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A quick update from my Kratky experiment video. Moving my pepper plant from the comfy indoors to the greenhouse.The Kratky Method of Hydroponics
A nice addition to my small goldfish pond. it’s exciting to watch the fish swim inside the dome to eat and you have a great magnified view of your fish. Free floating among the plants in the pond. I pull it over to the edge when I want to put food inside and then push it back out.
This process will make 1 floating observatory.
You will need ~
Flat working platform
One piece of scrap pond liner cut round approx. 19 1/2″ in diameter
Piece of cardboard several inches larger than the liner
Walmart plastic punch bowl (or similar) – Top rim is about 13 ½” in diameter
One 12 oz can of Great Stuff pond and stone (black foam)
1 tube of loctite epoxy gel
Optional — Cocoa fiber for the top of the foam and contact cement. Actually used sheet moss first but removed it and replaced with cocoa fiber.
Lay the cardboard on the flat platform and then place the round liner on top of that. Make sure the cardboard is larger than the liner. Center the bowl on the liner and mark the outside edge (color marker.) Mix some epoxy and using a stick place a thick line of epoxy on the line you made on the scrap liner. Now place the punch bowl on the liner and put something heavy on top to hold it. You can mix up a little more epoxy and use it around the outer edge of the bowl to make sure there are no gaps. Leave it set for at least 20 minutes. Full strength set in 24 hours. If you don’t wait for the epoxy to dry it may cause the foam to lift up the edges of the bowl.
You can attach a black zip tie to your liner before you foam it so you can anchor the observatory or you can place it among your pond plants.
Remove the weight from the top of the bowl. Shake up your can of foam and holding it upside down depressing the trigger slowly place a bead around the outside edge of the bottom of the bowl as you turn the cardboard. This is a minimal expand foam so you want to apply it thicker than most expanding foam. Keep turning and applying foam in circles until the outer edge is about ¼” inside the edge of the scrap liner. Try to keep the foam fairly even. You will use the full can of foam. Once you are done put something heavy back on top of the bowl. After about 10 or 15 minutes the foam forms a crust and if you need to you can lightly manipulate the foam with your fingers before it completely hardens. The can notes the foam cures in 8 hrs. Let it dry and harden on a flat surface with a weight on top of the bowl for about a week before putting it in the pond. While it is drying you can decorate the top edge of the foam.
Don’t cut the outer skin of the foam once it dries as it will show bubbles and pockets and not float well.
Once the foam has hardened you can cut the liner away from the bottom center of the liner. I left about ½” excess on the inside edge.
Place it in the pond by pushing it under water with the bowl at the bottom. Turn it over slowly so the water stays in the dome. Put some fish food in an old pill bottle and cupping it with your hand reach inside the dome and release the food.
For less than $25 you can make your floating goldfish observatory.
This is a link to show the dome out of water.