Aquaponic Do Not’s
Here is a list of things to Do Not do in Aquaponics. It is from my vast experience gained in the last 9 months. Actually the only part that is vast is the number of mistakes I have made. Surely I’ve made them all by now 🙂
- Build your system before researching and learning and getting some good advice
- Reinvent the wheel or redesigning the AP system before you learn what works
- Miss the chance to learn from others mistakes or to see others systems in operation
- Spend a lot of money or build commercial system when just starting
- Start with too small a system, more water = easier to balance nitrates and ammonia
- Add chemical to the plants or fish, like pesticides, etc.
- Add limestone or marble to your systems
- Add waste from animals – fish poo only – no dog, cow, horse, or other manure
- Under oxygenate the water, fish, and plants
- Start up your system without checking the ammonia, pH, nitrites, and nitrates. When the Nitrogen cycle has completed in 30-60 days, there is less to monitor
- Over feed the fish. Uneaten food is extra solids you have to clean out of the system. Also it is wasted money and resources
- Over estimate the amount of work required to operator the system
- Raise inappropriate fish like exotic or expensive species, or cold water fish in hot water climate, of big carnivorous fish with smaller “bite size” fish
- Imbalance the fish to plant optimum ratios. Few fish and lots of plants is easiest and cheapest. 10 pounds of a cheap fish like goldfish or catfish will feed about 128 typical garden plants. You can raise lots of fish if you will eat them often and have lots of plants and watch the system balance carefully. IE more work!
- Forget to “stop and smell the roses” or the carrots or the basil, or the rosemary, etc.
- Turn off the power to the pumps that circulate the water and go on vacation
- Get the fish or plants too hot or too cold. Tilapia swim upside down in 50 degree water. They are..er were a warm water fish.
- Build your system so it is easy to accidentally drain the water out of the fish tank. Remember siphons suck!
- Allow your dogs and pets to swim in you fish tank or rafts
- Plant food that birds, dogs, or neighbors can reach easily when the plants are ripe.
- Eat (old) leaves from Karo, Polk, or other plants that are unpleasant or toxic when not prepared correctly.
- Plant plants that grow tall and heavy in a raft system, the plant will fall over, sometimes taking the raft with it 🙁
- Use rocks in you media based systems that are so small they get into the pump and cause it to emit smoke!
- Leave pipes unglued that are critical that they not leak, like the drain on the fish tank .
- Miss a chance to share your new found hobby