More Questions About Aquaponic Gardens

Linda asks…

what fish are best for aquaponics?

Aquaponics Nut answers:

Channel catfish.
Rainbow trout.

Lizzie asks…

hydroponics vs aquaponics?

what is the diffrence between hydro and aqua ponics

Aquaponics Nut answers:

Hydroponics is the growth of plants without soil which involves supplying all of the nutrients usually supplied by soil to plants via water.

Aquaponics combines the breeding of fish in a controlled environment with hydroponic plant growing – the plants and the fish are bred together in one integrated system, which benefits both of them.

Sandy asks…

What nutrients do plants need to survive? In what quantities?

Please be specific. I need to know about nutrients, not sunlight or soil.

If you know anything about nutrients that relates to hydroponics or aquaponic gardens as well, that would be really helpful too.

Thanks! 😀

Aquaponics Nut answers:

The macronutrients (need in quantity) are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, magnesium. There is a mnemonic aid to remember these nutrients: C HOPKiNS CaFe, Mg which reads See Hopkins cafe, mighty good! The “i” is to make the word Hopkins pronounced correctly. In addition to the macronutrients there are trace elements needed in parts per million concentration: boron, aluminum, chlorine, copper, zinc, molybdenum.

Sandra asks…

Quick and easy question here, anyone can answer!?

I have to write up an assignment about aquaponic gardens and we have an aquaponics centre at school where we grew plants and looked after the fishes and measured the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels. I have to do some graphs and I’ve done two, and one is Plant Growth and Temperature. The other is Concentration of Nitrogen Compounds. Are these okay?
Sorry, lol… You just have to say if my graphs are suitable for my assignment.

Aquaponics Nut answers:

Okay. To see if your graphs are suitable I’d need to know what is being plotted vs what or in other words what’s on the X-axis and what’s on the y-axis

John asks…

After an aquarium is cycled does th ph go down?

I have an aquarium, well actually it’s an aquaponics tank but for the sake of simplicity, i’ll just call it a regular aquarium.

Everything was fine, my plants were in perfect health but I had a tank crash (it was my fault, my filter clogged and had a power outage as well) and everything went to crap and now the tank is cycling again after a big water change. My ph is around 8+ and my plants are not able to take in the nutrients they need.

So my simple question, forgetting about the aquaponics part, will my ph drop once the tank has cycled again?
Thank you for the good answer so far……but i don’t mean aquarium plants, I mean food plants like lettuce, veggies, ect. Most plants need a lower ph to uptake the correct nutrients. As for fish, they are tilapia…..also raised for food….

I do aquaponic gardens which means the plants are set up pretty much in a hydroponic setup (roots directly in the water) and the fish poop water feeds them. They are suffering because the ph needs to be around 6. Until now I have never had a problem which is why I am kinda clueless when it comes to ph problems…

Is there any chance regular old aquarium gravel could be raising it? And I don’t mean crushed coral or anything, just regular old gravel,,,,

Aquaponics Nut answers:

Over time, the hydrogen ions (H+) released from the conversion of ammonia/ammonium (NH3/NH4+) to nitrite (NO2-) build up. These ions, which form hydronium (H3O+) when bonded with water (H2O), are what pH measures. So, this production of hydrogen (eventually hydronium) will lower the pH a bit, but not as much as you think you need. Also, the build up of nitrate (NO3-) (which is almost guaranteed in a mature tank) leads to a very dilute nitric acid (HNO3), which will also lower the pH.

Honestly, I don’t think you should be as worried as you are. Most plants, especially food plants, are highly capable of tolerating higher pH’s and taking up nutrients just like normal. If you do feel the need to lower the pH, use something natural like driftwood (which leaches tannic acid into the water) or peat moss in your filtration (also leaches tannic acid). Regular aquarium gravel (epoxy coated) is inert and will not affect your pH. Also, a slightly more expensive (but VERY effective way to go) would be to use reverse osmosis water. This is basically water filtered through a fine membrane to remove impurities (like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium, all of which buffer the pH upwards). You could either buy your own RO unit or just get it at a local fish store or even large “super store” (like Walmart or Target).

If you use reverse osmosis water, slowly adjust your fish (and plants) to it by doing small water changes and topping off the tank with RO water. This will give your plants access to important nutrients like potassium and calcium, but not in such a great concentration as before. If you can get to the point where your tank is about half RO water and half tap water, try to keep it there (keep topping off the tank with half RO half tap).

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