Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas catch-up

Fish Fed well. Backwashed filter and topped up sump. Cleaned risers. Watered Chrysanthemums with approx. 500l from outside Reservoir. All well!
Will rent Oxygen tank and 'fish' grade oxygen for 2007- firstly to transport Australian Bass to Raymond Terrace and then for fish transport and care throughout 2007.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Preparing for Christmas

Cleaned ARC. Securely stored all equipment. Backwashed system- Reservoir now holding 1000l. Topped up sump. Fish all well- continued draining Tanks 6 & 7.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Yr9 AT were impressive in their work at the ARC today... mulching was applied to the Chrysanthemum garden/s. Water that has been used in the recirculation (fish farm) was backwashed and dumped to the outside resovoir then syphoned & bucketed onto the garden/s. Australian Bass fed well, Yabbies transfered from Yabbie Tank 7 to Aquarium 3. Tank 6 syphoned/drained to outside grass. 2 computers have been setup in the ARC LAB initially to test our WebCam (WETCAM) to monitor the ARC and Fish. Thanks to all student for a great days work... there will be a little extra in your presents from Santa this year- well a can of coca-cola!


Hosed (using tank water) the inside of the ARC. Swept gravel and rocks from doorway. Continued to drain Tanks 6 & 7 (Yabbie Tank)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Trout Fingerling Order

Hi guys
Wadalba Community School would like to place an order for 300 Rainbow Trout Fingerlings for late March pick-up. We run an aquaculture education research centre within the school with commercial quality recirculation equipment.
Our recirculation water temps are expected to be suitable for the introduction of Trout fingerlings during March/April.
We will phone to arrange pick-up and use our own container and oxygen to transport the fingerlings back to Wadalba. I will arrange a cheque to be drawn by the school to pay at pick-up.
Thanks... let's hope that we don't get high temps. like Jan/Feb 2006.
If you need to contact me during school holiday time please use my Mobile: xxxxxxxxxx


Glenn, Re your inquiry regarding 300 Trout fingerlings from the hatchery.
We can't guarantee there will be any fingerlings left by late March as it is quite late in the season. We do not take orders as such as we don't know how many fish we will have at that time, depending on the weather etc. The cost would be $49.50 per 100 Any further enquiries please ring the hatchery 0267759139
Regards, Helen Foster
Clerical Officer

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chrysanthemum Care

All Chrysanthemums were cut/pruned to 30cm in height. More news soon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Planting Time- GIANT Pumpkins/SunFlowers

Mulberry time over. All Mulberries have either been eaten or are past their prime.

Yr9 planted GIANT Pumpkins and Sunflowers today. Fed worms to the fish, cut Chrysanthemums and repaired the Hot House. More herbs- Coriander etc. to be planted soon.
Some weeding started on the Chrysanthemum plots. Need watering and compost.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Feed Worms and Fish

Feed Worms (thanks to our office staff for the luchtime leftovers and tea bags) and Fish (Australian Bass/Silver Perch and Yabbies- old peas). Fine tuned flow on recirculation system. Left roller door open to encourage flow of fresh air.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Clean & Maintenance

Drained/Dumped Tanks 1,2 & 5 total 7,600l to remove fowled water. Rinsed and cleaned Tanks 1,2 & 5.
To accomplish this turned off exit valves in Tanks 3-4 and open dump valve to outside to let Tanks 1, 2 & 5 to gravity drain... then Closed valves on Tanks 1,2 & 5 and reopened valves on Tanks 2-3.
Restarted filtration system.
Backwashed filter, topped up sump and added 100 gms of Bi-Carb Soda.
Hosed out ARC using bleach and disinfectant.
Topped up Tank 7 (Yabbies) and Aquarium 1 and 3.
Left roller door partly open to encourage flow of fresh air.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Time for action!!

Mulberry Jam time...
For every kilo of mulberries, the juice of 1 lemon and 500g of caster sugar... mmmmmmmm!

Time for action on our Chrysanthemums...

Saturday, October 14, 2006


System turned off and Australian Bass tanks (3-4) isolated. All dead Trout removed. Tanks 1-2 drained to dump, scrubbed and rinsed. System backwashed and rinsed. Tanks 1-2 isolated and tanks 3-4 brought back online. Several Bass were lost the rest responded to clean and fresh water.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Trout Dead!

All Trout were found dead. Water recirculation had stopped- reducing air diffusion and fresh water circulation. Over 120 Trout including 100 fingerlings (25cm) and 20 brood stock (35cm). This was a very sad week!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Jobs and Maintenance

Thanks Frank for feeding fish.
The water temp. Continues to reflect the higher than normal air temp. It has risen again from 21.9C to 22.5C since Thursday 5/10/06. This is critical to cold water fish such as Trout. We are trying to hangon until school resumes (Monday 16/10/06) to begin harvest.
Recirculation system had stopped supply of water to Tank 1 and Tank 2... needed backwash. BIG backwash, rinse and clean (brushed Interior of Tanks), cleaned filter basket. Refilled sump 500l and added 100g of Bi-Carb Soda to balance/buffer new tank water. Topped up Tank 7 (Yabbies) and Aquarium 1/3. Dumped Oyster shells from trailer (needed trailer). Turned off Ultraviolet sterilised- unsure if it contributes to water temp? Fish oiled locks. Removed rubbish to school industrial bin. Moved 'hot house' and gardening gear to ARC.

Jobs NEEDED to be done.
Close monitoring of water quality- pH, Temp
Further backwash
Water Chrysanthemums

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Further Trout deaths, 1 * Tank 1 and 1 * Tank 2 change harvest plans 8-(

Further Trout deaths, 1 * Tank 1 and 1 * Tank 2 change harvest plans!
The hot weather has forced us to rethink our planned harvest. Nundle trout appear to be LESS tolerant to temperature increases. We have always been dictated to by the magic 24C. Arc-En-Ciel suggested that the Tasmanian Trout have a lower threshold to temperatures above 20C and it is now being proved.

Friday, September 29, 2006

'Deep' Clean of Entry (Foyer) Aquarium

Thanks to Corey, Scott, Cameron, Jarryd, Craig and ...
Although the Aquarium is cleaned and 1/3 of its water replaced each month the undergravel filter and sand had not been cleaned for over 12 months.
Fish (Silver Perch, Australian Bass and Yabbies) were transferred to the ARC and the aquarium drained. All filters and air stones were cleaned, sand/gravel rinsed and undergravel filter cleaned. The tank was wiped out and then all equipment replaced.
*We use ONLY rainwater tank water for all our aquaculture!
The tank will be given time to settle, allowing chemicals and bacteria to balance.
Fish will be restocked in Term 4. WHAT species would you like to see in this aquarium?

Trout Loss continues 8-(

A further 6 Trout died over night. 6 * Tank 1. We believe that stress from the hot weather has caused the continued deaths. This has accelerated our design and development of a 'cooling' system for the water.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Aquaculture Related Project

Concern!!! Some management teams will not complete the project (Assessment Task)... this will result in a FAILURE...


  • WORMs! Doing great!!!
  • Frog Tank 'stagnate'- NO Frogs... lots of promises?
  • Marine/Salt Water Tank-NO Progress...lots of promises?
  • Brine Shrimp/Artemia- NO Progress
  • Cichlid Breeding -NO Progress... now working on Artemia Project?

** Most groups have started their PowerPoint' presentation to support their project.

Trout loss due to excessive temperatures 8-(

A total of 12 fish were lost today as a result of the excessive temperatures. 9 * Tank 1 3 * Tank 2.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mulberry time... approaching

The tree has set a huge amount of fruit. Some worries about the drought? It seems that our students like the green ones. Another 3-5 weeks. Hopefully the fruit will remain on the tree until after the school spring break?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Routine Maintenance

Flush and rinse outside reservoir to clear excess dirt and decomposed material. Flush to garden plots.
Backwashed Pump/filter system. Fed worms, fish. Weeded garden.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

TARE & Digital Scales

Digital Scales have been purchased for the ARC. These will be used for monitoring/measuring; feed, fish and chemicals (Salt/Bi-Carb Soda).
TARE: is a term in weights and measurements which refers to the weight of an empty container. Scales that have a TARE enable different ingredients in the same container to be weighed.
Overfeeding is: uneconomical, a hazard to fish health and water quality. Excess feed that decays will increase ammonia/Nitrite levels and disturb the pH of the water. The majority of our fish are surface or middle water column feeders... once food is on the bottom it is not eaten! Feed should be given to fish while they are hungry/eating. Daily changes will occur due to temperature, sunlight, time of day, stress etc. So feeding amounts may change day to day. Always observe the fish prior to, during and after feeding to ensure behaviour is 'normal' expected.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Jobs- Progressing or NOT?

Thanks to Cameron and Jarryd for trimming the overhanging branches. The path to the ARC was beginning to be a jungle. Secators were used to remove some very think branches.
The Chrysanthemum Gardens were weeded by 'most' of the class. Some decided that bending and dirt 'are not their thing'!
Ben and Jaime assisted in moving the pool hose, that was draining the sump to ensure the whole of garden (1) was watered.
The outside reservoir had thick sludge on the bottom, by backwashing the ARC recirculation system to the reservoir while maintaining flow through the pool hose to the garden we were able to move the sludge.
The Worm Farm has progressed 'layer apon layer' and is now ready for worms, thanks to Daniel (Smida) for his leadership. A local resturant has been organised to drop off left overs for the farm.
I am concerned that the following groups will not complete the project (Assessment Task)... this will result in a FAILURE... Please see me if you would like guidance.
  • Frog Tank progressing- NO Frogs.
  • Marine/Salt Water Tank-NO Progress
  • Brine Shrimp/Artemia- NO Progress
  • Cichlid Breeding -NO Progress
Come on guys and gals... running out of time!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Murray Cod dies! 8-(

What could be the cause? What would you have expected to see before the death? What should we look for in determining a reason for the death?

ARC Jobs 31/8/06

Our building materials have been sorted and stored with a substanial amount of rubbish and uneeded material ready to be transported to the industrial bin. Thanks Mr Harris and his Yr9 AT Class.
Changed layers in Worm Farm/s. Fed worms to all fish- Trout & Bass went crazy! Murray Cod less enthusiastic.
Stored Trout Grower Feed to prevent attraction/attack by pests (rats etc.). Stored this weeks feed togther with bucket of feed in fridge.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Trout grower Feed arrives

text to be added

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Eel Tailed Catfish dies 8-(

The Eel Tailed Catfish had shown some strange/odd behaviour prior to its death on Tuesday. Photo to come...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Construction Work on the new dam takes shape? Wink Wink

As construction on the aquaculture dam nears completion activity speeds up. Recent wet weather has not dampened our enthusiasm.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Frog Pond/Tank takes shape

Yr10 Aquaculture Technology research projects (School Certificate Assessment Tasks) include... Marine/Salt Water Aquarium, Frog Aquarium, Commercial Worm Farm, Cichlid Breeding etc.

One management team has prepared their tank as a frog aquarium
* please note there are strict regulations on native frog collection and return
** Photos soon

Monday, August 21, 2006

Trout Growth- on track for November Harvest

A photo comparison of the growth of our Tasmanian (fertilised eggs)/ARC En CIEL Rainbow trout shows the rapid growth in both size and weight over a relatively short period of time!

* photos to be added soon

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Aquaculture PodCasts, WebCasts and VideoCasts

A number of Aquaculture PodCasts, WebCasts and VideoCasts have been Subscribed/downloaded and made available to students and staff. This builds on the amount & type of technology available to our students.

ICT (Information & Communication Technology) within Wadalba Community School focus on the educational use of MP3 Players (iPods), mobile telephones and converging technologies to deliver resources for students to extend their learning and interest in education.

The following are just some of the interesting sites available...

Friday, August 18, 2006

ARC features in DET Annual School Report for Wadalba

The ARC was recognised as a significant community and statewide education and research centre for Aquaculture...
"The Aquaculture Research Centre was created to support teaching, learning and research into a sustainable fish farming industry and the marine environment. The centre has become a fully compliant commercial setup and is a state focus for vocational education. A high level delegation from The Board of VET (BVET) visited the centre in September (2005) and reported favorably to the Minister for Education.
Students had the opportunity to grown three hundred trout and four hundred Australian Bass in 2005. The trout were grown to an edible size, harvested, smoked, vacuum sealed and given to school and community members who purchased a fish futures certificate earlier in the year. The Bass were taken on as a long term project on agistment for a local 'catch and release' operator."

Annual School Report 2005

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Some Like It Hot!

The Yr10 class has begun Fish,Yabbie and Prawn Anatomy. While gathering data/research on reproduction of Yabbies it was decided that our Yabbies need light stimulation (leaving the light on) to trick Yabbies into thinking that the days are growing longer and an increased in temperature (we were running the Yabbie Tank 250l at approx. 22C using aquarium heaters) we have now turn up the heat to 25C.
We will continue observations to see if these changes trigger reproduction.
* photos soon

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ordered Trout Grower Pellets

Trout Grower Food is produced by Ridley Aqua-Feed Narangba Qld. However they only sell by the Tonne... a bit more than we need (at this stage)!
It is a 4mm pellet containing:Crude Protein 43%Crude Fat 26%Crude Fibre 1.33%
We were referred to Hay U Pit Supplies, also in Queensland 07 34200870.
An enquiry has been made with 'PIT Supplies' today.
The trick is to ensure we order just the right amount as its 'shelf life' can be less than 12 months. We need to maintaining the quality of the protein, and minimise the potential of the fat to become rancid/decay.
* We will advise total cost of feed including transport soon!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Follow-up from Open Day/s RFI (Request for Information)

A number of visitors to the Wadalba Community School ARC Open Day's requested further information regarding Fish Stocks, Aquaculture Equipment and Further Information on production etc.
Courses and Resources
Austasia Aquaculture
Fish Stock
TailorMade Fish Farms
3216 Marsh Road, Bobs Farm
New South Wales 2316
Phone: +61 (0)2 4982 6600 Fax: +61 (0)2 4982 6606
Murray Cod & Yellowbelly
Uarah Fish Hatchery
Old Wagga Road
Ph: (02) 6956 2147 Fax: (02) 6956 2245
Arc-En-Ciel Trout Farm
"MALONGA" Hanging Rock 2340
Ph/Fax: 02 6769 3665
36 South Street
Tel: +61 2 98988686
Fax: +61 2 98981754
Phone: +61 2 6586 4933 Fax: +61 2 6586 4944
PO Box 311Wauchope NSW 2446
14 Commerce StreetWauchope NSW 2446
UV-Tube Project is a project of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Shhhh It's A Secret! Things that the industry don't want you to know!

  • According to Austasia Aquaculture the formula to stimulate Yabbies breeding is... 1 male to 4 females, raise the water temperature from 17C to >23C
  • Companion Worm Farms. Live worms are great natural food for freshwater fish. They are able to convert garden and household green waste into food for fish and by products for the garden. You can also combine dried worms with breadcrumbs to produce a 'dust & crumble' for fry/fingerlings.
  • Grind Yabbies and parts of Yabbies with other produce and freeze or refrigerate to make a great storable feed for a range of aquaculture/aquarium species.
  • Eucalyptus oil could be used as an antiseptic for fish. Apply to the damaged area and return the fish to the water. (Use in conjunction with other remedies eg. salt bath)
  • Reproduce the specific fish species natural habitat in aquaculture. eg. Murray Cod spend 99% of the life in a hide (log etc.). Place artificial hides in tanks.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

'Unique to the Central Coast' Brochures Released for Open Day/s

Our Aquaculture students continue to build on our 'Unique to the Central Coast' collection/series of Aquaculture and Technology Brochures. The series now covers topics of...
"Did You Know" : Trout, Recirculation, Worms, Yabbies, Volunteers, Sea School, Trout Prospectus, Out with the Chooks in with the Trout & ...

# A series of OH&S Signs have also been developed covering Hazards and Risks including: Slip, Trip, Electrical & ...
and Food Safety and Humane Animal Treatment eg. 'Proper Hand Washing', Caring for Fish...

planned development of FUTURE brochures include: Water Quality (Water testing), 'Technology Building Blocks' how we use technology to support the ARC, Climate Control, GIANT Pumpkins, Chrysanthemums, Marketing Your Produce', Adding Value- Trout, Mulberry... and Aquaponics

* a collage of photos of these brochures will be available soon. To receive your free copies please email (available in PDF)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Central Coast Express Advocate 16/6/06

Classwork 14/6/06

Yr10 Progress on SC Task 2.
Management Teams- tested pH, Carbonate Hardness and Ammonia levels in Tanks 1-4 & 7.
Adjusted water (by replacement) of Tank 7. (see data results)
Set up Powerhead filter/pump to Tank 7 & re-located heater from Aquarium 1 to Tank 7 in readiness for Yabbie transfer.
Transfered 1 Yabbie as test.

Planted 'out' Chrysanthemums from pots to garden plot.Rainwater Tank FULL!
Yr 9 to continue as above.

* FULL Data of test results will be published shortly
Tank 7
pH 9 Hardness 200 Ammonia OK
* Hardness caused by earlier additive of Bi-Carb, Alkalinity HIGH: Yabbies need calcium for shell production will soften water with exchange.
Exchanged approx 50% of water (200l)
pH 8.5 Hardness 110 Ammonia OK

Tanks 1-4
pH 7.5 Hardness 80 Ammonia OK

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

General Farm Activities 7/6/06

Fed Yabbies- left over apple (usually carrots/peas)
Fed Trout & Australian Bass
Fed Worms (thanks Office Staff- Apple, Tea Bags etc)
Relocated Australian Bass from Tank 5 to join other Australian Bass in Tank 4 (Tank 5 now becomes an additional Reservoir.
Relocated 1 * Yabbie (large) to Aquarium 7 (foyer) to co-exist with small Silver Perch?
Changed over 1/3 of the water in Aquarium 7, cleaned filters and glass (looks great)
Pumped more water from Rainwater Tank to Tank 6 for storage
Completed Proper Washing of Hands Posters/Signs

* Student MUST remember to email their completed jobs to enable logging/tracking- proof of achievement of competency.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rain! -You can bank on it!

According to BOM rainfall at Norah Head 96mm of rain has fallen over the first 6 days of June 2006 compared to .2mm during the first 6 days of June 2005.

Our rainwater tank is FULL SO we are banking water by storing it in the unused 1000l tank, overfilling the sump and backwashing regularly (make hay while the sun shines! - weather 'rains')

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jobs in the ARC

Feed Stock:
  • Yabbies- Cut Carrots/Peas & Lupins DONE
  • Organise collection day (1day/week) from Primary of lunch leftovers) for Worm Farm/s
Water Quality:
  • Bi-carb Soda Alkalinity Increaser & pH Buffer DONE 14/6/06
  • Increase Pump water transfer (work with Swimart/WaterCo)
  • Aeration/Filter for 'blue' Yabbie Pond DONE 14/6/06
  • Repack Biofilters and improve equal distribution to Biofilter 2
Protect Stock:
  • Net surrounds of Trout Tanks 1/2- pegs, clips DONE 14/6/06
  • Wall hangers for nets DONE 20/7/06
  • Repairs borders of driveway
  • Remove Rubbish from grounds DONE 14/6/06
  • Repair Aquarium/s (cut off old silicon/Clean, re-silicon) DONE 20/7/06
  • Rebuild outdoor 'Worm Farm' DONE 20/7/06
  • Document the assembly/construction of outdoor Worm Farm
  • Plant (potted) Chrysanthemums to garden plot DONE 14/6/06
Manage Fish Stock:
  • Move Bass from Tank 5 to Tank4 DONE 8/6/06

Monday, May 22, 2006

Education Expo Lake Haven Shopping Centre

Wadalba are show casing their Aquaculture and Art/Photography (Digital) Media to Celebrate Education Week. We featured our expertise in Trout, Australian Bass and Yabbies through live stock displays. This was supported by brochures created by students to explain all areas of our course. A MASSIVE, extremely positive response was shown by the public. All students were exceptional in their communication skills and many comments such as... 'they really know their stuff' were made by visitors to the stand.
* All stock were cared for during the day and every attempt made to reduce the 'stress' of the animals through regular fresh water replacement, aeration and filtering. Stock were returned to the ARC every afternoon and different stock were harvested and transported to Lake Haven every morning. No deaths occurred throughout the week.

** Thanks to 'Pets Paradise' Lake Haven for the loan of 3 aquaria and equipment for the week to display our stock

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Arc-En-Ciel Trout Arrive Safely

100 Rainbow Trout fingerlings arrived safely at the ARC tonight. The Trout originated from Tasmania as fertilised eggs shipped to Hanging Rock via Nundle- Arc-En-Ciel Rainbow Trout Farm and raised in their pristine spring water fed, flow through Trout farm. The fingerlings are approx. <10cm long and will be grown out in our recirculation system. The Trout were packed, oxygenated and chilled for the 3h 30min trip to Wadalba. On arrival the bags of fingerings (25/bag) were acclimatised over a period of approx.40mins and released into Tank 1. 3 Trout were set aside for the Education Expo to be held this week at Lake Haven Shopping Centre. All fish survived the trip and quickly settled into our system.
Big thanks to Russell and Meg.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tank 1 Brought Online

Tank 1 (3300l)has been brought online into the Recirculation system awaiting receipt of Rainbow Trout from Nundle. See previous post. All 5 Tanks are now online, a total of 10.600 litres.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Sourcing Rainbow Trout Fingerlings

Rainbow Trout fingerlings are difficult to source this year! Our usual supplier NSW Fisheries (Ebor) are unable to supply until October 2006. Due to a massive loss of stock during the VERY unseasonal hot days during February. Trout expire at water temps above 24C!

Previous supplies have been sourced from Archvale (Lithgow)
* Brian was kind enough to supply the school with 20 mature Rainbows, some of varying appearance? 14/5/06
Charles Darwin, 1877: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. He also looked at "The variation of animals and plants under domestication".

This year we will source stock from Nundle Arc-En-Ciel Rainbow Trout Farm. Sunday 21/5/06

*For more information on Aquaculture suppliers and businesses- NSW Aquaculture Industry Directory Edition 3.1

Monday, May 08, 2006

Yabbies Arrived Safely from Crayhaven via Grafton

NATFISH- Trenayr TAFE have provided Yabbies for our Research, Breeding Program. Students were involved in...
Handle stock, Meet workplace OHS requirements, Feed stock, Apply basic food handling and safety procedures , Carry out basic aquaculture activities
* Packing Stock for Transport, Receiving Stock, Acclimatising (Acclamation), Handling Stock, Feeding

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chemicals are our FRIENDS

Our Chrysanthemum crop this year is disappointing... At this stage it looks as though we will not have plants that will be salable for Mothers Day. Flower buds are developing, however plant vigor is unsatisfactory.

Plants, showing signs of stress were susceptible to caterpillar and aphid attack and were sprayed with 'Natural Pyrethrum' today. Plants were also given their 2 week fertiliser with 'Thrive'.


  • Plant out the current Chrysanthemums potted plants with the intention to sell 'cut flowers' in 2007 to recoup funds?
  • Sell Roses as a substitute to enable sales and make profit to cover costs and assist the ARC?

WHAT do you think?

Product Name: Sharp Shooter Natural Pyrethrum Timed Release Insect SprayActive Constituent/s: 1.2 g/L piperonyl butoxide, 0.3 g/L pyrethrinsApplicant Name: Ausgro Technologies Pty LtdApplicant ACN: 062 891 123Summary of Use: Ready to use insecticide for use in the home garden.Date of Registration: 30 October 2001Label Approval No: 53647/1001



Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Filled Tanks 1 & 2 (3300l ea)

In preparation for our 'Trout Season' Tanks 1 & 2 were filled from our rainwater tank. The tank was close to full and rain is predicted???? This leaves us vulnerable if good rain does NOT fall soon! Thanks to Peter, Corey & for their work in the ARC?
At 24C the water is too warm for the introduction of Trout. We are waiting for the water temperature to fall and stay below 18C before the Trout are sourced from Ebor. We are investigating methods to artificially cool the water to extend the total growing season.

Monday, April 10, 2006

ARC Work

'Pinch' growing tip from Chrysanthemums plants
Fertilise and water Chrysanthemums
Begin filling Tank2 (3300l)
Australian Bass Fed well
Added WWW- Wadalba Worm Wee to plant water reservoir

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Follow-up to Water Test

pH testing of Tanks 3-5 produced 6.2 this morning. You can do the Maths!

Cleaned Risers, filter basket, backwashed, adjusted biofilters and added more material to biofilter 1.

Slowed water flow to biofilter 2 to equalise flow between the 2 biofilters. Added Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter to biofilters

Fish fed well. Added a further 200g of Bi-Carb Soda to sump...

** WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEW pH reading will be?

*** Water Chrysanthemums from reservoir (with the secrete ingredient- WWW?)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Water Test

Mr Harris's Yr9 AT class and Peter tested Tanks 3-5...
pH 4.2
Temp 28°C

Water quality: pH neutral to alkaline, moderately to quite hard water, a little salt can be added
Temperature: 4 to 28°C

The recirculation system is running approx 3,500l (total capacity 10,600l when in full production- all Tanks 1-5) including water in sump/biofilter/foam fractionator.

Water quality and conditions: Bass can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, from quite acidic to very alkaline pH, moderately to very hard water, and quite high salt levels. Although the need to reduce stress results in control of pH and the addition of chemicals to attempt to stabilise pH to neutral 7.0!

* The gradual addition of Bi-Carb Soda will increase pH from 4.2 towards a value 7.0+. Initially 200g was added to the sump.
* see later postings for updates on pH changes.


Further info @...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Yr9 AT Management Team Jobs

Feeding Fish Stock
Fertilising Chrysanthemums
Cleaning Aquarium, replace 1/3 water, vacuum Aquarium bottom to remove excess food. Add Bass

Monday, March 06, 2006

Yr10 AT Class Activity

Photos taken of Recirculation System components including Risers, Filter Basket, Bio-Filter, Foam Fractionator, Sand/Zeolite Filter and Ultravioloet Steriliser for class project.

Planting Bed 2 covered with shade cloth and Chrysanthemums transfered from shade area behind ARC to Planting Bed 2.

Full description of lesson available at...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Reluctant Feeders

Bass still reluctant to feed. Cleaned ARC ready for TAFE inspection later this week.

Aquarium 2 and 5 leaked when test filled last week. Emptied and moved off bench for repair- silicon gun!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Transfer of Bass from CCAF/MPG's to ARC

This morning XXX Australian Bass were transported from CCAF MPG's to Wadalba ARC. Students will care and grow out the Bass for CCAF. All Bass survived the quick trip from Kariong to Wadalba and acclimatised quickly to the recirculation system.

System Clean- Risers flushed clean, backwash and refill of sump. The Foam Fractionator was recommissioned to remove 'scum' excess protein from the system.

Friday, March 03, 2006

NEW Pump fitted to Foam Fractionator

Thanks to our new 'farm hand'... Mr Godwin, the replacement pump has been fitted to the foam fractionator.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Management Team ARC Jobs


  • Drain and move Worm Wee to Reservoir to assist in fertilising Chrysanthemums
  • Feed Bass- no dead fish, tank clean
  • Drain Aquarium 2- leak. Will need to reseal with silicon
  • Covered Garden Plot 1 with shade cloth to later move Chrysanthemums in full sun, easy watering
  • Fed Worms

Monday, February 20, 2006

What is the secret ingredient?

Water from our reservoir used to water Chrysanthemums (Management Team 2/3).
When the recirculation system is backwashed we loose approx 100l which is stored in the external reservoir. This water is 'rich' in nutrients and we also add a secret ingredient- Wadalba Worm Wee (WWW) from the Worm Farm. The 100l of lost water is replaced with rainwater from our tank.
System Backwashed (Management Team 1), Worm Farm readied for castings to be removed (Joel), ARC swept (thanks guys), Aquariums in LAB filled, Mulberry Tree watered by siphoning water from Tank 6 (we were a bit worried the Mulberry tree which has lost leaves and the ground is very dry).

Thursday, February 16, 2006

**Wadalba ARC 2006 Fish Futures Announced**

Special Trout Fish Futures will be released soon!

We need ‘investors’ to buy fish futures NOW which will give us money to purchase and feed the fish until November (Harvest time). The FF investor will NOT get their fish until almost 8 months after they pay for them. So what’s in it for the investor?
- special privilages, visit the farm to see their fish grow
- they need to trust us or have a contract (Fish Future Certificate) that assures them they will get their product
- Charge a discount price now that is WELL BELOW the expected price in November!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Going Potty?

Chrysanthemums were shipped from Queensland last Wednesday night... however they only arrived Monday! We were beginning to worry as temps have been warm to hot. They not only survived but were in excellent condition.
Our team of experts including Bec, Meegan and Corey were assisted by our NEW recruits Rachel & Alexis and we managed to pot half the Chrysies using 10 25l bags of organic compost/potting mix. The remaining plants will be potted by Yr10 & Yr9 AT class Wednesday.
* Bec and Meegan have run the project since 2002 and now that they are in Yr12 they are training Yr7 volunteers to become the next 'flower people'.
(photos to come)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Planning for 2006

Chrysanthemums: February through to mothers day
Lettuce: plan, construct, secure hydroponics etc.
Trout: Easter (when water temp has dropped to <16) through to November
Pumpkins: August
Herbs: September

Now: Refill/Test and ready aquariums
Eels, Porters Crteek Yabbie, Frogs, Worms etc.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Clean, Feed and Check

Tanks 3-5. Cleaned Risers, Backwashed and Rinsed Filter, Cleaned Filter Basket added 200l of tank water to system to replace backwash. All Bass well.
Risers and bottom of tanks particularly dirtywith scum/algae?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Clean, Feed and Check

Tanks 3-5. Cleaned Risers, Backwashed and Rinsed Filter, Cleaned Filter Basket added 200l of tank water to system to replace backwash. All Bass well.
Risers and bottom of tanks particularly dirtywith scum/algae?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Clean, Feed and Check

Tanks 3-5. Cleaned Risers, Backwashed and Rinsed Filter, Cleaned Filter Basket added 200l of tank water to system to replace backwash. All Bass well.Risers and bottom of tanks particularly dirtywith scum/algae?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunday Telegraph Feature- WOOF!

Unfortunately WCS missed out on a grant that would have enabled to continued growth of the ARC and school. We had applied for a Commonwealth Government Grant to:
  • secure the area from vandalism and theft
  • build a shed (to extend the holding capacity of fish and enable temperature control of tanks) and a garage to securely house our bus
  • a bus (small 22 seater) to reduce the costs associated with the weekly transport of students to events and excursions
  • concrete floor for the shed
  • additional water storage

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sunday Telegraph Photo Shoot

The Sunday Telegraph conducted a photo-shoot of the ARC and the school to enable a feature article to be published on NSW schools that missed out OR were lucky enough to gain commonwealth funding.
Thanks to Eden, Johnno, Amber, Smida, Justin, Josh, Georgia & Mr Bliim and their families.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

AutoFeeders Powered

AutoFeeders were powered on today and the quantity released tested. Minor adjustments will be made to ensure that the correct quantity is released and that the timing of release ensures no wastage.

Ultraviolet Steriliser Fitted

Lance (the plumber ...nee Principal) fitted the Ultraviolet Steriliser to the re-circulation system. This now completes a PERFECT re-circulation system that produces bacteria, algae free- low ammonia/nitrate water perfect for fish farming. We are very proud of our community school's achievement.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Just another day... on the farm!

Worms loved the continued supply of scraps.

All Bass fed well. Significant evaporation- Tank 6 and sumped needed topping up from rainwater tank approx 200l. Backwashed main system.

It's All Good!