Getting these in harmony is key. The ideal neutral level is a pH range between 6.8 to 7.2 for an aquaponics system.
What alarms me more so is when starting a new system, some people don’t consider a correct grow media for their beds. They think they will go an inexpensive route and use gravel. They never consider if that media will be pH friendly. Then once it’s in, it’s not only disheartening to find out it’s the wrong type, but now they have to go through the time and expense of replacing it. On our next blog post, we will go through the right media to use and how to test it; stay tune.
Depending on the size of your system, you can easily maintain pH or if to small, it can swing wildly. I always like building bigger systems to help control the water quality more so. You don’t have the large fluctuations like smaller systems do.
Fish waste can make the pH be more so acidic and you might need to consider using an aquaponic compatible pH adjuster. If the pH is too high or low, the performance of the system will be effected. Either way, you will see the fish or plants not growing properly or dying. Also, it can severely cause issues with the bacterial growth and that’s a whole other problem.
It’s very important to monitor the pH level each day and to keep it within the neutral range. As mentioned before, pH adjusters can help, but you need to ensure that they are friendly to your entire system. You would not want to harm your fish. Not only does the grow media and fish fecal matter affect pH, the condition of your water does as well. In some areas of the world, the hardness of the water is more so than others. Here in Honduras, I have always been fortunate to have water that is not hard and it hasn’t been an issue for me. If you are dealing with hard water, then consider a different possible source or you will for sure need to use pH adjusters mentioned before.
Remember, anytime you make adjustments to your pH, make sure you make slow changes. Fish dislike sudden changes in the pH and water temperatures. The last thing you want to do is shock your fish; stress can lead to death.
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