Hello all, I'm new, I'm from Italy and I've just completed my first aquaponic system, which still has to be started and cycled.
Before starting, I'd like to dissipate a few doubts about AP safety. They all basically belong to microbial contamination issues.
1) cyanotoxins: it is well known that some kind of microorganisms (sometimes referred to as micro algae), belonging to the cyanobacter genre, are able to produce toxins which can be very harmful, if not deadly, to humans. Since it is very frequent to see algal bloom in newly started AP systems, and they're always there to some extent, how can we be sure they're not the kind of cyanobacter?
Very heavily cyanotoxin contaminated waters can even make their way into plants' tissue, thus representing a danger. I've also read that in this cases, which only occur when algal bloom is very heavy, causing foam or thick layers on the water surface, the toxin becomes citotoxic, and alters the plant appearance, making it obvious the plant is not good for consumption.
But... can we rely upon this considerations? Do you agree with the above statements?
2) zoonosis: what if my fish have any kind of pathogens that can be transmitted to humans? Are my vegetables safe for consumption or maybe the plants are able to suck up bacteria and viruses together with system water?
Would it be just enough to avoid direct contact with system water, or root zone, and rinse the vegetables after harvesting to be sure no illnesses can be transmitted to humans?
Sorry for throwing all these worries, maybe be it's just fear of the unknown, but I think it's worh it to make this matters clear for every newbie approaching aquaponics.
I'll soon be posting pictures of my setup.