Undoubtedly, aquaponic gardens can provide you a great deal of delicious fish and fresh vegetables. The plants and animals in an aquaponic system have a symbiotic relationship. In this aquaculture and hydroponics combine to grow plants and fish together in one integrated system. The waste produced by farmed fish supplies the nutrients for plants grown and the plants provide a natural filter for the water.
Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. If you are trying aquaponics for the very first time, the chances of getting stuck with aquaponics are too much. If you do a lot of mistakes repeatedly in your aquaponic system, you can lose fish and plants that you’ve cherished for weeks. So, it is important to maintain the health of both plants and fish. Have a look at the top 3 problems with aquaponics Australia and how to avoid them.
Top 3 common problems with Aquaponics Australia
Poor quality water
Starting with poor quality water is one of the biggest mistakes of first-time growers in their aquaponics system. The proper amount of acid, neutral and alkaline should be there in the water. In addition, Most of the people use fluoride and chlorine for the water cleaning process. Especially, Chlorine can be poisonous to fish. It is recommended that do not use tap water for your aquaponics system. If the tap is the only medium to provide fresh water, then you need to off-gas the water before letting the fish come in contact with. The proper pH for a productive aquaponics system will typically be in the range of 6.0-6.4. So you need to consider the quality of water for the growth of your aquaponics Australia system.
Too much fish in the tank
The second problem among those beginners is that they add too much fish in the tank. The quantity of fish you have in the aquaponics system and the size of the fish tank will affect the efficiency of your system. Having too much fish in the tank can provide many bad effects. Excess numbers can cause small fish to die; larger fish may feed on the smaller fish or over fertilization of plants. Plenty of fish waste can kill the plant as well. A general rule for a media based home aquaponics Australia system is to add one fish in every 20 liters of water.
Poor climate control
Temperature is one of the important factors that can make or break your aquaponics system. Make sure to keep a temperature in a range your fish can tolerate. Low sunlight can prevent plant to grow but excess sunlight can boil your fish tank. So, it is important to monitor your system frequently to ensure it stays within the range. You need to shade the plants in summer, especially if you are living in a very hot climate. Opposite to it, too little sunlight can cause many problems for your plants. You need proper sunlight in the winter for your aquaponics Australia system; otherwise, there are chances of plants withering away. Make sure there is proper lighting into your system design, and strongly monitor the climate of the tank so your fish and plants can grow perfectly.
Different experts have different viewpoints when it comes to the aquaponics grow bed depth. While the majority of the media based aquaponics growers say that you should have about 12’ of media, with the top 1-2” being left dry to reduce algae and fungal growth. There are some other too, who are in favor of growing successfully in substantially less than that. These things are very confusing, so how deep should your aquaponics grow bed be?
The deeper the bed is, the more costly it will be. The costs of supporting the weight of the extra media need a larger fish tank to fertigate that entire media. In addition, if you go for some 4-6” depth you can use standard hydroponic flood and drain trays which are very difficult to find.
If you are also going to use shallow grow bed aquaponics Australia, here are some limitations you need to know:
- Work great for limited plants: If you going to grow short-lived plants such as lettuces and greens, shallow beds work great for such kinds of plants. But when it comes to longer lived or deeply rooted plants such as cucumbers, indeterminate tomatoes, melon, and corn etc. they don’t work nicely. These plants require enough nutrients and bacteria for relatively long life. Shallow beds can’t provide the base for it, also the space for large root zones. If you want to grow the limitless variety of plants, media based aquaponics can be a great choice, because average depth of such kinds of aquaponics bed is 12”.
- “Dead zones” and the need to clean your beds: By the time, in deep beds, a layered ecosystem establishes which prevents the developments of the dead zone in the bed. You never need to clean out your grow bed as thriving environment flushes with beneficial bacteria and worms and plenty of space help roots to grow. They along with the plants, do the cleaning for you. You can experience it at about 12” of media depth, because when there is enough space for a robust ecosystem to establish itself, then all the elements of that system thrive and become self-sustaining.
These are some limitations of aquaponics bed depth. It depends on your needs that what bed depth will be more suitable for you. If you are growing only short-lived plants, you can go for shallow beds. But if you are planning to grow deeply rooted plants, then you need more depth in your beds. It is suggested that 12” of media depth is just perfect for all kinds of plants.
We are showing you how easy it is to grow your own seeds in Cultilene rock wool and take cuttings from a master plant such as tomatoes. In this video we explain you step by step preview cuttings. You can watch our other related video on YouTube.
“Nothing is impossible”- this line is good for motivation but there are a lot of impossibilities in this world. One is surviving without the fulfillment of three basic but the most important requirements of the humanity- Food, water and land (shelter). There is no substitute of any of these three. Therefore, to continue to exist, global efforts of saving water and land are the exigencies in the present circumstances. Agriculture is one of the largest consumers of land and water. We cannot blame farmers as for satisfying the appetite of over six million humans, they have no option other than using extra water and land to produce more food. Continue reading
An aquaponics system offers food to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians as fish and plants are grown in the same system. In the aquaponics, fish holds a little more important position as the growth of plants depends on it. The waste of food and fish is dissolved in the water. The waste actually consists of all nutrients essentially required for the growth of plants. The water containing these nutrients is transferred from the fish tank to the growth bed. These nutrients are extracted by plants and the purified water is returned to the fish tank and a healthy environment is created for fish. Therefore, one should rear the right fish. Continue reading
Aquaponics is a re-circulating environment in which aquatic animals and plants are cultivated in one system. The term re-circulating environment is used because of the circulation of water between the fish tank and the grow bed. The decomposed food and fish waste in the fish tank produce nutrients which are dissolved in water. The water containing nutrient from the fish tank is then drawn off to the grow bed. Nutrients are extracted by the roots of plants and used for growth.
For growing food and fish, following are the equipment and accessories you need for aquaponics system:
- Fish Tanks: The size of the fish tank depends on the number of fish you want to nurture. You will also need stands for positioning the tank.
- Grow bed: Fruits and vegetables are cultivated on the grow bed.
- Bio-filters: These filters degrade and process water pollutants biologically for controlling water pollution and keeping the system running efficiently.
- Clarifiers: These are used for removing solids from water and also the water in the recirculation system when required.
- Pumps: These are required for circulating water between the fish tank and the grow bed. Pumps also pass the water through bio-filters for cleaning.
- The oxygen system: Excellent oxygen distribution system is essentially required for keeping fish alive and healthy.
- Fish and plants: Different types of plants are grown in different types of aquaponics systems. Choose the right fish for supporting the plant environment.
Apart from these, there are various other smaller accessories like pipes, tubes etc which are required to keep the system running. The best place purchasing all these equipment and accessories is Hydroponicxpress.
So, if you want to buy aquaponics accessories and/or want to learn aquaponics technique for cultivating plants and fish then visit Hydroponicxpress now!
Maurice and Steve presenting from the 2013 Perth Royal Show and show you how to put together your aquaponics system.
Todd Johnson and Steve Woods from the Greenfingers talk to Tony Bart and Maurice van Aurich about safely releasing fish and the importance of water testing at part 2 of installation of aquaponics systems at Tuart Hill Primary School as part of their Sustainable Living education.for more information visit Aquaponics Ki
Part two of the Greenfingers and Carey Baptist College aquaponics system installation. Steve Woods presenter at Greenfingers and Maurice van Aurich discuss how to release the fish in an aquaponics system.