NANFA-- Good News/Bad News- Success With Shiners- Ideal Thermal Storage

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Sat, 04 Oct 2003 03:51:24 -0400

Good Eve NANFANs

More good greenhouse and pond related news today.
While waiting for a plastic container specialist to call me back with
exact price and shipping quote on some plastic jugs I have been seeking
for the greenhouse I made a discovery in one of the half barrel ponds on
the front porch: a lone baby shiner!

My guess was that it origionated from an egg that must have ridden down
on a potted milfoil that I transfered from the new pond in front of the
GH. Obviously it had to be a coastal shiner- Notropis petersoni because
that is the only species of fish in that pond- I put some very small
young that resulted from a successful spawning last season in the pond
inside the GH that were moved outside along with their parents to make
room for the Sailfins- Pteronotropis hypsolepterus earlier this season.

And sure enough I saw quite a few fry swimming in the new pond. I really
had not been paying much attention to the F-1 generation other than
noting that they had grown significantly over the summer and the
occassional nibble on my legs when I waded the pond to tend the gravel
bog on the opposite bank. This is really amazing considering many of the
F-1s were not much bigger than the current crop of fry when I put them
in a couple months ago!
These southern shiners sure breed fast- I wonder if the origional stock
that were moved to my other gravel bog pond bred again too?

I just hope that Taillight Shiners if I get them someday will breed like
that and likewise for Sailfins or Blueheads.

Anyway , it was getting late and I was concerned that the lady I talked
to earlier from Basco containers would not call back in time for me to
get to the bank and get a money order together before closing so I
called them back again. To make another long story short - I'm getting a
decent deal on some BLACK five gallon square jugs which I'm going to
stack atop a row of 15 gal barrels against the back wall of the GH. Glad
I took the trouble to ask about them because I had origionally given up
hope and was going to settle for the same transluscent containers as
I've been salvaging at a snail's pace at the hospital where I work. I'm
getting 60 of them so not having to deal with painting or worry about
the paint scraping off- which is the case with the barrels I did this
summer is definitely a plus.
BTW- in passive solar applications black is beautiful because it absorbs
rather than reflects sunlight. It also is more asthetically pleasing
than white or blue or other bright colors which seem out of place. Earth
tones like grey, brown or terra cotta are not so bad- I have four 50 gal
olive barrels of the latter most color supporting one of my front
benches. Those will probably end up outside as rain barrels if I decide
to replace them with similar sized fiberglass cylinders which I am
eyeballing at the website of the Solar Component's Corp which
specializes in these and various other solar and aquaculture related
stuff. Such containers would double nicely as thermal mass storage and
tank space to raise or winter over tender species of fish!

In my continuing search for info on solar and thermal mass resources on
the web I stumbled across the website of Anna Edey- the not so well
known proprieter of the Solviva Greenhouse and a book on the same which
details the development of her enterprise which involves alot of
environmental friendly technologies that not only are the thing that
make most environmentally conscious people very happy- they actually
work and don't require alot of expensive engineering to accomplish.

And now the bad news as the story takes a darker turn.
Ms Edey has an interesting page on her recent battle with the Mass Dept
of Environmental protection over the issue of "Living Machines" vs
conventional state mandated waste water treatment systems as spelled out
in page upon page of explict detail- that cost an outrageous fortune to
install and really don't do a very good job of reducing the
contamination of local watersheds. There are some really informing
snapshots that also appear in her book - of algae choked ponds and salt
marshes that are the result of pollution by conventional (state
approved) septic systems.
Really eye opening are all the demands and hurdles imposed by the DEP on
Edeys efforts to assist a local tavern with the management of its waste
stream. Rather than elaborate too much- here's the link-

Both the Greens and the Libertarians despite their ideological
differences are going to have a feild day with this one!

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