Julia, Murray, may be time to get an alpaca, then you will have fresh manure on a regular basis!
If you never fail itís probably because you never do anything.
I'd love a little family of Alpacas - such beautiful creatures! I'd probably have a better chance of getting a few chooks, but not much.
Usually the neighbour's cattle leave enough manure to get by with along the fence line, but haven't lately with all this grass around since the rain. There don't seem to be any diary farms in the area either. But I do have a lot of comfrey. Perhaps if I make a good brew of that and add it to clippings, etc, in my compost heater, it will be enough to start the reaction. . .
Here are some photos of a biomass heater (compost bin), built around the AP sump (a cast iron bathtub), which we finished yesterday. The first layer inside is wood chips, then a layer of comfrey, a layer of sugar cane mulch, a layer of muck out of the compost bin and some old manure, another layer of comfrey, another layer of sugar cane mulch, some weeds, and then finished off with a layer of straw, covered with a layer of carpet. The bin is lined with carpet on the outside. I've ordered a digital thermometer from HK to monitor the biomass heat (if there is any). Any suggestions on improvements? Other than buying a proper heater . . .
I know that this thread is old but I was wondering how the biomass heating of the slump worked out for you. I am guessing that it at least helped to stabilize the temperatures in the sump.
If your fish are the engine of your system....why wouldnt you keep them in an environment that is favorable to them....THEY MAKE IT WORK.
Aq requires some finites....
Keep your fish in a controlled environment unless you live in a favorable climate.
Yes, you guessed right - the biomass layer wasn't thick enough (about 10 inches) to hold the heat well enough to get the decomposing and heating going in a big way, over the cold winter months, but it was terrific insulation, and did stabilize the temperature in the system. I'll have a look at the temperature readings over that time, and will get back to you, with something more concrete.
I apologize for my post. As I read it back to myself now....it sure sounds like I was preaching......
One of my New Years resolutions is to be less judgemental.......
You have a good idea using biomass....I'm an idiot.....
Sorry to take so long with the details of my biomass setup, but it turned out trying to do charts of all the temps was just too complicated. The biomass itself stayed between 19-20 degree centigrade the whole time, but that temperature wasn't enough to affect the water temperature in the system. I couldn't get the temperature to go higher no matter what I did - added more manure, more comfrey, bit of water - I think because the sump is in the shade, it was just too cool to get a good reaction going. I think the Biomass idea would work, under the right conditions, but with a lot more mass than I had!
Have you had some success?
Sorry to interrupt this thread, Hi Julia how are your Silver Perch going? Post an update sometime...
"A Nation of Sheep, Breeds a Government of Wolves."