Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi all ,
I have a question about water clarity. I'm running a 175 gal tote with 45 fingerling size tilapia in it. I have a 12" flood and drain hydroton grow media bed above it which drains into 20 lf of home made PVC nft pipe system.
Everything is running fine ,plants fish are healthy, water readings are spot on with minor adjustments to ph now and again.
I added a half cup of maxi to the system which I know from previous turns the water cloudy also.
When ever you watch any of the videos on line the water in the tanks are crystal clear.
Should I add a biofilter to the system with a partial filter something like they use for ponds?, or will adding more grow beds solve this. I can't even see the bottom of the tank to try and siphon out any solids!
The system is just not that exciting for the Kids the way it is most of the time. They can't see the fish and I want to keep them interested VIP.

Thanks for any replies,

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You could always add another media bed.  Do you have media filter volume at least equal to the volume of your fish tank?

how long ago did you add the maxicrop? what color is the water?

FYI more growbed is the same as a biofilter but you can plant things in it :) It might not be what clears your water up though.

Thanks for the reply guys,
George , I don't have the volumes equal yet because ( I haven't worked it out yet ) I don't think my fish volume to water volume is maxed out yet if that matters?
It is something I have to do though.
Chris , i added the maxi about 10 days ago but even before that not that clear. Got some algae partials in it also. That's what made me think about a pond filter with may be a uv light to take care of the algae.
When I lift out my net pots in the nft pipe the water runs crystal clear which would tell me my media bed is working.
Could a stronger pump maybe lift more solids to he grow bed be advisable ?

Hi Gerry,

I'm still new to aquaponics, but whenever I see someone ask about a uv light on these forum discussions, I always get a little scared feeling for all the healthy bacteria in the AP system: you do know the UV lights work because they kill bacteria (as in all bacteria - not just bad bacteria)?


If you can tell the media bed is working to clean the water, I would make it a priority to create more grow bed space to create more filtration. Also algae grows best with sunlight, so you might try reducing sunlight contact with the water - cover the fish tank or something. Finally, you asked about the pump - I have no idea about this, but before anyone else answers, I expect you will need to calculate how often all your water cycles through the system - 1x per hour perhaps?

what color is it? Cloudy water isnt necessarily a bad thing unless you are running the risk of an overnight algae bloom which will steal all the oxygen and kill the fish.

Try and limit your direct sunlight on the water and stop adding maxicrop for now. Make sure your ammonia, nitrates, and pH are in good order and your fish seem happy and hungry at feeding time and you are likely ok. Too bad the kids cant see the fish but give it some time and it may clear up on its own.

Is your fish tank exposed to light?

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