Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Something fishy

Its been a while since we had a disaster here at Rock HQ. The phone line saga continues though, the forever fix has failed to remain fixed so we have no phone and intermittent Internet. This prompted another rant at BT who promise to fix it. Again.
The disaster involves the rainbow trout. Now everything we do is on a budget, and usually involves a rocket like learning curve trajectory so the mini fish farm with the occupants generously flown in from the Isle of Mann has been another project that we make up and learn from as we go along. The principles a sound one, thousands of gallons of stream water diverted through pipes, into big plastic holding tanks, gravity fed, the fish thrive, grow big and get eaten. After a slow start in the heat of the summer, we did lose a few 5cm long trout when on the hottest day the oxygen levels depleted and some died. Since then, only one casualty who leapt for freedom and found grass not the best place to swim. The rest thrived. Some were over 20 cm long, becoming monsters from the deep.
A quad bike ripped through the yard, we thought nothing more than hooligan, good job the dogs were in and was there any need to go so fast. But thought nothing more until 24 hours later when I checked the fish tank and found 85 dead fish on the surface. It was hard to take it in, initially I could not believe it, they must be leaves right? But no, the nets across the top keeps the leaves out, these were corpses. No fresh water was running out of inlet pipe, water had drained from the outlet, the oxygen level dropped with the water level and the fish suffocated. I checked the length of the pipe. By the pool dug into the stream that supplies the tanks quad bike tracks were carved into the stream bank. Our blue plastic water pipe was dug out of the bank and thrown across to the other side, bent, broken and twisted by the wheels of the quad as it dug its way up and along. A quick refit and the water was running, the tanks emptied and cleaned, the survivors grateful for clean water once again. It was hard not to be angry, especially as it was so pointless, our hard work and enterprise ruined by the careless act of some speed freak. Poor fish.

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