Sunday, October 1, 2017

First Time Aquaponics Attempt

The short: “Fish are friends, not food.” – Finding Nemo
The long: I will be updating this post as time continues. UPDATE 08-01-2018!


The Setup:
Fish tank kit
Walmart
$29.00
Pool Noodle
Walmart
$0.98
Plants
Peas
Varies
Fish Food/Tank supplies
Pet Supermarket
$10.00


~$40.00

 I suck at making awesome elaborate posts, so here it goes.

Usually, you want to start your tank running a full 24 hours before adding fish. This allows healthy bacteria and harmful chemicals to even out before throwing fish in to their new environment. I already started growing peas in a tray outside when I decided to take on this project. With this in mind, I grabbed a pool noodle to help the plants float in the tank. Impatient, I may have just thrown them and my new fish together right away (although you absolutely must let the fish get acclimated to the water temperature and chemicals first before just dumping them straight in).  – If you’ve never seen fish get shocked before, YouTube it.

Before purchasing a pool noodle from Walmart, I found black foam on the ground after the hurricane to experiment with. I really try to upcycle as best I can, but again, I’m not perfect at that either. Hence why my slogan is “Heather tries at life.”

After the filter ran for a couple hours, the fish were ready to go!

Day 1 – The plants started looking a little sad at the end of the day. It is possible that they weren’t receiving enough nutrients. One theory, is that I completely stripped those nutrients after removing soil and dumped the plants in the aquarium filled with pool noodles and fish.

Day 2 – With help of the LED lighting and constant water circulation, it appears oxygen was capable of getting to the roots, giving them a boost. I nearly killed half of the sprouts plucked on the day of putting this aquaponic system together because I let the sprouts dry out a little too much. The biggest advice I can say while setting your system up is to NEVER let the roots dry out. You’ll be looking at a dead limp plant.

Day 3 – I can’t have nice things. My plants looked healthy and seemed to be bushy with a lush green. That was, until I dropped the lid on them. All became crooked and the original black foam I was using for some of the sprouts became too water logged. However, I saved them off to the side for a smaller starter system. Yay recycling.

Day 4 – Plants look like they’re still lacking nutrients. Fish were fed a little extra. I did not know goldfish will continue to consume and forget they have consumed. I almost learned the hard way, goldfish will eat until they die.

By the way, I chose goldfish because they were $80.00 cheaper than five Koi. Koi are VERY expensive. Also, shiners for bait fish, require a little more effort than I was willing to give. Just something to think about when you’re trying to save the Earth on a budget.

Day 7? – I kind of lost track already. There’s a lot of energy put in to rotating around the sun. I’m just saying.

Day 8 – I’ll continue here. I think. My pea plants look like they’re very skinny instead of bushy. I compared them to the plants growing outside, but maybe it’s because with my aquaponic system, they might be able to grow taller.

I don’t know why I never attempted this sooner. Fish are so relaxing to look at. Especially when your world is consumed with stress, like fighting people at Wal-Mart and pissing off the turtle haters while saving creatures from humanity.

Below are some pictures, not in any order of what the progress has been. Still messing with the format. What bloggers don't say, is how long it takes to actually format and post their material. One man band over here! Anyways, enjoy! 

Update 11-19-2017*
I'm sad to report, my aquaponic system did not make it. While it was a fun attempt there were multiple reasons my plants withered away. I'm pretty sure my experiment lasted a grand total of 20 days.

Let's cut straight to the point.
Lighting - I left my light on for more than 12 hours a day. Some leaves would turn to a crisp after being dried out for so long. The light was small so only a small concentrated area would receive enough UVs. To combat all of this, I would recommend obtaining a timer for scheduled lighting. 
Nutrients - I chose goldfish because they were supposed to be a very messy fish. Well, messy in fact they are. They would even eat their on faeces. The tank would essentially be spotless from the amount they consumed, leading to my next problem.
The Fish - They literally eat anything and everything! I believe because they wouldn't stop, they murdered the plants even quicker because their root system was getting destroyed.

Needless to say, it was an interesting experience.

UPDATE 08-01-2018*
Maybe I should just stick to growing plants in water before adding turtle bait. Unfortunately, the last sacrifice was given a viking ceremony to the sea. I'm not very good at this and wonder how many other people have lost a couple fins along the way. 







Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Credit Card Offers and Other Mail: The Experiment

Updates: 11/23/2017

Story Time!


Once upon a mailbox, I received credit card offers. Tons of them! When I returned home from a very long work stint, I was gifted a pile of papers and had to use my precious youth to sort through all of the junk. So far, I've found FOUR ways to get rid of credit card offers and other mail.


1. OptOutPreScreen - You can take a chance with https://www.optoutprescreen.com/ and give them your social security number. I personally have not and will not do this. I haven't had anyone that's resourceful enough to confirm that this works, but it's the government. Trust them?

Update 11/23/2017: I've called multiple credit card companies that refer me to this option. I still have trust issues.

2. PaperKarma - a useful app that sends unsubscribe requests on your behalf. Digging through the internet, I've heard good reviews. Whether it's worked yet or not for me, I'll have to update on a later day. Supposedly it takes about 60 - 90 days to fully unsubscribe. The biggest harassers for me are PNC and Wells Fargo. I'll add a note if they go away in the next 2 - 3 months since I just started pushing back.

PaperKarma's interface seems simple. You literally scan your mail, select the correct company, and click unsubscribe. That's it! What's one more app on your phone? Anyways, check out the screenshots of my personal phone below to make sure you download the correct app.

Update 11/23/2017: PaperKarma has ended their free app. You now have to purchase a subscription, and by my experience, not sure if it completely works. The reviews have said this as well. If the updated application has worked, please let me know below!


3. Mail them back - unconfirmed if this actually works, but each credit card offer comes with a second envelope to mail in your personal information. I read online, because everything on the internet is true, to write "unsubscribe me" and mail them back. Their postage will be paid by the sender. See the "No Postage Necessary" on the top right hand corner? You don't pay a dime to return them a piece of paper.

Update 11/23/2017: Not sure if they got the memo, but I mailed another 10 or so. It was on their dime! Another tip, mail them back advertisements for your business. At least one person reads them.



4. Call and request to be unsubscribed - I loathe talking to people from these companies on the phone. Therefore, this is also unconfirmed. Maybe one day, I'll strike up enough patience to ask.

Update 11/23/2017: This has been the best option so far. Grab the newest credit card offer. One that's still active before the expiration date on the flyer. There is a reservation code on the flyer. Read this to the company. It's either this, or give them your social which isn't an option. I made phone calls in October. I've received significantly less mail from the people I directly contacted!

This is all just an experiment to reduce the paper waste coming to my mailbox. Hopefully, PaperKarma will be enough to place a very long pause on the offers. I'll update as soon as I start seeing progress!


If you have an interesting way to get rid of unwanted credit card offers, share it below!