Aquaponics includes the breeding of fish, along with plants. It is a controlled environment that maximizes the use of nutrients and energy. This makes it possible to produce a lot of fish protein and vegetables in a small space with little water.
A beginner may be hesitant to set up the system for fear that his investment and effort may not produce the expected return. So, does aquaponics really work?
Well, this question is quite tricky, but most, if not all, aquaponics produce optimum returns, provided they are properly maintained. It is then essential to have a clear picture of what is going on in an aquaponics system. Here is a brief look at what you can do to maintain the right conditions for your aquaponics in order to work.
Feed your fish every day: fish are an essential part of an aquaponics system. It is important to ensure that they are fully fed at all times. Make sure you feed them at least once a day, although two meals are highly recommended; one in the morning and the other before sunset. It is always great to be physically present when feeding your fish because you can perform health checks and look up unusual behavior. However, you may want to consider getting an automatic feeder to help you when you are not available.
Check the condition of your aquaponics system: Aquaponics Maintenance is very important:
Temperature: Check whether the temperature of the aquarium is within the ideal temperature range for your fish. Adjust, if necessary, to ensure that your aquaponics system provides the ideal environment for the species you grow.
Insects: Check every week for insects to ensure that any insect problems are corrected before you get out of hand. It is also good to remember that most insects tend to stay in stem sections and under the leaves of plants. With this tip in mind, it will be easier for you to find insects in your system.
pH level: it determines the health of your fish, the creation of germs in the system and the ability of your plants to absorb nutrients. That is why the pH value of aquaponics plays a very important role in determining whether your aquaponics will work. Check the pH value weekly. The ideal pH for most systems is usually 6.8-7.0 and some systems can maintain it constantly. The pH level for most systems, however, decreases naturally. Always raise the pH if it drops below 6.5 by adding hydrated potash or lime.
Ammonia and nitrate levels: Check the ammonia levels weekly to note any problem that can become disastrous. A sudden rise in the ammonia level, for example, is an indicator that the system may have a dead fish. The levels may not exceed 0.5 ppm. On the other hand, nitrate levels must be checked monthly and must not exceed 150 ppm. Levels that go further are an indicator that the plants in the system absorb less nitrogen in the nitrogen released by nitrifying bacteria. You can solve this by adding more plants or harvesting some fish.
It is the dream of every beginner to be well-oriented about aquaponics and to achieve the best yields. That is why it is essential to keep the maintenance tips above in mind before starting your aquaponics trip. In addition, make sure that you feed your fish regularly and that from time to time you check the condition of the system to ensure that all your efforts are rewarded accordingly. With the proper maintenance of aquaponics you are sure that you can harvest your vegetables, fish and fruit at any time of the year.