a little blocking and a shim to get it just right.

Here's another view of the shimmed up bracket waiting to be nailed.

Once it was level, I clamped it in place and nailed it.
Then the shims come out.

When you work alone, having lots of clamps around is like having an assistant, except without the annoying banter.
I don't want to banter when I am creating a plan in my head ... it's too distracting.

The top horizontal beams are two 2X4's that are lag screwed to the bracket.
I was able to use my faithful assistant, "Clamp" on the first one, but not for the second one as there was not enough room.
Since I wanted the beam tight against the bracket side as I tightened the lag screw, I got my other assistants, "Blocking" and "Shim' to help me out.

Yesterday, I added some braces to the end horizontals that are not shown in this picture. There's lots more to do, but it's coming together and I know now how it should look when it is done.
You don't of course, so be patient.
I will be updating you as well as explaining how that red drum clarifier works.
We'll do this together.
I'm only anti-banter when I am planning and building at the same time, so feel free to banter in the comment section.


Anonymous said...

If my memory serves me right we were there during the Talapia days. I think this is about the same time the bunnies went to help the Easter bunny and Buffet the goat period? Tell the family hello!

The Florida Blogger said...

So, what's next for the tank, if not tilapia?

Sandcastle Momma said...

You might want to put some shrimp in there - something tells me they're about to get expensive.

Bill said...

You are making my punkin head hurt.
Did you learn all that math from Mr. Blount? It looks a lot better than my anti squirrel chicken wire thingy.
Thanks for sharing.


tai haku said...

Shrimp on the way?

Floridacracker said...

I think you were. Those markers are the right era!

I'm thinking prawns.

FW prawns are my target. And I think you could be right about a lot of Gulf seafood.

It amazes me every time I use geometry in real life.

As soon as I can get this up and running. I'm operating on a shoestring budget, so there are occasional delays while I feed my children. LOL!

elpbulls said...

You forgot my favorite use of the tank....swimming pool! :) love you!!

Dani said...

Emma cracks me up!

Florida Beach Basics said...

looks like a very sturdy sneeze guard :)

Hurricane Teen said...

I've been waiting four years for you to do something aquaculture with that aquaculture tank :-)

Deb said...

Well you lost me the moment you started talking leveling and making stuff out of lumber, but it looks like a cool project!

Floridacracker said...

LOL! That was fun. I thought of you guys when I had it clean and full of chlorinated water.

You should see how funny she is in person!

It would make a heck of a circular salad bar.

Whar ya been?

LOL! You sound like you might have Post Traumatic Construction Project Syndrome.

Miz S said...

I read every word and mentally nodded and said, "yeah...uh-huh..." as if I understood. You'd be surprised at how often I do that.

Dani said...

I'm with Miz S! I got that glazed look about 3 pics

roger said...

shims! wedges! nice carpentry. i can see that you have the appropriate fun doing these things. chop saw?

tilapia permit? i recall you posting something about that.

Floridacracker said...

yup! i hardly grab my hand skil saw any more.