What should the pH level of my Aquaponic setup be?
Naturally fish like a pH of around eight and plants like a pH of around six. Since the plants and fish are sharing an environment meeting in the middle is the best solution. Therefore the ideal pH for your aquaponic setup is 6.8-7.Try not to adjust the pH more then .2 in a day. Adjusting the pH to much can be stressful for your fish.
How often do I have to clean my aquaponic setup?
Aquaponic pumps should be cleaned about once a month in order to prevent bad bacteria buildup and to insure that your pump stays in good working condition. It is also recommended that the water in the fish reservoir be changed 10-15% once a week. This is easy because your soil plants will love the nutrient rich Aquaponic water. We simply take the water out with a watering can and drench our soil plants. Next add clean, dechlorinated water, that has been properly pH adjusted.
I live in a cold region how well will aquaponics and hydroponics work in low temperatures and severe weather?
Good Karma Aquaponics is based out of sunny San Diego so we are lucky enough to keep our Aquaponic and Hydroponic setups outside year round. For those of you that live in harsh climates it is suggested that you keep your setups either indoors or in outdoor greenhouses mainly because the temperature of your fish tank needs to be monitored. The use of heaters or chillers is necessary depending on the time of the year and area that you live in as well.
If outdoors it is not a bad idea to at least cover your Aquaponic setup with some sort of awning or greenhouse covering to keep rainwater, debris and leaves out of your system. This helps to keep the ecosystem clean and aids in preventing weeds.
What kind of fish can I have in my Aquaponic setup?
It is best to pick a local freshwater fish that can adapt with your climate, this allows for minimal heating or cooling of your water. Some examples are Tilapia, Trout, Koi, Bass, Catfish, Blue Gill, Perch, Goldfish, Pacu’s etc… It is important to check your local rules and regulations on what type of fish you can legally have in your area.
How many fish can I have in my Aquaponic setup?
The amount of fish that you have depends on the size of your fish tank and grow bed.The average suggested ratio is generally one pound of fish per five to ten gallons of water.
What kind of media can I use?
There are many different kinds of media that you can use in an aquaponic setup. We prefer to use 3/4 inch gravel because it works well and is also the most affordable product that we have found. Some people also like to use round, clay pebbles. They are easier on your hands yet they do not seem to hold up and support the plants as well.
Once my system is mature how often should I check my levels (Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia, pH)?
In a well running, mature system it is sufficient to check your levels once or twice a week. We recommend using a 5 in 1 Test Strip or a Freshwater Master Test Kit.
Are worms good for my media bed?
Yes! Worms are highly valuable in an Aquaponic media bed because of their ability to break down and digest solid waste. In return, worms give your Aquaponic system nutrients from the worm castings.