Our aquaponics experiment has been a rather daunting thing. We can't seem to get things to produce, and after a seemingly successful growth spurt, suddenly things droop or drop leaves, or turn brown or don't produce any fruit. Until recently, we had at least been successful in keeping all the fish alive, but even that has changed lately.
A few weeks ago one of the algae eaters decided to take a trip through the drain pipe, and when Ornery discovered him there, he tried to force him out, but ended up having to close the valve to keep him from going further into the works. The poor thing lost his long tail, but otherwise seems to have escaped unscathed. That evening, one of the larger tilapia was floating on the surface of the tank dead. We have no idea why.
Then, last Tuesday (July 8) I went out to feed the fish and discovered an inch of water all over the floor of the garden room and water splashing over the top of the fish tank onto the floor. Much work was required to clean up the mess, and Ornery couldn't figure out why the drain was backing up and not allowing the fish tank water to move through the system. He decided he must need to make a bigger drain pipe, and off to Lowe's he went to gather supplies.
After he got home, he took the whole thing apart and discovered that another tilapia had gotten adventurous, but he did not get by as easily as the algae eater did. This one was dead. Nothing like taking out the whole system when you go! Anyway, he ended up leaving the same drain pipe there, as it had been working fine before a swimmer went wild. We really have no idea how they are getting in there as there is a cage type affair covering the opening. They must have some sort of super-powers we are unaware of... or something.