I make several types of organic fertilizer, Worm Casting Tea, and various other manure based liquids. Today I started a batch of Fish based liquid; yeh it does smell a bit. It stinks especially bad when it’s spilled on the pants, shirt and shoes as I did this morning. I didn’t spill the liquid it was the Fish stuff from the package of Anchovies from the freezer. I soldiered on to complete the task.
I begin with the same brewer used for the Worm Tea. The 4 inch bubblers work great in a five gallon bucket of water. Fill the bucket with water then insert the bubblers facing the perforated side up.
The most effective air pump I found is this Tetra Whisper 100, it is quiet, puts out an ample supply of air and is capable of running cool for days on end. I have left it bubbling for the entire month of July processing 4 batches of tea. I don’t like equipment to run hot, or even at a warm temperature, the Whisper 100 stays cool to the touch. It’s an aquarium air supply so it is expected to run 24/7 for years.
If the water supply is conditioned by the water district responsible it will have chlorine in it which will kill the beneficial bacteria and good bugs in the emulsion. After filling the bucket with City water let it sit with the lid removed for 24 hours, the chlorine with “gas” off leaving the water good for beginning. I then drop 6 of the small fish in the bucket, it matters not if they are frozen or thawed. Place the lid on, it has a tendency to foam up over the top on occasion. It doesn’t foam over every time rather just often enough to hope it doesn’t happen again.
Let the air run at least 24 hours, it will allow the fish to breakdown to small pieces. Unlike Worm Casting Tea Fish emulsion is not reccomended to be diluted more than 50:50. I use a two gallon sprinkler, one gallon of the emulsion to one gallon of water being my normal formula. It will stink the joint up a bit so it is best done in the garage, an out building or out of doors. Refrain from brewing it in the kitchen; learning the hard way as some of us have done does not pay too well. On a side note do not dry egg shells in the toaster oven as well, that smell is tough to eliminate even if there is 2-3 hours before she gets home. Let your mind wander on that one.
I use it the next day, letting it sit around for a long period of time may not diminish it’s quality. I don’t want to take any chances with it nor do I desire to live with the smell for a long period of time. Rinse the bucket out well and it’s ready for another batch of fertilizer.
Jacques Lebec Earthworm Farming and Composting