If you are just starting out with first aquaponics you may have already done a little research. You must to know others mistakes to avoid making in first aquaponics. The idea of having to maintain the health of both a fish and plant environment can seem like a lot to take on.
Necessary questions before building your first aquaponics system
Aquaponic is an amazing way to grow your own food and plants. If you are just starting out with aquaponics you may have already done a little research. You may even be getting excited to start building your first aquaponics system.
You should ask yourself these questions.
1: What do you want to grow?
Do you want to grow fruit, vegetables, herbs or a combination of all three? Do you want to raise cat fish? Perch? Or something else entirely?
2: Where is your system going to be located?
Inside? Outside? In the basement? Or maybe in a green house?
3: Do you have enough free time available every day to monitor grow and maintain your system?
Aquaponics is easier than reg
ular gardening but it still requires some time and maintenance.
4: Do you know where to get all the supplies to build stock and maintain your system?
If you want to make your dream of owning your own aquaponics system a realty, then you need to know where to get the parts and components to assembly an aquaponics system.
5: Are you building an aquaponics system to as a hobby, to feed your family, or to make a profit?
Although the basic principles of aquaponics are the same for both commercial and hobby aquaponics systems, the design of each kind re quite different. Before you build or buy your own system you should know what you want to achieve with it.
Answer these questions before you build your first aquaponics system will save a ton of time, energy and money acquiring your first aquaponics system.
Know others mistakes to avoid making in first aquaponics system
You must to know others mistakes to avoid making in aquaponics. Aquaponics may seem daunting the first time you learn about it. The idea of having to maintain the health of both a fish and plant environment can seem like a lot to take on.
However, aquaponics is relatively simple to set up and maintain. In fact, so long as you be sure to avoid making these all to common mistakes you’ll be sure to avoid the headache others have experienced when starting out and be off and running in no time. So lets dive right in!
First aquaponic problem we see with new growers and with those interested in aquaponics is the recommended use of duckweed. I was one of who’s fell into this trap in my first system. Yes fish, will eat duckweed with gusto, and the duckweed will repopulate faster than the fish can eat it. It’s this info that makes it very attractive as a feed to fish to aquaponic growers. We’ve even seen claims that duckweed is around 40% protein and that it is perfect diet for those trying to grow a high protein fish.
Wet duckweed (what your fish eat) is only about 2% protein. THIS is why fish eat it so ferociously, it is because they are starving. This is especially true of growers who try to rely solely on duckweed and don’t provide any supplemental nutrition to their fish. The growth is unstoppable and this is a problem. It gets out of the fish tank and into your pipes, grow beds, sump, pumps etc.
It is unruly and can cause a major headache. If you are interested in growing food for your fish look into black soldier fly larvae. They provide more protein and won’t clog your pipes and pumps like duckweed will.
Having too many fish in the tank
Another common problem among those starting out is that they want to grow as many fish as possible as quickly as possible. The problem with this is that they overcrowd their fish tanks resulting in stunted growth for the fish and high nitrate levels also affecting the health of the fish.
Using tap water in your system
This is one of the biggest mistakes of first time growers in their aquaponics systems. Most of the cities in the US add chlorine and fluoride to their water. Specifically chlorine can be deadly to fish. If the only access to fresh water you have is through your tap you need to “off-gas” the water before letting you fish come in contact with it. When setting up a brand new system you can do this by adding the water to the fish tank and letting it sit for 48-72 hours with the aeration unit going.
Another common mistake new-comers make in aquaponics comes in choosing their media. The issue with almost all media is that they will affect your ph in some way, at least initially. For instance, we use expanded shale in our systems. This expanded shale raises our ph, in our large systems it generally raises it .5-1ph. This initial raise can affect the health of plants and fish and for that reason we don’t add either until a few days after the shale is added. Over the course of about 6 months the ph lowers slowly back to an acceptable range for both the plants and fish.
Using harmful additives to lower the pH
Some people are impatient and resort to using chemical such as muriatic acid to lower their pH. Chemicals will lower your pH but they are largely untested in aquaponics. We know many of them will harm the health of your fish and plants. If you are considering chemicals, don’t. It is that simple. The pH of your system will drop on its own over time due to nitrification, and that gradual drop is safe for your fish.
So there you have it. Five mistakes to avoid making in aquaponics because now you know better. Obviously there are more than five mistakes to avoid making in Aquaponics. That’s why part of learning and becoming an aquaponic gardener is going be trial and error but you can be sure to avoid big blunders by skipping the five mistakes to avoid making in aquaponics listed here. So no more delaying it’s time to go out and try it out yourself!