saves
energy

which

are


valid

reasons.



Constant


flow


can

be

used


and

has

been


found


to


actually


improve
water

quality


in


terms

of


ammonia

levels.



Better


nitration

of


the


water


leads


to


increased


plant


growth


rates
and
yields.
Constant

flows


systems

do

produce

lower


dissolved

oxygen


at


the


root


zone

requiring


some


form

of


aeration
in

the


fish

tank.



Additionally,


the


constant


flow


system

will


require

a

simple


solids

removal

device


to


help


to
prevent

the


solids

from

competing

for


oxygen.



You


should


always

remove


as

many


solids

as

possible

from

the
aquaponic
system

to


prevent


clogging


of


the


grow

bed

medium

which

can

lead


to


toxic

conditions


which

can
kill

both


fish

and

plants.
Aquatic
Water


Heating
Aquaponic

systems

work

much


better

if

a

constant


water


temperature


is


maintained


as

beneficial


bacterial
species

that


convert


ammonia

to


nitrate


have

a

temperature


range

between


70

o

F

and

86

o
F

at


which

they
operate

at


maximum


efficiency.



At


temperatures


below

64.4

o

F,


a

bio

-

filter's


efficiency

is


lost

and

ammonia
spikes

can

occur.



You


should


always

strive


to


try

maintaining

a

water


temperatures


at


or


above


64.4
o
F
in


the
winter

though

it

should


be

at


least


a

minimum

of


70

o

F

for


certain


species


of


fish

to


survive,


Tilapia


in
particular.
There
are


many


methods


to


accomplish


this,


however


electrical


aquatic


emersion

heaters


such

as

are


used

in
aquariums
can

do

the


trick


on

a

small


scale.


However,


if

you

want


to


go

a

step


further,


use

of


a

simple


solar
water

heater


for


aquaponic

systems

can

be

rigged


very


inexpensively.



Additionally

the


use

of


insulation
around
the


fish

tanks,


gravel


beds

and

water


tubing


will


help


to


retain


heat.
Correct
Grow

Bed


medium
Grow

Bed


medium

comes


in


many


shapes


and

forms

and

few

people


state

which

medium

is


good


or


bad
because

each

has

it

good


and

bad

points.



Red


Scoria


for


example


is


a

very


dusty


medium

and

should


be
rinsed

thoroughly

to


eliminate


every


trace


of


red


in


the


water.



If

this

is


not


done


and

done


properly

it

will


slowly
contaminate

the


entire


system

in


a

light


layer


of


red


dust


that


can

cause

any

number


of


problems

from
harboring

ammonia

to


clogging


the


medium

with


a

reddish


layer


of


red


mud.
Scoria

also


sports


very


sharp


edges


making


it

difficult


on

the


hands


and

plant


stems.


However,


the


owner
could

see

no

problem

with


this,


and

was


happy


to


feed


the


plants

and

fish

to


his


family.


Some

gravels


may
contain

toxic

chemicals


and

compounds,


like


heavy

metals


and

minerals


such

as

calcium


which

is


also
another

item


which

can

clog


pipes


and

medium

by

encrusting

it.



Choose


carefully


and

always

make


sure


your
grow
bed

medium

has

never


come


into

contact


with


herbicides,


insecticides,


petroleum


or


any

other


chemicals
of

any

kind.
One

medium

that


is


a

good


choice


is


washed


river


gravel


has

nice


with


its

well


rounded

edges


that


are


easy
on
both


hands


and

plant


stems.



Get


it

at


a

size


of


about


1/3


inch


to


3/4


inch


in


diameter.


Gravel


that


is


too
small

in


diameter


can

clog


very


easily

and

will


retard

or


halt


water


movement


all


together.
Water

pH


Testing

A

Must
Conductivity,

pH


and

temperature


are


the


3

main

parameters

that


need


to


be

tested


in


aquaponic

systems.
pH

-


fish

and

plants

live


at


different


optimal


pH


levels.