Southern Man

Friday, August 05, 2011

Parallel Thinking Conference Day 5

Southern Man got up early and picked up a couple of geocaches on the far side of campus, then got to work on his aquaponics model.

The model involves fish production, their waste (ammonia), the bacteria that convert that ammonia into nitrites and nitrates, and the plant biomass that consumes the nitrates. The model accurately mimics the behavior Southern Man has observed many times when setting up new aquariums: a spike in ammonia (occasionally accompanied by some fish die-off) followed by a spike in nitrites, then the nitrates spike, and then equilibrium when the bacteria population settles down. He got the model to work pretty well by mid-afternoon and spent much of the rest of the day divided between fine-tuning the model (that is, add new features that break it, revert to backup, and try again) and slipping out to pick up a few more caches. But given that presentations are in the morning we all voted to stay in the lab this evening so they ordered pizza instead.


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