After getting successively cloudier, my tank transformed over night to become quite clear. The increased cloudiness was the increase in nitrate fixing bacteria, while the sudden snap to clarity indicates the rapid drop in nitrites caused by the spike in new bacteria.
This tank has reached a relative level of self reliance, only now requiring occasional PH checks and feedings. I’m now beginning to think through my next steps for my next prototype. I’m thinking of using cardboard to get something physical in my hands without worrying about dimensions, and using my cardboard prototype’s dimensions as a frame of reference for the final plexiglass project. In addition, I’m thinking of adding in a vermicompost farm to further enrich the aquaponics water, as well as duckweed as a source of nutrients for the fish to make the need for manual feeding obsolete.
The kale continues to grow at a healthy clip for both plants. Each plant’s stalk is getting thicker and greener by the day. One mint cutting has successfully taken root, while it’s offshoot has grown exponentially in the past week as it reaches towards the sun. It seems like almost every day I can see more roots beginning to flow from the basket as the plants continue to grow. However, I think that due to the fact the romaine lettuce seedlings aren’t in a moisture holding medium (they’ve sprouted from in between the lava rocks), the roots have failed to benefit from the aquaponics environment in the way that more established plants or cuttings have. As of right now, the romaine lettuce seedlings look like young lanky sprouts instead of month old seedlings.