What You Must Know About the Fish in Your Aquaponics System

A portable aquaponics system with watercress

A portable aquaponics system with watercress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most people who keep fish as pets will be the first to tell you that there is a learning curve. Keeping fish requires an understanding of their delicate nature.

Fish are not as hardy as dogs or cats. They are easily affected by small changes that seem almost imperceptible.

Usually, they die without much warning other then the last few hours when they slowly float belly up.

Keeping fish as a hobby is hard enough. Keeping them in an aquaponics system is much more difficult, unless you know exactly what you are doing. Whatever the case, you can definitely expect to see fish dying initially as your system slowly stabilizes. The tips in this article will help mitigate this problem.

When you first buy your fish, you will need to keep a close eye on them daily. Sometimes you may notice a particular fish that is more aggressive than the rest and constantly terrorizing the peace in their little world. You will need to remove the little troublemaker from the rest so that they are not too stressed out.

Your fish should be fed carefully. More often than not, people overfeed their fish. Feed them the correct amounts and always use high quality fish meal. In the wild, fish survive by eating other smaller fish. You will have to substitute smaller fish for fish meal. Feeding them good food has 2 benefits. The fish are healthier and the feces is also of a higher quality and more ‘nutritious’ for the plants.

You will also need to constantly feed the fish. In their natural habitats, fish eat all the time. You want to simulate similar conditions. Once every hour would be good. However, keep a close watch on the quantity. You need to feed them just right each time. Scoop out any excess food from the water. By constantly feeding your fish, they will grow bigger in a shorter time.

The number of fish you keep will also play a big role in their well-being. Just like human beings, fish too do not like overcrowding and do not respond well to it. The number of fish in your system should be proportional to the size of the container you are housing them in. If you have too many fish in your system, there will not be enough dissolved oxygen in the water for them. When that happens, you will see the fish constantly coming to the surface to gasp for air. With time, they will tire and slowly die.

Make sure the temperature of the water suits the species of fish you keep. Some fish prefer warmer water while others prefer colder water. You will need to do the necessary research to find out what your fish like.

Make sure the water is clean and in good condition for the fish to live in. Water will evaporate with time and the composition of the water will change. So, you’ll need to top up a little water in your system daily. It would be advisable to always store a container with water for a few days for this very purpose. The chlorine and other chemicals in the water will be gone by the time you top up the water.

To learn the finer points about aquaponics, it would be advisable to get a book or an online video course that teaches you step by step to how to setup a system and go from amateur to pro in no time at all. Definitely a worthy investment in your own education.

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