Aquaponics System Maintenance

Date Posted:2 June 2021 

How to Keep an Aquaponics System in Top Shape!

Aquaponics System Maintenance is important, and there's alot to remember. At Aqua Gardening we have tried to make it as easy as possible with these tips below - and also presented in our General System Maintenance Video in our video library for eligible customers. Read on to see the steps we follow to get consistent Aquaponics harvests all year around.

 
When maintenance get's out of control - tomatoes!
overgrown tomatoes in family aquaponics system maintenance required

 

Aquaponics Maintenance To-Do List - For the First 3 Months

  • Daily: Feed fish for 2 minutes eating time, twice a day, remove uneaten food, check their behaviour is regular - are they eating? All good. If not, check our Learn section.

  • Daily: Remove dead leaves from the fish tank surface and from the grow beds

  • Once a week: Test water if you are provided testing kit(s). pH, nitrites, ammonia and nitrates are most important.

  • Once a week: Clean the sponge prefilter on the submersible pump, once a week.

  • Once a week: Check flood and drain system is working (timer or bell siphon)

  • Once a week: Check for pests on the plants and consider preventative organic pesticides

  • Once a week: Check leaves on the plants are healthy and the plants are growing well, and consider additives if the plants are not healthy etc.

 

​Check out our Aquaponics "To Do List" - a maintenance table we provide to Aqua Gardening customers - click the picture to download a PDF copy that you can print out.

 

Aqua Gardening Aquaponics System Maintenance Table

 

 

Aquaponics System Monthly Maintenance, after the first 3 months

This is a long list - that's for sure. But these maintenance tasks are all important to have a healthy and successful Aquaponics system.

  • Daily: Feed fish for 2 minutes eating time, twice a day, remove uneaten food, check their behaviour is regular - are they eating? All good. If not, check our Learn section.
  • Daily: Remove dead leaves from the fish tank surface and from the grow beds
  • Once a week: Check for pests on the plants and consider preventative organic pesticides
  • Once a week: Check leaves on the plants are healthy and the plants are growing well, and consider additives if the plants are not healthy etc.
  • Monthly: Remove plants which are growing too large, or trim them back, their roots will become a problem for the drainage system
  • Monthly: Test water if you are provided testing kit(s), check pH is in the range of 6 to 7, if not consider adjusting pH, see our guide to pH. Nitrites, ammonia and nitrates are most important, and GH/KH, Iron and Calcium are next for fish and plant health.
  • Monthly: Make sure the flood and drain cycle is working and emptying the water from the grow bed as much as possible. Water that sits in the bottom of the grow bed is not healthy for the system - it needs to be cycled through the whole system and “cleaned”.
  • Monthly: Check for roots growing into the bell siphon - these can interrupt or block the siphon and cause the system to continuously be flooded or empty.
  • Monthly: Propagate more seeds or consider where your next seedlings are coming from!
  • Every 3 months: Clean sludge out of the floor of the Fish Tank if there is build up (use a flexible pipe or hose, or an aquarium fish tank cleaner). Too much sludge can create an unhealthy system and increase ammonia levels.
  • Every 3 months: Check air stones are bubbling strongly (if supplied with the kit), and the air bubbles are not noticeably large - there should be many small bubbles and not fewer large bubbles. If there are fewer big bubbles, time to replace the air stone.
  • Annually: consider a grow bed reset - remove plants and growing media, rinse with system water, and replace. We recommend only part of the system at a time as the Growing Media is the biofilter so keeping part of the biofilter working is important.

We hope this provides you years of success - or let us know other things you do to keep your system cycling to success!