Feed your fish every day: Fish make an essential part of an aquaponics system. It is important to ensure they are fully nourished at all times. Ensure you feed them at least once every day, although two meals are highly recommended; one in the morning and the other before sun set. It is always great to be physically present when feeding your fish because you can carry out health checks and look for unusual behaviors. However, you may consider getting an automatic feeder to help you when you are not available.
Check the condition of your aquaponics system
- Temperature: Check whether the temperature of the fish tank is within the ideal temperature range for your fish. Adjust when necessary to ensure your aquaponics system offers the ideal environment for the species that you are rearing.
- Insects: Check for insects every week to ensure any insect problem is corrected before getting out of control. It is also good to remember that most insects tend to reside in stem sections and underneath plant leaves. With this tip in mind, it’ll be easier for you to look for insects in your system.
- pH level: It determines the health of your fish, reproduction rate of bacteria in the system and the ability of your plants to absorb nutrients. Therefore, the pH level of any aquaponics plays a very significant role in determining whether your aquaponics will work. Check the pH level weekly. The ideal pH for most systems is usually 6.8-7.0 and some systems can steadily maintain it. However, the pH level for most system tend to decrease naturally. Always increase the pH level when it falls below 6.5 by adding hydrated potash or lime.
- Ammonia and nitrate levels: Check the ammonia levels weekly so as to notice any problem that may turn disastrous. For instance, a sudden rise in ammonia level is indicator that the system may be having a dead fish. The levels should not exceed 0.5 ppm. On the other hand, the nitrates levels should be checked monthly and they shouldn’t exceed 150 ppm. Levels beyond this are an indicator that the plants in the system are fewer to take 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 get the best yields. Consequently, it is essential to bear the above maintenance tips in mind before starting your aquaponics journey. In addition, be sure to feed your fish regularly and monitor the condition of the system from time to time to ensure all your efforts are rewarded accordingly. With the proper aquaponics maintenance, you will be assured of harvesting your vegetables, fish and fruits anytime of the year.