How expensive is it to run a system?
The aquaponic systems that we sell are all extremely cheap to run. The pump provided with the system runs at 20 watts which is around one third of an incandescent light bulb.
What vegetables can I grow and how do I grow them?
Almost any type of vegetable that can be grown in a traditional garden can be grown in an aquaponic system with the exception of cactus. To grow them, just plant your seeds or cuttings like you normally would. The constant moisture of the grow bed will make sure your plants grow well.
What fish can I raise?
There are several different species that grow well in the Melbourne area. I recommend trout, silver perch and catfish because they are extremely easy to raise.
When can I introduce the fish?
When a system is filled with water for the first time it needs to be colonised by different kinds of bacteria in order for the nitrogen cycle to happen. Bacteria are present everywhere and so naturally they are present on the growing media. To grow the bacteria, it needs ammonia. There are plenty of different methods of kickstarting the bacteria growth. I recommend allowing fish food to break down at the bottom of the fish tank or even better placing a handful of compost into the grow bed. The cycling period generally takes around a month depending on the technique used, the water pH level and the temperature of the water. Only after this is done can you put your fish inside. We know this sounds confusing so we are happy to give you advice when you need it.Download our “Start your system guide”
I’ve never had fish before, will I be able to manage them?
Yes, managing a system is extremely easy. Anyone wanting to grow their own vegetables and fish should have no problems doing so. You can book for our next Aquaponics training course here. I am also available to give you my own personal advice on your systems.
How often should I feed my fish?
Feeding your fish between once a day and three times a day is a good guideline. If you have to go on holiday for a few weeks your fish will be fine. In nature, fish can fast for several weeks and remain perfectly healthy. Just be sure to give them a nice feeding when you get home. Please watch our movie how to correctly feed your fish and if you use our fish food pellet to feed trouts please download our feeding table by clicking the following link: “Feed table for trouts“
How many fish can I grow at the same time?
This question is tricky and different people will give you different responses. It is important to understand that the limiting factor is the quantity and efficiency of the bacteria that turns the ammonia into nitrate. In general, the bigger the grow bed the more fish you will be able to raise in your system. All of our systems are provided with a maximum limit of fish biomass and we highly recommend that you do not exceed this limit.
Do aquaponic systems smell?
An aquaponic system does not smell at all.
Do aquaponic systems grow year round?
Yes, you can grow vegetables and fish year round, even in winter. Some fish such as trout are perfect for winter conditions around Melbourne.
Do I need to test water?
It is always better to test the water on a regular basis to check that everything is running smoothly. This can be done with a basic and very cheap API freshwater test kit that is available at all aquarium suppliers.