Monthly Archives: June 2018

  • Seedling Culture

    • Hydroponic is the act of raising plants without using soil, but rather in a water medium with nutrients.
    • The plants are placed in a hydroponic system that supplies the required nutrients to the roots with the help of the water medium.
    • The use of hydroponic has helped farmers to evade serious seedling diseases and pests like fungus and gnats, which mostly attack in moist soils.
    • Media like coconut fibre, plugs, and peat pots have necessary nutrients and ensure that the seeds have a healthy growth.
    • Rockwool or oasis can serve as a medium, the seedlings can be transplanted along with the cube into a complete hydroponic system later.
    • Rapid rooters are mostly used as a medium as they have large numbers of important microbes and Mycorrhizal fungi that help in colonizing the root thus maximizing uptake of nutrients by the plant and evade serious diseases.

    Other options:-

    • Other than rapid rooters, there are other hydroponic options you can go for like, rock wool, coconut fibre, peat and oasis cube.
    • While the rapid rooters retain a lot of water, oasis and coir retain very little water.
    • The rock wool has a high PH concentration; therefore, the cubes should be rinsed in the solution of both water and vinegar to neutralize the PH before putting the seeds in the cubes to grow.
    • Mix a teaspoon of vinegar in a cup half-filled with water and dip the cubes into the resulting solution shaking off the excess.
    • Rock wool needs more attention because it is alkaline in nature.

    Location: -

    • The container should be placed where it can receive maximum light.
    • If you choose to grow your seeds in the house, the convenient places are like on a table or near a window where there is partial light either in the morning or in the afternoon.
    • In case you want to grow outside, then you should select a partially sunny location like a porch.
    • The container should be away from heavy rainfall and winds.
    • Since the container is small and portable, it should be moved from one place to another to protect it from bad weather.

    Maintenance: -

    • Water should be added only when the cubes start to get dry. Because much water favours the development of molds on the rock wool.
    • On the other hand, if there is no water for a long time the seeds will not germinate. Thus, the cubes should be moist but not wet or dry.
    • When the seedlings reach 2 inches in height, add diluted nutrient solution or fish water to the water in the container. This will greatly boost the root growth.

    Transplanting: -

    • The seedlings are ready for transplanting to a hydroponics grow system when they reach 3-4 inches in height. Look for 3 to 4 true leaves.
    • Fill the net pot with clay pellets until it is half full. Which supports the plants.
    • The best time of day to plant is in the late afternoon when the sun is not hot, and the wind has calmed down. By taking advantage of this time of day, the new plants have overnight to acclimate.
    • Strong sun and wind are very hard on new transplants. Unless watered carefully, and in some cases provided with some shelter from the wind and sun, they can severely wilt.
    • This places the plants under stress at the very beginning of their growing cycle and is not a good idea because sometimes they never bounce back and don't thrive as well as they could have.
  • Growing Peppers in Aquaponics

    Growing peppers in aquaponic units: There are many varieties of peppers, all varying in colour and degree of spice, yet from the sweet bell pepper to the hot chili peppers (jalapeno or cayenne peppers) they can all be grown with aquaponics. Peppers are more suited to the media bed method but they might also grow in 11 cm diameter NFT pipes if given extra physical support.

    Growing conditions: Peppers are a summer fruiting vegetable that prefers warm conditions and full sun exposure. Seed germination temperatures are high: 22 - 34 °C. Seeds will not germinate well in temperatures < 15 °C. Daytime temperatures of 22 - 28 °C and night-time temperatures of 14 -16 °C favour best fruiting conditions under a relative humidity of 65 - 60 percent. Optimal temperatures at root level are 15 - 20 °C. In general, air temperatures below 10 - 12 °C stop plant growth and cause abnormal deformation of the fruits, making them unmarketable. Temperatures > 30 - 35 °C lead to floral abortion or fallout. In general, spicier peppers can be obtained at higher temperatures. The top leaves of the plant protect the fruit hanging below from sun exposure. As with other fruiting plants, nitrate supports the initial vegetative growth (optimum range: 20 - 120 mg/litre) but higher concentrations of potassium and phosphorus are needed for flowering and fruiting.

    Growing instructions: Transplant seedlings with 6 - 8 true leaves to the unit as soon as night temperatures settle above 10 °C. Support bushy, heavy-yielding plants with stakes or vertical strings hanging from iron wires pulled horizontally above the units. For red sweet peppers, leave the green fruits on the plants until they ripen and turn red. Pick the first few flowers that appear on the plant in order to encourage further plant growth. Reduce the number of flowers in the event of excessive fruit setting to favour the growing fruits to reach an adequate size.

    Harvesting: Begin harvesting when peppers reach a marketable size. Leave peppers on the plants until they ripen fully by changing colour and improve their levels of vitamin C. Harvest continually through the season to favour blossoming, fruit setting and growth. Peppers can be easily stored fresh for 10 days at 10 °C with 90 - 95 per cent humidity or they can be dehydrated for long-term storage.

    pH: 5.5 - 6.5

    Plant spacing: 30 - 60 cm (3 - 4 plants/m2, or more for small-sized plant varieties)

    Germination time and temperature: 8 - 12 days; 22 - 30 °C (seeds will not germinate below 13 °C)

    Growth time: 60 - 95 days

    Temperature: 14 - 16 °C night time, 22 - 30 °C daytime

    Light exposure: full sun

    Plant height and width: 30 - 90 cm; 30 - 80 cm

    Recommended aquaponics method: media beds


  • function of Potassium (K) in plants

    Potassium is a paramount macro-element for overall survival of living things. It is an abundant mineral macronutrient present in both plant and animals tissues. It is necessary for the proper functioning of all living cells. Potassium is relatively abundant in the earth's crust making up to 2.1% by weight. Potassium is mined in the form of potash (KOH), sylvite (KCl), Carnallite and Langbeinite. It is not found in free nature.

    Importance of potassium to plants

    Potassium is an indispensable constituent for the correct development of plants. It is important in photosynthesis, in the regulation of plants responses to light through opening and closing of stomata. Potassium is also important in the biochemical reactions in plants. Basically, potassium (K) is responsible for many other vital processes such as water and nutrient transportation, protein, and starch synthesis.

    Potassium Uptake

    Bio-availability and uptake of K by plants from the soil vary with a number of different factors. The rate of respiration by plants is largely the determining factor for proper uptake and transport of potassium by plants. Its uptake is dependent on sufficient energy (ATP). Potassium plays a vital role in the translocation of essential nutrients, water, and other substances from the roots through the stem to the leaves. It is also made available through fertilizers in the form of K2O. Plant tissues analyze the form of these fertilizers and convert it into a more bio-available form. It is absorbed in the form of ions- K+.

    Functions of Potassium in plants

    Potassium (K) essentially plays a major role in plant physiological processes. Therefore, it is required in large amounts for proper growth and reproduction in plants. It is considered vital after nitrogen as far as nutrients needed by plants are concerned. It is also termed "the quality nutrient" for its contributing factor in a number of biological and chemical processes in plants. Here is why Potassium is important in plants:

    • Potassium regulates the opening and closing of stomata thus regulating the uptake of CO2 thus enhancing photosynthesis.
    • It triggers activation of important biochemical enzymes for the generation of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides energy for other chemical and physiological processes such as excretion of waste materials in plants.
    • It plays a role in osmoregulation of water and other salts in plant tissues and cells.
    • Potassium also facilitates protein and starch synthesis in plants.
    • It activates enzymes responsible for specific functions.

    Potassium deficiency in plants

    Regardless of its availability from soils, potassium deficiency may occur and might start from the lower leaves and progress towards other vital parts of the plants. Deficiency might cause abnormalities in plants affecting reproduction and growth. Severity depends on with the type of plant and soil. Some of the potassium deficiency symptoms may include:

    • Chlorosis: May cause yellowing of leaves, the margin of the leaves may fall off, and also lead to shedding and defoliation of the leaves.
    • Stunted growth: Potassium being an important growth catalyst, its deficiency or insufficient might lead to slow growth or poor developed roots and stems.
    • Poor resistance to ecological changes: Reduced availability of potassium will directly result in less fluid circulation and translocation of nutrients in plants. This will directly make plants susceptible to temperature changes.

    Importance of potassium in agriculture

    Potassium is important in agriculture and soil gardening. It is used as a constituent in artificial fertilizers. Potassium fertilizers have been seen to increase crop yields, enhance production of grains rich in starch and protein content of plants. Additionally, potassium fertilizers may help improve plants immunity to weather changes, diseases, and nematodes.

    Potassium is majorly used in hydroponics to improve root growth and enhance drought tolerance. It also enhances the building of cellulose and thus reduces lodging.

  • Growing Cherry Tomatoes in Aquaponics

    Cherry Tomato: -Â

    Tomatoes are an excellent summer fruiting vegetable to grow using all available methods although physical support is necessary.

    A higher nitrogen concentration is preferable during the early stage to flower stage. However, potassium should be present from the flowering stage to fruit setting to growth.

    Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, low in calories and a source of lycopene (the "Red" in tomatoes), which has been tapped as a cancer-fighting agent.

    If you have experience in growing tomato you know that to get the high-quality products and good yields with a limited space can be quite a challenge.

    We'll try to consolidate all important things that you need to know if you want to grow tomatoes, have high-quality products and great yields in your greenhouse. We'll also share our experience and you'll see great benefits of aquaponic systems for profitable commercial tomato production.

    Tomato is one of the most demanded vegetables. In the season but also out of the season. It is used as a fresh produce but also an input for the production of many different products like sauces. One of the greatest advantages is that it grows in the air and we can use a lot of greenhouse height for our production.

    The main advantages of growing tomatoes in protected spaces (greenhouses) compared to other crops are:

    • It is highly attractive and demanded product
    • We can have very high yields per sqm
    • There are many hybrids that are resistant to diseases.

    Growing Conditions: -

    • When you have set up your aquaponic system and decided to grow tomato you need to pay attention to some details. If you make mistakes, in the beginning, you will not see problems usually until it's too late to fix them.
    1. Type of aquaponic system?
    2. How to band tomatoes for the best vertical growth?
    3. How to make tomato grow faster?
    • Each and every part of the aquaponic system that is not synched to specific natural laws can create problems in the future. These problems can be insignificant but sometimes these problems can lead to total disaster. For that reason, it is important to have all the information and to understand each part of the system.
    • The first and most important factor is to choose the right aquaponic system for tomato production.
    • Out of all aquaponic systems, BED system is probably the most convenient for many types of crops. But it is not a profitable system. Because it is quite robust, it takes a lot of space and is quite expensive to construct.
    • For profitable tomato cultivation, one of the best aquaponic systems is DUTCH BUCKET

    • In Dutch bucket aquaponic system we are using a number of buckets for growing our crops in them. In buckets, we put any growing media that is suitable for aquaponics. When we are irrigating crops the water is moving through growing medium and feeding the root of our plants.
    • We need to make sure that there is always some water in the bottom of the bucket.
    • We can achieve this by drilling drainage holes on a certain height of the bucket. For this system to work we do not need any additional siphons.
    • When constructing Dutch bucket aquaponic system pay special attention to the following
    1. Greenhouse space usage
    2. Pipes and nozzle clogging
    3. Space for roots development
    4. Bucket drainage
    • Tomatoes prefer warm temperatures with full sun exposure. Below 8-10°C, the plants stop growing, and night temperature 13-14 encourage fruit set. Temperature above 40°C cause floral abortion and poor fruit setting.
    • Tomatoes have a moderate tolerance to salinity, which makes them suitable for areas where pure freshwater is available. However, higher salinity at fruiting stage improves quality of the products.

    Planting Instructions: -

    • Set stakes or plant support structures before transplanting to prevent root damage.
    • Transplant the seedlings into units 3-6 weeks after germination when the seedling is 10-15 cm and when the night time temperatures are constantly above 10°C.
    • In transplanting the seedlings, avoid waterlogged conditions around the plant collar to reduce any risk of diseases.
    • Once the tomato plants are about 60 cm tall, start pruning the unnecessary upper branches. Remove the leaves from the bottom to 30cm of the main stem for better air circulation and reduce fungal incidence.
    • Remove the leaves covering each of the fruiting branches soon before ripening to favour nutrition flow to the fruits and to accelerate maturation.

    Harvesting: -

    • Most cherry tomato plants will start flowering in about a month. Flowers will be followed by tiny green fruits. After a few weeks, those turn into full-blown cherry tomatoes you can harvest.
    • A truly ripe cherry tomato will come off its stem very easily and is well worth waiting an extra day for, so hold off on picking them until they're ripe. Then, pluck individual fruits every day for best results. With luck, your plant will continue to produce right up until winter. If the weather turns unseasonably cool or an early frost threatens, you can tuck an old sheet over and around the plant to extend your harvest season.
    • Fruits can be easily maintained for 2-4 weeks at 5-7°C under 85-90 percentage relative humidity.

    Tips: -

    • PH: 5.5-6.5
    • Plant spacing: 40-60cm (3-5 plants/sqm)
    • Germination time and temperature: 4-6 days and 20-30 °C
    • Growth time: 50-70 days till the first harvest; fruiting 90-129 days up to 8-10 months.
    • Optimal temperature: 13-16°C night, 22-26 °C day
    • Light exposure: full sun
    • Recommended methods: Media Beds and DWC
  • Hydroponics Lettuce for profit!

    • Growing hydroponics lettuce is one of the easiest and the best ways to start hydroponic gardening.
    • Lettuce is a simple to grow all round plant that can ensure you get great results when grown in soil, as long as you keep pests off it.
    • This is where growing lettuce hydroponically will make perfect sense and will be a terrific first task for any hydroponic setup.
    • Lettuce hydroponics will typically look after themselves and do not need a lot of nutrients as other heavy feeding plants like tomatoes.
    • It's obviously still a great practice to check out your growing hydroponic lettuce plants every day for pests or other problems, though these problems are considerably decreased with hydroponics, particularly indoor hydroponics.
    • Actually, the only issue you could come across when growing hydroponic lettuce at home is size.
    • Lettuce is in high demand and has a high value in urban and peri-urban zones, which makes it a very suitable crop for large-scale commercial production.

    Note: -

    • Check lettuce for signs of downy mildew, powdery mildew or gray mold and get rid of any infected plants.
    • Water that's heavily chlorinated can lead to issues with lettuce. You should use lightly chlorinated city water or well water.

    Lettuce varieties: -

    Lettuce can be characterized based on their leaf and head formation.

    Crisp head or iceberg: -

    • Crisp head lettuce, more commonly known as iceberg, has a tight head of crisp leaves. Often found in the local salad bar, it is actually one of the most difficult lettuce varieties to grow. This lettuce variety is not fond of hot summer temperature or water stress and may rot from the inside.
    • Start iceberg lettuce via seed directly sown 18-24 inches apart or started indoors and then thinned 12-14 inches between heads. Some iceberg lettuce varieties include Ballade, Crispino, Ithaca, Legacy, Mission, Salinas, Summertime and Sun Devil, all of which mature in 70-80 days.

    Romaine or Cos: -

    • Romaine varieties are typically 8-10 inches tall and upright growing with spoon-shaped, tightly folded leaves and thick ribs. Colouration is medium green on the exterior to a greenish white inside with the outer leaves.
    • Sometimes being tough whilst the interior foliage is tender with wonderful crunch and sweetness. Different types of this lettuce are Brown Golding, Chaos Mix black, chaos Mix white, Dark green Romaine, De Morges Braun, Hyper Red Rumple, Little Leprechaun. All of which mature within around 70 days.

    Butterhead, Boston or Bibb: -

    • One of the more delicate varieties of lettuce, Butterhead is creamy to light green on the inside and loose, soft and ruffled green on the exterior. These different types of lettuce may be harvested by removing the entire head or just the outside leaves and easier to grow than crispheads, being more tolerant of conditions.
    • Less likely to bolt and rarely bitter, the butterhead lettuce varieties mature in about 55-75 days and spaced similarly to the crispheads. These varieties of lettuce include Blushed Butter Oak, Buttercrunch, Carmona, Divina, and Yugoslavian red.

    Growing Conditions: -

    • Lettuce is a winter crop. For head growth, the night air temperature should be 3-12°C, with a day temperature of 17-28°C.
    • The generative growth is affected by photoperiod and temperature extended daylight warm conditions(>18°C) at night cause bolting. Water temperature >26°C may also result in bolting and leaf bitterness.
    • The plant has low nutrient demand; however higher calcium concentrations in water help to prevent tip burn in leaf in summer crops.
    • The ideal PH is 5.8-6.2. but lettuce still grows well with a PH as high as 7, although some iron deficiencies might appear owing to reduced bio-availability of this nutrient above neutrality.

    Growing instructions:

    • Seedlings can be transplanted in units at three weeks when plants have at least 2-3 true leaves. Supplemental fertilization with phosphorous to the seedlings in the second and third weeks favours root growth and avoids plant stress at transplant.
    • Take care not to damage the roots of plants during transplanting because such damage will make the plant susceptible to disease infection.
    • It is advisable to transplant the plant in the late afternoon to prevent them becoming stressed in the heat of the day under high UV conditions.
    • The transplant will begin to adapt to the new location at night and roots will start to grow into the solution below.
    • Make sure the plants base is touching the flow of nutrient solution below when transplanting.
    • To achieve crisp sweet lettuce, grow plants at a fast pace by maintaining high nitrate levels in the unit. When air and water temperatures increase during the season, use bolt -resistant(summer) varieties. If growing in media beds, plant new lettuces where they will be partially shaded by taller nearby plants.

    Lighting: -    

    • Lettuce grows up vigorously with fluorescent lighting. It would obviously grow far better with the more expensive lighting specially created for hydroponics, like HID and some of the latest LED grow lights for indoor plants.
    • However, regarding cost-effectiveness, from the viewpoint of the small-scale grower, fluorescent lighting is the best.
    • These are cool weather crops, so too much heat can, in fact, delay germination.

    Harvesting Hydroponics lettuce: -

    Hydroponics harvesting depends on the following factors

    • First, this will depend on what type you are growing. Romaine takes up to 85 days. Bibb and Loose-leaf lettuce can take 45 to 55 days.
    • It has to do preference, growing lettuce indoors then you have to manage the environment and prolong your harvest.
    • The majority of hydroponic lettuce production systems created around two ideas, either the floating raft system or the nutrient flow technique (NFT) system.
    • The floating raft method is of particular interest since it is very affordable and can produce a lot of hydroponic lettuce.
    • One of the major issues with raft systems is that the hydroponic lettuce nutrients solution is continually stagnant and will require that you use pumps to circulate water and produce important aeration.
    • If the roots are not getting the precious oxygen, floating raft systems experience substantial loses of crops in the form of nutrients.

    Below are some types that work well in hydroponics and with indoor artificial lighting:

    • Royal Oakleaf is a darker green variety of lettuce that does extremely well in hydroponic growing systems and is also resistant to heat.
    • Tango grows perfectly in cooler environmental only.
    • Red Fire is a deep red, loose leaf variety that's ideal for both warm and cool climates.
    • Green Ice is a variety of green loose that offers a long picking season.

    Hydroponic romaine lettuce also does well though it usually takes a little bit longer to attain maturity.

    Tips: -

    • When you harvest lettuce with the roots attached, it will prolong storage life by two to four weeks.
    • To prevent getting water mold such as Pythium or Phytophthora in your hydroponic lettuce system, use bleach to sanitize the tray between plants. If the lettuce gets infected, the plant is a loss.
  • Catch the right fish!

    Aquaponics is an amazing way to garden. And workhorses of an aquaponic system are the aquaponic fish. Aquaponics is a natural process whereby fish are raised in an aquarium or large size fish tanks and their waste is pumped into grow beds. Waste is then naturally converted into nutrients for the plant's roots to absorb within a grow medium. Plants, in turn, clean the water in this recirculating and symbiotic system.

    Before we can grow our plants, we must first choose the correct aquaponics fish. Not all aquaponic fish are equal or have the same requirements for survival. Therefore, let's review some key considerations before choosing the best aquaponics fish for our needs.

    Considerations for choosing aquaponics fish: -

    Ornamental vs Edible: - While there are many aquaponics fish which do well in aquaponics systems, not all are edible. For example, goldfish and koi are great ornamental aquaponics fish just don't eat them!

    Temperature: -

    Some aquaponics fish thrive in cold water, while others do well only in warm water. Be sure we choose a species of fish that is hardy and adaptable for our particular indoor or outdoor conditions. Adding water heaters to


    the system is an option.

    Purchasing your Aquaponics fish: - Choose a species which is readily available to buy as a fingerling or juvenile fish. Selecting a suitable adult fish is also a possibility.

    Breeding: -If you want to produce your own stock, select a species that is capable of breeding within an enclosed aquaponics tank. However, understand the government regulations for the same.

    Popular Aquaponics Fish: -

    Here are the best aquaponics fishes, we have included an ideal temperature range for each species. Please note that while most fish are able to tolerate varying degrees of the temperature outside of the ideal range, we recommended you keep your aquaponics fish within these parameters as much as possible

    Tilapia: -

    • Tilapias are one of the most popular freshwater species to grow in aquaponic systems.
    • Why? For starters, tilapia is a great eating fish. It has a mild flavour, making it adaptable to many culinary styles. Tilapia is also a great fish for aquaponics beginners. They adapt to their environment and are able to withstand less than ideal water conditions. Other benefits of choosing tilapia include their fast growth rate (about 9 months from fingerling to harvest), ability to reproduce easily, and have an omnivorous diet.
    • One drawback to raising tilapia is the need to keep your aquaponics tank warm. Water below 55 degrees will cause tilapia to struggle. A constant water temperature of around 80 degrees is ideal. Adding a water heater is a viable option if water temperatures are fall low during winters, or you may consider choosing a different aquaponics fish altogether. Another possible drawback is their ability to breed quickly (every 4-6 weeks). If you have a small aquaponics system, be advised that it may quickly fill with young fish.

    Key Considerations: -

    1. Ideal Temperature Range: 72 - 86° F
    2. Popular, edible, warm-water aquaponics fish
    3. Easy to breeding and fast growing.

    Trout: -

    Looking for an aquaponics fish that thrives in cooler water? Trout may fit the bill. They thrive in temperatures ranging in the 50s and 60s. making them ideal for cool environments. This species of fish has a high food conversion ratio and grow quickly, although it may take up to 16 months to fully mature. In addition, trout are a desirable food source, loaded with protein and omega fatty acids.

    • Because trout thrive in cold water, some aquaponics enthusiasts alternate between raising tilapia during warmer months and trout during cooler months. Trout is also a popular aquaponics fish to raise in indoor garages and basements.
    • It should be noted that trout are not as adaptable as some other fish, as they require pristine water and high dissolved oxygen levels to thrive. Close monitoring of "PH" levels is also important. Another possible downside is fewer plants choices. Because recirculating cold water may harm certain plants, be sure to pick hardier plants varieties. With that said raising trout may be too much effort for some, but the payoff at the dinner table makes this species a popular aquaponics fish.

    Key Considerations: -

    • Ideal Temperature Range: 56 -  68° F
    • Edible cold-water fish
    • Requires pristine water, high dissolved oxygen levels, and close pH monitoring

    Catfish: -   

    • Catfish are a popular bottom-feeding aquaponics fish. They vary in size and are often commercially farmed for their flavour and high vitamin D content. Another advantage to choosing catfish is their high food conversion ratio, meaning they convert their food to body mass quickly.
    • Raising catfish requires close monitoring of the aquaponics system. Water must remain pristine, temperatures must remain close to 80 degrees, and PH should be kept in check. Catfish feed on a variety of plants, bugs small fish, and pellets. They do not have scales, so skinning is required before putting catfish on the frypan.

    Key considerations: -

    • Ideal Temperature Range:  78 - 86° F
    • Edible, popular aquaponics fish
    • High food conversion ratio makes them a fast-growing fish
    • Sensitive to water temperature,water quality, and pH

    Perch: -

    Silver, Yellow, and Jade varieties of perch are popular aquaponics fish. Because they are adaptable to various conditions, perch make a good starter fish for beginners. Perch typically thrive in water temperatures ranging in the 70's. However, they are able to withstand colder water down to the 50's.

    • The diet of perch is primarily carnivorous, consisting of small fish, bugs, and shrimp. This may turn some off to raising perch because carnivorous diets involve more expense and effort (compared to fish who simply consume pellets and plant matter). Another factor to consider is the longer time frame to mature. Silver perch, for example, may take up to 16 months to fully mature from the fingerling stage.  Overall, perch are a good choice for those looking for a tasty aquaponics fish and have the patience to wait for them to develop and the budget to feed them their preferred diet.

    Key considerations: -

    • Ideal Temperature Range: 70 - 82° F
    • Edible, hardy, adaptable aquaponics fish
    • Slower to mature and carnivorous diet

    Barramundi: - 

    • Barramundi is one of the most popular fish raised in aquaculture. They also make a great aquaponics fish and can be kept in both fresh and saltwater systems. As an edible aquaponics fish, barramundi has flaky white flesh and are regarded as a good species for eating.
    • Larger barramundi is known to attack smaller ones, so it is advised to keep these fish separated by size or risk young being injured or eaten. Many aquaponics hobbyists purchase larger juvenile fish instead of fingerlings. This cuts down the likelihood of losing fish to aggression. Barramundi also requires pristine water conditions and high dissolved oxygen levels.

    Key considerations: -

    • Ideal Temperature Range:  78 -  83° F
    • Edible aquaponics fish, popular in commercial aquaculture
    • High food conversion ratio
    • Aggressive tendencies towards smaller fish

    Bass: -

    • Large mouth, small mouth, and striped bass are another top aquaponics fish. However, this species is less adaptable to unfavorable conditions compared to others. Conditions must be monitored to ensure pristine water, and proper oxygen and PH levels. In addition, bass will not tolerate bright light or a poor feeding regime. Another downside is the long wait period to mature. Large mouth bass can take up to 18 months to reach its full size. Striped bass typically mature faster.
    • The upside to using bass as young aquaponics fish is that they are edible and fairly easy to acquire locally. Young fingerings can be trained to feed on pellet food but are generally carnivorous.
    • If you don't mind the daily monitoring of your aquaponics system, bass is a viable and rewarding aquaponics fish.

    Key considerations: -

    • Ideal Temperature Range: 75 - 85° F
    • Edible and accessible aquaponics fish
    • Requires constant monitoring to ensure proper conditions

    Koi Fish: -

    • One of the most popular ornamental fish is Koi. They are often found in decorative ponds. Like goldfish, koi produce a lot of waste matter and are easy to find at pet stores. This makes koi a popular aquaponics fish.
    • Koi are prized for their beauty and bright coloration. Surprisingly, koi are considered an edible aquaponics fish. However, we don't recommend eating them. Most hobbyist raise koi strictly for ornamental purpose.
    • Other advantage of koi includes their resistance to parasites, long life-span, and their simple omnivorous diet. A key disadvantage is the cost to purchase koi. While they are fairly easy to find at pet stores, koi tend to be more expensive than most aquaponics fish. Koi can live up to an astounding 40-60 year.

    Key considerations: -

    • Ideal Temperature Range:  65 - 75° F
    • Ornamental, not typically eaten
    • Ornamental, hardy, and attractive aquaponics fish
    • Omnivorous, parasite-resistant, and lives a long time

     Gold Fish: -

    • Goldfish are one of the earliest species of the fish to be domesticated and among the most popular fish used in aquaponics today. They are attractive in appearance and are readily available at local pet shops. Generally speaking, these miniaturized carp species are hardy and adaptable to various water conditions.
    • They prefer a temperature in the 60s - 70s degree range. Goldfish are especially well-suited for smaller aquaponics systems but can thrive in an aquaponics system of any size.
    • Goldfish are known as a shy fish, Because of this quirkiness, they require plant cover to breed. For such a small species, goldfish produce lots of beneficial waste nutrients for aquaponics grow beds to absorb. Due to this small size and susceptibility to parasitic issues, goldfish are not considered edible fish.

    Key considerations: -

    • Ideal Temperature Range:  68 - 75° F
    • Ornamental, not typically eaten
    • Small, hardy aquaponics fish
    • Produces lots of waste despite its size

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