Jump to content

Trying to keep the hobby alive with one hand - tendonitis

Thomas Wolf

Recommended Posts

I'm big on integrated medicine which doesn't rule out typical western practices or naturopathic ones.  I find it most effective in all other areas of medicine.

If I were to get into beekeeping it would be for the bees, instead, I just plant crops they love for pollination and buy very expensive organic honey.  It's a medicinal food with no (known) expiration date.

Stamet's research has shown incredible results with the bees, actually - you should look into that right away for your keeps.  Not sure if you are aware but he holds a ton of patents with even more pending for this type of thing.  He looks at a problem and hand-picks species of fungi for their properties and solves problems we didn't even know we could solve.  He also helped cure his mothers stage 4 cancer doing the same thing (integrated medicine).

What most people don't know about Paul Stamets is that before all of this popularity in biology/mycology he was a forester (clear cutting) and was almost killed in a work related accident, and it was that accident that acted as a catalyst for everything he has done since - he realized what they were doing was inefficient (among other things) and that was how he began formulating ideas.  I wrote a paper on one of his books for school a while back, and this was highlighted in it.

I have a holding (pregnant) tilapia.  Usually at temps around 68-70 F the breeding fails, resulting in a "flirt tank full of fish stuck at 3rd base." but during the water changes I had it up for 74 F; for some reason any time I do any type of tank work like cleanings with tilapia, they immediately start initiating in breeding behavior afterwards.  I was actually standing there to witness her release the eggs and I watched the male fertilize them.  Not the first time I've seen it happen but it's rare.  So, now I have to either reduce the temps which is like tilapia birth control, but, optionally, I'm actually considering letting some fry hatch because my breeding fish are getting too large for breeding, a lot of people eat them at this size, but I usually let them get bigger.

My next surprise:  I go to home depot and buy a $54 utility sink.  Turns out they gave me five (I wondered why the box was so big compared to their videos, thought maybe it was pre-assembled, had a hell of a time dealing with it in windy 30 F weather).

I looked into it and this doesn't fall on me as a legal issue, if my hand was better and I wasn't on third shift burning the candle at both ends, I'd have returned it, but, because it was supervisor approved and I had a hell of a time moving it, I'm keeping them.  I asked for curbside and they made me push the cart and do everything injured.  As a result of that "Discount", I have no complaints about all the extra brass fittings and stuff they marked me up on.  Gave me the wrong mulch, too (I bought the natural kind, they gave me the junk kind).  Garden variety incompetence going on there.  The guy in plumbing was helpful for once though (almost never happens in stores like Home Depot)

The beauty of this for me is they are made of PP (Polypropylene) and are perfect for aquaponic and soil growing when I badly needed containers on a budget.  My family asked for more money from me yesterday so I am stretching my budget this month as well - I bought everyone a nice dinner and filled the gas tank and stuff in addition to what I already do, we've been living a little rough the last while so I thought it would help.

Ran into totally new plumbing issues but already found the fixes.  I only need a couple more cheap parts.  I should have went with 1/2 4ft. hosing because I have to cut the 1/2 line and then use a bunch of adapters between the 1/2 inch sink connections and the about-to-be-installed one-piece push connect supply (I'm cutting the copper, won't have to sweat and solder with a push connect supply valve).  Hindsight is 20/20, I'll go with 1/2 inch next time, I already have all the proper adapters, and I'm not worried about minimal brass contact temporarily, I plan to move as soon as possible.

The only thing I see being an issue at this point (outside my hand) is the P trap isn't perfectly level with where it needs to be, so I need to look into raising it up about 1/2-1" before I start on any of the plumbing.  I hate P traps.

My long-awaited doctors appointment for my arm is later this morning and I'll be exhausted but I need to go.  Will likely refer me for testing/specialists.  I have a really good doctor so I am sure he will do his best to help me get the right care, his wife is a surgeon as well.

Lots to reply to from you and Bev - too much to reply to all of right now, but I am very glad you have a DIY specialist/hobbyist around to help you.  If you need any input on your plants, I can likely be a big help there - never hesitate to ask questions.  If I don't know the answer, I can likely find it for you.

I'd say I spend about 50% of my time working and the other 50% working on my hobbies and researching them.  I don't really take breaks, and I barely sleep.  This is my life.  Sleep is a constant problem.  Not using my hand drives me crazy; leads to a lot of flare-ups.

As for the bees, it's not my area of expertise.  If I were to ever get into the hobby I would do what I do with all my hobbies, study it extensively.  I learn more in a day self-taught than I've learned in all my years of school combined.

Lol @ "They become beekeepers just to brag about it."  I really hope that isn't the case!

No bees, no people.  It's an extinction level issue...

I will try and remember to take more pictures so you can see the tilapia in a clean aquarium and the finished product.  Still thinking a good hose is a better option than the Python kit; but I already have the $5 Python replacement attachment head which fits nicely on the new faucet I bought, and found some neat hacks - I think I'm gonna do a Python/Hose combo setup and then next month I'll jump on the RV filter and Brute dolly trashcan when I get paid.  Mixed reviews on that RV filter, though.

I can't find a Flexzilla hose in 3/4" at 50ft to save my life.  They are only worth $35 and people are scalping the "hose market" by selling "used" ones for $60.  I'd rather wait until Amazon restocks... the tanks should stay stable for at least a couple of weeks.

Isolated that one tilapia because it wasn't able to eat (3-4" pond grade, extra fish that Lakeway tossed me for free, great people/highly educated biologists by the way!) the larger food; must have been surviving off of all of that algae and uneaten food that softened up.  Have it on a spirulina diet with a smaller pellet, it's happy to fatten up... feel bad leaving a social fish in a tank alone though.  Gave it some PVC for cover to feel safe.

I'll check back in soon and try to reply more!


-Thomas Wolf

Edited by Thomas Wolf
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thomas i know they make connector/adapter to connect two or more hoses  together not sure if that helped i had to connect my outdoor water hose  because my water fixture was in my back of my house and needed hose to go in the front to reach when we pressure wash my house  we connected 3-4 hoses together 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Current progress has my hand screaming (fussy brass fittings, should have taken them back but made it work) and got the utility sink hooked up with hot and cold water.

Still need to screw the legs into the cement as the sink does move a tiny bit (not a big deal), more concerned about a couple tiny leaks - there was like 6 leaks initially and I redid all the Teflon very carefully.  I can likely stop the "barely dripping" leaks with a monkey grip (something I currently lack...) or at worst, with some silicone.  The drips are very minor, so it is still usable.  You wouldn't notice unless you were looking for it.

Tried putting the stunted tilapia in with my goldfish.  Didn't work out because the tilapia was "lip punching" the goldfish, so that fish was "put down," as it could no longer survive in any of my systems; I gave it a peaceful last week of life with a lot of food and at least gave it a try, but once it took a scale off my largest goldfish and kept hammering it, I knew that was hopeful thinking.  Sucks, because it's just something tilapia do that usually doesn't bother other tilapia, but the goldfish are not about it.

I'll take pictures the next time I go downstairs but I know my 75 gallon is overloaded because even with a total water swap and beneficial bacteria that works without fail, I am looking at a new bacterial bloom.  Luckily, full grown tilapia can survive it and breathe above water if necessary.  Unavoidable, unfortunately; I did everything right, it's time to cull 2-3 fish from the breeding tank.

My few remaining prawn would be cool if I had the space, time and money for another 20g+, but I will likely put an end to that project in the next week.  It's just not worth the maintenance and I need those tanks for my tilapia which is the whole reason I am dumping money into the hobby left and right.

I paid more for the plumbing than I did all 5 of the utility sinks, lol.  Several hours in work due to fussy fittings.  The P-Trap actually unclogged and went together pretty well and doesn't leak at all.

So I am reluctant to post pictures yet outside the sink itself which looks great and is very helpful even outside water changes.  My garden is blowing up and my tilapia keep trying to breed even in low temps.  I am considering an outdoor pond in May if I can swing it with my landlord, removing the heat element would make it very budget friendly for the season and I could grow a freezer's worth of fillets.

Where we're all running into trouble:  Hyper-inflation.  My living costs just went up dramatically and I will likely have to ask my work partner for more money because I am broke this early in the month and that isn't livable.  Not looking forward to that conversation, but too many bills, broken appliances, and other things are all happening at once.  Knowing what I do about economics, the prices are only going to go higher and will put a lot of companies out of business, as well as make many products unavailable.

I am not a hoarder but I do keep a pantry and I dropped some money on food and essentials outside my regular bills and that really cut into my budget for this month, although, I feel it was money well spent.

As a consequence, I still haven't gotten a python kit or a hose.  To be fair, I still can't find the hose I want, but now that I am able to use the sink, I want one as soon as possible.  I have no intention of using that old rubber one with bad threading on my new faucet; need something lighter, flexible, and with quality fittings.

Once I get paid again, I buy the rest of what I need.  But, it's nice to have at least gotten a new sink put in so far, general tasks like washing things off and washing my hands, getting water for my plants, et cetera - have all become a great deal easier.

Now I just need to figure out a hose, and possibly an RV or similar filter setup.  I may opt for the trash can dolly (Brute) and a Flexzilla hose instead of a python kit.  I already have the Python kit attachment replacement part and it will work just fine that way, and allow me to treat my water before I pump it into systems.

Prawn are very chlorine sensitive.  I think I may test adding sodium thiosulfate to the system and do 1/4-1/2 water swap to see if they display any signs of discomfort.  If they don't, I know my tilapia will be fine.  That has to be -very- instant for it to work properly, but people have been doing it forever so I don't consider it a bold or risky attempt.

Updates with pictures soon (sink is set up, plants are bigger!)


-Thomas Wolf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thought I would get some pictures up as the utility sink & hose are now functional.

I don't believe I will be needing a trash can dolly after all, although it would be nice to have one anyway.  I've now done water swaps on both the 75g and 40g with the hose and just added a liberal amount of Dechlor/Sodium Thiosulfate and did not notice any abnormal behavior from the prawn or the tilapia, it really must be instantaneous...  I'm glad.  That would have stretched my budget way too far and been a bigger hassle.

I ended up paying an obscene amount to get the proper hose and it works with the python venturi principle attachment for the faucet and easily clears the length of the basement.  Takes a while to drain and fill, but I can already tell you I enjoy the process a lot more... the only time a bucket is needed now is for small amounts of waste removal, no more than 2 buckets at a time which is tolerable.

Despite a green thumb, it's my first time growing potatoes.  I need the weather to warm up badly, I put in an order to Lakeway Tilapia for some Nile tilapia and they need 60 F minimum.  Slightly faster growth than the blues, as well as better resistance to low dissolved oxygen.  The only downsides with them are temperature and a "sand vein" in processing fillets.

I am not switching for any reason other than experimentation.  I won't be surprised if I get an email from Lakeway talking me out of it, lol.  The blues are much better in colder climates and it's only mid April, he must be like "I don't understand people who want their tropical fish in a winter state, they will die and there is only a tiny variation in benefits..." well, it's because just being limited to blues is boring after years of doing it!

My prawn "Need to go" but I feel bad because they've essentially become hassling pets.  I did isolate my one injured blue claw, he molted and regenerated all of his damaged limbs so it would suck to heal them just to kill them.  At the same time, I can't justify the heating expenses for multiple tanks on a few problematic prawn.  I wish I had an extra 20g Long I could make into a prawn hobby tank or something but it is what it is; my set up is for tilapia farming and pet goldfish - not glorified serial-killer shrimp.

I am attempting to breed my blue tilapia (I have a breeding pair but the rest of the tank is kind of a mix and match so I am pulling any injured fish out one at a time, there are too many for stocking density) and perhaps hybridize the two just for kicks as my breeding female is still smaller, although most are ready for harvest or processing soon, so they are too large to continue breeding after this one go.

Plants need the warm weather as well!  I need to make a raised bed garden and get them transplanted immediately, some are already bolted, but I've been juggling work and personal/family challenges.

One area that is still frustrating is getting the tanks "actually clean" but the tilapia are happy with 75%+ water changes whenever it gets "really bad" as you can see in their picture, the tank needs more cleaning, but the water is safe.  It's just not as easy to clean the tanks anymore, and the filter location in the back really sucks.

I plan to keep raising fish and plants and a pool pond may become viable again after work is caught up and I am confident with the hose/venturi system - it doesn't waste much water if you're willing to wait longer on drain times after initiating the siphon, although I wonder how that would work if the pool pond was at ground level as it has to be.

I'm supposed to see an occupational therapist this morning, not feeling like having my wrist all twisted around but I will ask about the kinesiotape, my primary doctor was familiar with it but didn't know how to wrap it.

I did grab a masonry bit to mount the utility sink legs to the cement floor, it's not a real problem but it does move around a bit - best to secure it and avoid damaging any PVC plumbing.  What I really need now is a hose hanger - really mad about how much the hose is costing me, but I guess it beats killing my hobbies and ability to remain self-sustainable.


-Thomas Wolf










Edited by Thomas Wolf
Tid Bit on why I don't need the dolly
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...