Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

In the interest of keeping my FT water temp. suitable for Tilapia, I minimize water transfer from the FT to the rest of the system to avoid chilling the returning water.

I have my pumps on timers, sending water from the FT to the grow beds on a 15 on/45 off schedule, 24 hours/day.

During the mid-winter cold I reduce the pumping hours to the warmer parts of the day.

The less pumping I do the more fish waste accumulates in the FT.

In the interest of optimizing the system, I am curious as to what temperature the fish activity is minimized and a what temperature the plant watering requirements are minimized, keeping in mind that media temperature must be high enough.

I have succeeded in keeping the FT Water low temperature between 55-61  Deg. F during December 2013, but would like to keep it a few degrees warmer.

I am using supplemental heat mostly during the night 9:00pm to 9:00am and also during the day if needed on Saturdays and Sundays.

I am thinking that if there is a  temperature, below which the plant roots would not require flooding, I could leave the feed pump off more and minimize heating.

   

Views: 169

Replies to This Discussion

Hello Rob,

I don't think the plants care too much on the frequency of the water flow.  Even once a day should keep most plants happy.  Most dirt gardens don't get watered that often.

Probably the bigger concern would be the nitrification bacteria. Not having water / food flowing past them could result in a die off in bacteria therefore reducing your filtering capacity.   In winter this isn't as big a problem as you might think, given that the fish aren't eating and producing much waste, but it's something to keep in mind.

Last winter I did a similar thing to you and didn't run the water pump at all during the night.   I did water quality checks in the morning and there were measurable increases in ammonia (0.25-0.5), which was back to 0 in the evening after being pumped through the system all day.  I didn't lose many (if any - I forget now) fish last winter, doing this process, but I felt like I was on a tightrope the whole time.

This winter I'm sticking with pumping 24/7 to see how the fish do.  The water temperature dropped to 52F during the cold spell in December but is in the 54-58 range now the weather is warmer.   I have a solar water heater which helps during the day, adding about 4F on a clear day.   I've lost two fish, but I don't consider that to be too bad.

Food for thought.

Thanks

John Malone said:

Hello Rob,

I don't think the plants care too much on the frequency of the water flow.  Even once a day should keep most plants happy.  Most dirt gardens don't get watered that often.

Probably the bigger concern would be the nitrification bacteria. Not having water / food flowing past them could result in a die off in bacteria therefore reducing your filtering capacity.   In winter this isn't as big a problem as you might think, given that the fish aren't eating and producing much waste, but it's something to keep in mind.

Last winter I did a similar thing to you and didn't run the water pump at all during the night.   I did water quality checks in the morning and there were measurable increases in ammonia (0.25-0.5), which was back to 0 in the evening after being pumped through the system all day.  I didn't lose many (if any - I forget now) fish last winter, doing this process, but I felt like I was on a tightrope the whole time.

This winter I'm sticking with pumping 24/7 to see how the fish do.  The water temperature dropped to 52F during the cold spell in December but is in the 54-58 range now the weather is warmer.   I have a solar water heater which helps during the day, adding about 4F on a clear day.   I've lost two fish, but I don't consider that to be too bad.

I may be flirting with disaster but in the 9ish months I've been at this I haven't lost any fish. Started with 5 and now have 305ish. My ammonia levels are never below 1 and usually about 1.5 to 2....sometimes higher.  I've had moments where I panicked when it got so high. I believe all that I'm reading but I'm just sayin'. 

RSS

© 2019   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service