Building an Aquaponics system

Aquaculture – growing fish in a contained system, creates waste that will harm the fish if it is not removed, but this same waste that is poison to fish in sufficient quantities is food for plants. We are building a new aquaponics system at DoceLunas that combines hydroponic plant growing with aquaculture fish raising.  We believe we are the only hotel in Jaco implementing aquaponics.

Our system will allow us to grow vegetables in an irrigated bed connected to a fish pond. The nutrients in the waste from the fish are taken up by the roots of the plants, some of which float on rafts while others are planted in gravel.

We have already installed a big tank to keep the fish in and built a system of pumps to aerate and circulate the water into the small concrete enclosure that we built to hold the floating plants and the gravel beds. Today we tested pH for the first time. Depending on who you read, 6.2 to 6.4 or 6.8 to 7.0 is the optimal range.  As you can see, we are a little overly basic, with a pH of around 7.4, so we will need to add something to the water to make it a little more neutral.

ph Test Kit
ph Test kit used to check water for aquaponics system

Science of surf stoke

What is it about surfing that makes it so much fun from the very beginning? What is it that keeps us coming back year after year? From tiny grommets to geezer legends in their 70s and 80s, just about everybody who gets in the water can feel the stoke.

Surfers  describe the feeling with mystical reverence, and while it has come to have a watered down and non-surf specific meaning (I’m stoked for some unhealthy fast food!), “the stoke” is a great way to describe the feeling that is almost unique to surfing. The stoke is what makes your hair stand on end as you ride to the beach while it is still dark, anticipating those offshore winds and perfect swells you saw in the forecast. The stoke is also what makes you want to hop back on that soft top and try another foamer after you fall flat on your face and bop your nose on the wisely selected forgiving top, making you laugh through the tears.

The stoke is out there, for sure? But what is it exactly and what makes it so compelling? To answer this question, we can look to behavioral psychology, neurology, chemistry, physics, and primatology.  Stay tuned for more. Or just hurry down and come surfing with us and feel the stoke for yourself!

Jaco Surf Contest February 23 and 24

Jaco will host a surf contest next Saturday and Sunday, February 23rd and 24th.

The Copa MAUI is part of the Costa Rica Federation of Surf’s national series sponsored by Olympus and this event is sponsored by energy drink company Adrenaline Rush.

Because it is part of the national series, many of the best surfers in the country will be competing.
You can enter as a competitor for $10 on they day of the event and advance entrance is possible
at Jass surf shop in Jaco.

Come check out the surf contest! February 23rd and 24th in front of Morgan’s Cove, just one mile from Jaco Costa hotel DoceLunas.

Quarantid Meteor Shower tonight

The 2013 Quadrantid meteor shower peaks tonight, beginning around midnight and continuing into the wee hours of the morning of January 3rd. You might start to see meteors at midnight, but you will see the most meteors between 3 a.m. and dawn. Try to find a dark spot where there is not a lot of ambient light and look straight up into the sky. Meteors may appear at a rate as high as 120 an hour, but with a little moonlight you won’t be able to see them all. Enjoy the show. Pura Vida.

Win Jungle Jam Tickets

We are giving away one prize of a pair of tickets for all three nights
plus three prizes of pairs of tickets for single nights – winners choice.

You can win by helping us spread the word about the show
and you can win by just by liking us and then commenting
to enter our lottery when you see the post asking you to do so.

To Win, you must first ‘Like’ the DoceLunas facebook page.

Then please invite your friends to ‘Like’ us and,
so we will know to count that Like for you,
please ask your friend to leave us a message
by posting from the friend’s facebook account
that says sent me to DoceLunas!

We will also credit you for an extra fan for adding us to your Google Plus account
if you have one, and on Google Plus, same deal, anyone who adds us and
tells us you asked them, you get credit.

The person who refers the most new fans will win a pair of tickets for each night

The second and third most referrals will each win a pair of tickets to one night of their choice.

A fourth pair of single night tickets will be awarded by lottery among everyone who Likes DoceLunas
on facebook and comments on a forthcoming post that will say “Comment here if you want to win tickets to jungle jam”

View the Gemenid Meteor Shower Dec 13 and 14

The Gemeind Meteor Shower, first witnessed in the late 1800s, is due to be visible soon, with the best viewing hours being around 2am on December 13 and 14th. There will be very little moonlight, so it will be an excellent year to view the Gemenids. Lay back and look up, preferrably somewhere where there is not too much light – we will be turning out the lights on the grounds at Jaco hotel DoceLunas – and prepare to see about 2 meteors a minute.

The Geminids are the debri of 3200 Phaethon, a comet that melted passing too close to the sun. When they hit the atmosphere (or the atmosphere hits them you might say, depending on your frame of motion) they burn up.

2pm 2day – Ryan Montbleau streaming live

Jungle Jam regular Ryan Montbleau and his band will be playing today at Bosch studio back in the states. You can hear the show streaming live at 2pm this afternoon. Check out the Ryan Montbleau live stream at radio 929. When you get to the page, there is a small white box with a play button in the top middle. Click there to hear the live show, be blown away, and then come join us in paradise for Jungle Jam on January 18-20th in the spectacular tropical jungle gardens of the best hotel in Jaco, DoceLunas.

Jungle Jam tickets on sale

Jungle Jam returns to Jaco Jan 17-20th with Bill Kreutzmann, Oteill Burbridge, Max Creek, Ryan Montbleau Band and Zach Deputy. The landscaped jungle gardens of DoceLunas make a beautiful backdrop for an incredible show. With over 40 years experience, Max Creek is pretty tight and Oteil, having won two grammys in Tedeschi and Trucks and The Allman Brothers steps in pretty smoothly, as does Bill, who has played thousands of shows with the Grateful Dead.

You can click the link here to get your Jaco Jungle Jam Concert Tickets in advance.

Costa Rica rejects GMO Corn

Costa Rica has, for the time being, denied an application by D&PL Seeds Ltd, A subsidiary of Monsanto, to plant GMO corn in Costa Rica pending further study. The National Biosafety Technical Commission requested further studies on the impacts of transgenic corn planting in Costa Rica in order to determine whether it would appropriate to approve such plantings. The permit was requested in November of 2012. The permit was to grow a small test crop on up to 2 hectares, or approximately four acres.

Farmers and environmental groups have expressed fears that the despite the small size of the crops requested, the GMO corn could modify the genes of local grains, enabling lawsuits by Monsanto for violation of patent ownership. In the United States, Monsanto has sued farmers for having GMO strains of soybeans growing on their property.

Eclipse, our restaurant here at DoceLunas, serves local farm fresh produce and tropical fruit accompanied by catch of the day fish and meat produced within a few hundred miles of the hotel. Come join us for a healthy and nutritious meal.