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No filtration!

Dead Mussels is a bad sign.
Dead Mussels is a bad sign.

I’ve noticed the aquaponics water getting steadily cloudier, along with a big spike in acidity.

The reason, I’m sure, is that I’ve added extra soluble fertilizer to give things a boost before this weeks filming. It was a brand that I’ve never used before.

Sudden changes in pH can negatively affect nutrient uptake, plant health and fish health (is death really a health issue)?

A few fish have passed on to the plant pots in the last couple of days (that’s where dead goldfish can continue to add to the garden for a while while they rot down). It’s sad though when they die. They’re pets and as much a part of the living system that Ligaya Garden is as any other critter in the place.

They look like they've been dead for a while.
They look like they’ve been dead for a while.

Most of the Freshwater Mussels have died too. From the holes in the shells, ome of of these mussels look like they’ve been gone for a while. Freshwater Mussels are incredibley effective cleaners for small aquaponics systems. They can filter up to 500 litres a day of water as it passes through them. Without them, the future doesn’t seem so clear.

I leave the shells in the tank as they are made mostly of Calcium Carbonate, which dissolves in acidic water and thus, helps to buffer the pH slightly. Those I found this morning must have been dead for a while though. I rarely look at the deepest depths of the fish tank as the things that dwell there prefer not to be disturbed.

One survivor.
One of two survivors.

It looks like I’ve still got two alive though. That’s good but I hope they’ll make it through the water change I’m going to have to do. That’s probably the second worst job with an aquaponics system (the worst is definitely cleaning the clay balls and scoria)!

Also, at about $20 each, losing this many mussels is blow to the wallet!

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