I was thinking it time to update as I travelled down to London on Sunday.
I panicked 2 weeks ago and put a couple of extra 300w heaters into the fishtank. They're on thermostats but realistically they're working full time. That's 900w. Ouch! The memsahib is aware and we'll live with it for this winter but I'm guessing I do need a new strategy for next!
The plus is that the tank water has been hovvering around 19C - 20C which is good to keep the fish alive and the bacteria working. Phew. That's with a couple of nights dipping to -5C outside.
One thing I probably haven't made clear is that I don't know how many fish I have.
I'm sure ish it's not more than 12. I doubt it's less than 8. Fact is I can't see to the depths in the back of the tank and the b*gg*rs won't stop moving long enough for me to count. What I do know is that I had an escapee sometime in the early summer that got from the main tank into the sump tank where it has lived ever since. The maverick.
I shouldn't recount the hours I've spent draped over that sump tank with a net attempting to catch the little sh*t. Suffice to say it remained way quicker than I was. Sadly on Tuesday it got it's come uppance. It rained overnight and the valve connecting the water butt to the sump tank was left open. Too much cold water for even the most feisty tilapia so sadly on in the morning it was a floater. It'll help me to remember to close that valve.
Plants wise I'm keeping a bunch of celery in the growbed as it's green and happy and I want to be sure something is soaking up the nitrates. I'd have hoped the spinach and beets I'd put in a couple of months ago now would have taken over but they got to about 2cm tall and have done nothing.
A couple of plants that are starting to thrive however are pubescens! Yay! There's a Rocoto Red and Rocoto Yellow that are shooting and looking quite green and healthy... good stuff.. except for...
Aphids! What a pain! I've been fortunate to be greenfly free for the summer but not now! I need to work out a strategy. Murray Hallam's treacle treatment? soft soap? SB plant invigorator? I need to be sure I don't hurt fish or bacteria.
That's where I'm at. Advice gratefully received!