In my first week at Nourish the Plant, I’ve done some basic monitoring of water systems and consulted on introducing ground fish food into the salt water system. The introduction of the ground fish food vs the flake did produce an expected result of a positive nitrite test of 5.0. This shows that for this particular system to self-sustainit needs to have more to filter; the coral specifically also needs fed. Previously the thought was just to feed the single blue fish however the other living organisms were not being considered, perhaps with continued consideration of the other organisms as well in this system, this system may start to flourish. There is currently an infestation of an undesirable organisms that is going to require the introduction of additional species like peppermint shrimp to consume it, which is going to require additional nourishment to be added to maintain the system as a whole.
Other than that, I spent a considerable amount of time researching a solution to the aphids. I found studies with various plant extracts on the settlement behaviors of aphids showed that extract of Lantana Camaraderie leaves reduced aphid settlements by 56.3%, a 5% Methanol extract of Eupatorium Adenopharum reduced settlements by 59% and Neem had the best and quickest results with max mortality rate after 8 days. All studies showed an increase in plant yield. Eupatorium Adenopharum is a natural fungicide which could be very beneficial to the projects being ran, but additional research needs to be done or found about whether or not the plants would be safe for consumption after use. Since aphids adapt quickly to insecticides, having several options to rotate through may prove beneficial for a long term treatment solution. This is a project I’m seriously considering taking on. My thoughts are to run 3 to 4 tests and a control. One of the tests I’d like to use is a home remedy of water, liquid dish soap, and cayenne pepper. The theory of the project would be on the biological control of insects, specifically aphids, in a self-sustaining environment using fundamental aspects: including concepts of natural control of aphids as related to weed extracts, the various natural enemies used in their control, the nature of the control exerted, the risks associated with consumption of the plants after use of extracts.