Very basic aquaponic systems typically comprise of fish tanks, filter tanks and the sump tanks, water and air pumps.
In larger more complicated system you will find other components.
Our fish tanks are plumbed to the other components in the system. Often, multiple fish tanks are used so that you can have various sizes of fish in the different tanks. As well often fry are started in a separate quarantine system.
To ensure no infections or persists enter the fish population. In this case fish are stocked in a tank and then raised to harvest size in that same tank. Once fish have grown to harvest size they will be removed and replaced with fish from the quarantine tank. Once the fish are harvested from that tank, it is restocked with fingerlings from the quarantine tank. This provides regular harvests of fish and a steady nutrient supply to the plants.
Your system should be sized to function properly at an even bio-mass, which will be the average weight of all of the fish in all of the tanks. If you would like more information on our Aquaponics designed fish tanks we would be happy to assist.
Removing the solids in any system allows a grower to stock the fish tanks more densely, resulting in higher production of both fish and vegetables. The solids that have been removed can be processed by bio digestion and used within the system or composted or dried and utilized to fertilize soil in traditional farming. However used it is full of nutrients and should be used not thrown out.
Solids capture is one of the most important processes in an aquaponic system. If solids are not effectively removed, you will have problems with waste build-up which will cause toxicities in the water, the plumbing will become clogged with waste and the plant roots will become coated with fine solids, which reduces the plant’s ability to uptake the nutrients.
We are proud to be the distributor of AST Filters. If you need more information on these filters please let know
These same factors are an issue in media-filled bed aquaponics. The build-up of organic material, coating of plant roots and fouling of the media result in reduced plant growth. In media filled bed aquaponics, after the system has been operational for a period of time, eventually the media and plants have to be removed and cleaned, causing a disruption in the plant and microbial growth.
The filtration components in aquaponics prevent these problems and a complete system clean-out is not required in aquaponics. In fact, it is discouraged because it reduces the population of beneficial bacteria and disrupts the planting cycle.
A bio-filter is simply a place for the beneficial bacteria to colonize. These bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. In raft aquaponic systems, a separate bio-filter is not usually used because the rafts, tank walls and all other surfaces in the system provide sufficient area for the bacteria.
In any aquaponic system, it is sometimes necessary to adjust the pH of the water. This needs to be done slowly so the fish or plants are not shocked by a rapid change in pH. In lager systems, there is usually a separate tank where the base or acid is added in small amounts, slowly diluted and then enters the system water stream.
In smaller systems, one of the other tanks, such as the degassing tanks or the raft tanks, can be used for pH adjustment as long as accommodations are made for the slow addition of pH changing additives.
A water pump is used to continually move the water throughout the system. In many systems, there is also a sump tank. This is the lowest point in the system. The water gravity-flows into the sump from the raft tanks.
The water pump, located in or adjacent to the sump, pumps the water into the fish tanks and throughout the rest of the system. The size of the pump you use will be directly related to the size of your system.
Adequate aeration is required in an aquaponic system for the fish, the plants and the beneficial bacteria. Aeration is also critical to the biological filtration and off-gassing processes.