Hi! It’s been a while since my last post because everything seems to be going well for most folks. I want to talk briefly about what to do with your equipment when your fish are gone, but first I’d like you to meet Bob.
I named him Bob because that is the most common name so far this year for fish released into the pond at Schramm Park. He was the result of warm, moist air in our office coming into contact with the cold glass of our trout tank. This is nothing to be concerned about unless you have a paper decoration of some sort on your tank. Bob only lasted about a day.
Once your trout have been released there are some important steps to take to make sure everything is ready to go for next season. After you unplug all the equipment and drain the water it’s time to clean a few things. The filter media can now be cleaned vigorously. We don’t care about the bacteria anymore, but we don’t want to use any products that will leave a residue. My suggestion would be to use warm or hot water and a little elbow grease for the sponge. It is really important that these are left out to completely dry before they are stored anywhere. If you would like to clean some of those calcium deposits off the tank or the filter, now is the time. Vinegar works wonders to dissolve calcium deposits. Be sure to give a good rinse with water when you are finished.
The gatorade bottle on the intake of my filter will be discarded as well as the mesh on the outside. These will be replaced next season. I haven’t posted a picture of it so here we go…
I purchased a large sheet of mesh (same mesh size as the blue nets) from a local fabric store for $2. The little hearts you see in the bottle came from Lindsey’s hole punch. They serve the same function as the slits in Marissa’s design. If you want to keep your bottle and mesh, just clean them off and let them dry.
The airstone and gravel can be cleaned with a solution of bleach water. Again, don’t use anything soapy like dish detergent because it will leave a residue. The pump that feeds the chiller can also be scrubbed with bleach, but be careful when you are disconnecting the hoses or you may end up with a wet floor! The hoses should be fine as long as you let them dry before storing them.
The chillers that we use have proven to be very durable. It helps that we only run them for a few months during each year. One thing you can do to extend the life of your chiller is clean the filter. It’s very simple. There is a single screw on the front of the chiller. Look near the bottom.
Once you take that screw out and give the front of the case a little tug you will have the filter in your hands.
You can use compressed air, a vacuum, or a brush to get some of the dust out. They don’t have to be spotless. We just want to maintain good air flow. There is also a vent on each side of the chiller that can be cleaned in the same manner. They pop right off without any tools.
Send me an email if you have any questions about storage. The most important thing is to make sure everything is dry.
I’d like to thank everyone who has made the trip to Schramm to release trout. We have had some great groups so far. That includes students, teachers, and parents. I’ve been very impressed with the level of excitement despite some bad weather. I look forward to meeting some more of you soon.
If you have any pictures from your release event that you would like to share here, send them to me. We can’t post them all, but Lindsey and I will pull out some of our favorites.
You know where to find me if you need me. Have a great week.