Important Tips on Aquaponics Maintenance

Important Tips on Aquaponics Maintenance

One of the benefits of aquaponics is that there is no soil involved, so there are no weeds to deal with! Aquaponics requires less maintenance compared to the other methods of farming.

However, there are daily, weekly, and monthly essential maintenance checks that you need to do to ensure the effectiveness and longevity of your system. Here are some important tips on maintaining your aquaponics system to keep it running effectively.

Observing and Monitoring

Frequency: daily

Every day, it is important to visually inspect your system to make sure the water is flowing properly, the air pumps are working, and the drains are not clogged by solid materials. Also, check to see if your fish are eating, active, and swimming in their normal behavior. Observe your plants for insects and pests and remove any dead plant matter. (1)

Fish Feeding

Frequency: daily (once or twice a day)

Fish are an important part of your system, so they should be fully nourished. Feed your fish with fish food at least once or twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. You can use an automatic fish feeder, but being present when feeding your fish gives you time to observe their feeding habits and any unusual behavior. (2)

Feeding Fish in Aquaponics

Water Temperature

Frequency: daily

Check daily to ensure that the water temperature in your fish tank is within the ideal temperature range of your fish. Adjust the temperature by using water heater to ensure that your aquaponics system is an ideal environment for the fish type that you are raising. (2)

Check the pH Level

Frequency: weekly

The ideal pH for your aquaponics system is between the range of 6.8 to 7.4. It is important to maintain the pH at levels that are acceptable to the plants and fish in your system. Monitoring pH regularly is very important as a sudden change in pH levels can be lethal to both the fish and 

Water pH Checker in Aquaponics

 plants. If pH levels in your system get too low, the nitrification will slow down or stop and ammonia will accumulate to a level that are toxic to the fish. A high pH can result in poor plant growth and poor fruit and flower development. Check your water pH weekly by using pH test kits (2). 

Ammonia Level Check

Frequency: weekly

Check the ammonia level weekly to check any problem that can become a big problem for your system. Ammonia comes from fish urine, breakdown of fish solid waste and is also excreted through their gills. In a fish tank, ammonia levels need to be closely monitored because ammonia is toxic to the fish. A high ammonia level can kill the fish in your fish tank. The cause of higher ammonia in an aquaponics system can be; overfeeding the fish, fish density that is too high for the volume of the water, or not enough aeration. With low levels of ammonia, your plants will not grow very well as they will not have enough nutrients to absorb. Ammonia level should not exceed 0.5 ppm (2). 

Insects

Frequency: weekly

Check for insects weekly to ensure that any insect problems are controlled before they get out of hand. Most insects stay at the stem or under the leaves of the plants, so check your plants thoroughly to see if there are any insects.

Nitrates Level Check

Frequency: Monthly

A healthy aquaponics system should register a low level of nitrates. Nitrates are usually good but when they rise to a high level, this could mean that there are not enough plants in your system to take in the nitrogen that is being released by the nitrifying bacteria. Nitrate levels are considered high when they are above 150 ppm. Adding more plants or adding another grow bed could solve this problem (3).

Nitrate Chart in Aquaponics

Nitrates Level Check

Frequency: Monthly

A healthy aquaponics system should register a low level of nitrates. Nitrates are usually good but when they rise to a high level, this could mean that there are not enough plants in your system to take in the nitrogen that is being released by the nitrifying bacteria. Nitrate levels are considered high when they are above 150 ppm. Adding more plants or adding another grow bed could solve this problem (3).

Cleaning Filters and System

Frequency: Monthly

The key to a healthy aquaponics system is keeping it clean. Filters need regular cleaning and maintenance (1). 

Pumps and Plumbing System Check

Frequency: monthly

Checking your pumps and plumbing connections should be done daily, but cleaning out all the pumps and pipes should be done once a month. It should be done in order to maintain the efficiency of your system. Running high-pressure water from a hose through each component is great for cleaning your pumps (3).

Pumps and Plumbing System Check

Frequency: monthly

Checking your pumps and plumbing connections should be done daily, but cleaning out all the pumps and pipes should be done once a month. It should be done in order to maintain the efficiency of your system. Running high-pressure water from a hose through each component is great for cleaning your pumps (3).

Keeping an Aquaponics Journal

One last tip on maintaining your aquaponics system is to keep track of what’s happening in your system. Keeping a record of your result tests, or a few notes from time to time is great for keeping a log of your system’s status, which can help prevent issues from occurring again. Keeping a record can be helpful for future references.

Summary

It is the goal of every aquaponics beginner to be well-oriented about aquaponics and to achieve a successful aquaponics system that will give them the best yields. That’s why it is important to keep these maintenance tips in mind for your success. For more information about aquaponics join our newsletter or join our Facebook group.

Source:

  1. https://aquaponics.com/ufaqs/what-is-involved-in-the-daily-operation-of-an-aquaponic-system/
  2. https://www.highdesertfarming.org/aquaponics-maintenance-tips-make-aquaponics-work-for-you/
  3. http://homeaquaponicssystem.com/tips-and-techniques/top-7-aquaponics-system-maintenance-rules/
  4. https://gogreenaquaponics.com/blogs/news