saving rainwater w/out mosquitos? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-06-2004, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
beemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: once upon a time called Right Now
Posts: 2,283
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Does anyone know of a non-chemi way to do this? We have lots of veggie seedlings right now, I wouldn't feel too bad about using "clean" water for those.... but we want flowers, and I feel it to be wasteful to use water for those every day, being strictly ornamental/aesthetic.
Any suggestions?
beemama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-06-2004, 11:10 PM
 
granolagirl97's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bradenton, FL, USA
Posts: 102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
that flowers are not strictly ornamental. They may be for US (though some are edible and have medicinal properties), but they are an important link in the food chain, providing nectar for those beautiful butterflies, busy bees, and hummingbirds. Their foliage is, at times, host to other butterfly larvae. And the birds eat some of those bugs, etc. etc.

I don't know much about collecting rainwater, but inside you could try letting a watering can or two (or three) join you in the shower. Or use gray water from baths your family takes. Also from doing dishes. Do you have little ones that like to be in a baby pool? There's more there for you. I don't know how many seedlings you have, but maybe some of these ideas will help.
granolagirl97 is offline  
Old 04-06-2004, 11:25 PM
 
Periwinkle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,530
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You should get a barrel with a spiggot on the bottom. Then pour oil ontop of the water. (olive oil would be good - just enough to form a little slick) The water stays pure underneath of course since oil rises, and mosquitos can't lay eggs in oil. Plus, in the worst case scenario, you get a little olive oil into your garden water (e.g., you dump it all out to clean the barrel or whatever), it's just olive oil!

In the old days, they used to put gasoline or motor oil ontop of drinking water barrels to keep the water below pure and free from larvae (mosquitoes and otherwise). I think I'd prefer olive oil though! HTH!
Periwinkle is offline  
Old 04-07-2004, 04:22 AM
 
farmer mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: within my harvest
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, I haven't heard of the oil trick, I will have to try it. We put a screen over the opening of our barrel so they can't fly in to lay eggs. Our barrel has a spiggot on the bottom and a small, round opening on the top where the gutter drains into it. The screen covers the opening and keeps out debris. Bill Mollison (the permaculture guy) talk about having mosquito-eating little fish in rain barrels, but I haven't tried this.
farmer mama is offline  
Old 04-07-2004, 12:48 PM
 
srain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 2,327
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Another good, fairly easy source of water is washing machine rinsewater. You can divert the drain into a collector or straight into the garden.

Do pay attention, when collecting rainwater, where you're diverting the water from. In most ares it's not a problem at all, but you may find some plants were "expecting" to get it off the eaves and will die if they don't.
srain is offline  
Old 04-07-2004, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
beemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: once upon a time called Right Now
Posts: 2,283
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
WOW!
Many thanks to all of you for opening my eyes!
I never even THOUGHT of saving our indoor water! I am so excited about this!
The oil idea is great, too! We'll be on the lookout for a barrel w/ a spiggot.
And you're also right about the importance of flowers. Plus, they're just so good for your head, y'know?
Now I definitely feel good about this. No need to "waste" water, beautiful!
beemama is offline  
Old 05-02-2005, 12:44 PM
 
nitareality's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
: reviving this thread to see if the oil trick did the job? I also wanted to see if anyone has tried using goldfish in your rainbarrel? They are supposed to eat mosquitos/larvae and any algae that may form?
nitareality is offline  
Old 05-02-2005, 12:57 PM
 
armonia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My grandpa always kept a few minnows in his rainwater barrels.

The kind used for fishing bait. It worked great...no mosquitoes or algae.
armonia is offline  
Old 05-02-2005, 04:52 PM
 
Marlaina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmmm.... I might try the fish trick. I am somewhat concerned that the water might get too hot for them here in the deep south though (even though I have a HUGE container).
Marlaina is offline  
Old 05-02-2005, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
beemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: once upon a time called Right Now
Posts: 2,283
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We actually found it easy to save our grey water from inside, esp. now that dd takes baths in the big tub.
The fish idea sounds really interesting, tho!
beemama is offline  
Old 05-03-2005, 12:07 AM
 
PikkuMyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: hmmm
Posts: 7,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
MOSQUITO FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I volunteer at a wildlife rehab hospital and we grow duckweed in containers outside for our....ducks! We have a little colony of mosquito fish in each barrel that really do the trick. And we have to be extra careful about WNV because we have residential birds that could catch it.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
PikkuMyy is offline  
Old 05-03-2005, 09:39 AM
 
Marlaina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by PikkuMyy
MOSQUITO FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I volunteer at a wildlife rehab hospital and we grow duckweed in containers outside for our....ducks! We have a little colony of mosquito fish in each barrel that really do the trick. And we have to be extra careful about WNV because we have residential birds that could catch it.

Where would one find "mosquito fish"? Do pet stores have them? (Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I have honestly never heard of them)!
Marlaina is offline  
Old 05-03-2005, 11:59 AM
 
armonia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlaina
Hmmm.... I might try the fish trick. I am somewhat concerned that the water might get too hot for them here in the deep south though (even though I have a HUGE container).
My grandpa was in Houston and it wasn't a problem w/ minnows. Goldfish might be affected by heat, though.
armonia is offline  
Old 05-04-2005, 04:52 AM
 
PikkuMyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: hmmm
Posts: 7,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlaina
Where would one find "mosquito fish"? Do pet stores have them? (Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I have honestly never heard of them)!
Mosquito fish are often given away free by local governmental agencies in an attempt to control mosquitoes. Try locating whatever agency is in charge of mosquito control in the area to obtain some. Also, in many areas, they occur naturally in bodies of water, including ditches, ponds, lakes, streams, and anything else containing water for any length of time. I do not know of any restrictions on collecting them from the wild (aside from getting the land owner's permission). Jan Jordan alerted the rec.ponds newsgroup that in Washington state, it is illegal to transport mosquito fish but the state will give you some. There is some confusion as to whether the species in question are native or introduced species that cannot survive the winter. Please e-mail me if you have any info on this law or those of other states.

If you or someone you know works at a school, university, or at a science-related business, Carolina Math and Scientific will send you a catalog there. They will ship to individuals homes, just not send the catalog there. I got my mosquito fish from them. I ordered 12 but got only 8 alive and 2 dead. No matter, in just a few months, their numbers were up to nearly 100 in only two tubs with 10 gallons of soil and 10 gallons of water! Of course, after a few years, they all died. Their number is 1-800-334-5551.

Here are a few places that sell mosquito fish:
Fattigfish - http://www.fattigfish.com/mosfish.htm
HT Aquatics - also has information - http://www.htaquatics.netfirms.com/
Autumn Koi - also sell albino mosquito fish (they e-mailed me this; I cannot find the mosquito fish on their web site though) - http://www.autumnkoi.com/
Liveaquaria.com - part of Drs. Foster and Smith.


I looked online and basically every state and county's health department is giving them and picking them up for free. So look up yours and call!

ETA: Since they are only native to the East and South, it is illegal to release them into local water sources if you live elsewhere. So if you no longer want them in your barrel, please call to have them picked up. We have a lot of problems already due to non-native animals.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
PikkuMyy is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off