Aquaponics will play a great role if you will like to rear fish as well as growing vegetables in your small space. It can be the best option for people who live in urban settings to have enough fish and vegetables which they can consume in their families as well as selling the surplus.
Aquaponics is a technology which allows plants to utilize waste in water which is released by the fish. The fish enjoy the water which has been purified by the plant roots. The technology has been increasing in popularity in recent days due to the many benefits associated with it. Although there are many benefits associated with the technology, there are problems which come with it hence you need to watch out.
Most Common Aquaponics Problems with Remedies
1. Ignoring Bug Problems
Aquaponics can experience a problem of bugs which destroy the plants. After you notice the bugs, you should take necessary steps and look for ways of getting rid of them before they feed on all your plants. They spread very fast hence you need to act fast if you will like to save your plants.
The method which you will use to get rid of the bugs should not poison the water. This is necessary to note because poisoning the water will lead to the death of your fish. You can use a trap which will trap the bugs and feed them to the fish. This will even save you on the cost of buying fish food. You can as well set up predators of the bugs in your system so that they will eat all the bugs.
2. Allowing the Tank Water to Get Too Hot
The tank should not get too hot. You should know the optimum temperature for your fish to do well. When the water will get too hot, it will reduce oxygen concentration. This can harm the fish hence you should install your system in such a way it will not heat to an extent where it will inconvenience your fish. You can install the water tank in a shade so that you will avoid direct sun rays which can heat it up beyond the optimum levels.
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3. Having Too Many Fish in the Tank
Too much fish in your system will make the system less efficient. Bigger fish can start feeding on smaller fish. This will result in a loss. Too much fish will release a lot of waste at a given period of time which will be more than what the plants can filter. The ideal condition should be one fish for every 20 liters of water. If you will notice there is a lot of fish in your system, then it is time for you to harvest those which are ready for consumption or for the market.
4. Not Frequently Testing Ammonia
Ammonia is produced by the fish through their respiratory system. It is released through their gills. It is very toxic hence it should not be left to reach levels where it will kill the fish. You will know about the concentration of ammonium in your system through carrying out tests at least once a week. If the levels will be high, you should dilute the water so that the concentration will reach acceptable levels.
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5. Restricting Access to Fish Tanks
When designing your system you should have the fish tank in a location where you can easily access it. This is necessary so that you will easily know what is going on in the fish tank each time you will visit your system. Restricting the access of your fish tank can result in several problems. For example, it may hide plumbing components which you will be required to operate when regulating conditions in your system. It will also become difficult for you to catch fish and change water with such a system. You should always design the system in such a way you will easily access the water tank.
6. Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency will lead to chlorosis of plant leaves. Plants will need iron for photosynthesis and the uptake of phosphorus and nitrogen through their leaves. You will confirm whether your system is low in iron after carrying out iron tests. You can buy an iron testing kit online and follow simple instructions provided on how to test. The iron can be added through use of iron supplement.
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7. Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
The disease is common in tomatoes but it can as well affect lettuces and peppers. The disease leads to formation of spotted and uneven ripening of fruits. In order to prevent the virus from affecting your entire system, always check and remove any plant that has been affected to avoid more spread.
If you want to run a successful aquaponics system you must be aware of aquaponics problems.For more details you can see this book.