If you are passionate about your aquaponic ‘farming’, chances are that you’d want to experiment with the combination of plants and fishes you grow in your aquaponics setup! But many aquaponic enthusiasts find, often to their dismay, that the plants are not growing as per their expectations and cannot quite figure out what has gone wrong. Are you facing the same problem? If so, check out the possible common mistakes you could be doing unwittingly!
Check and see if you are doing any of the ones listed below…
Common Mistakes while setting up an Aquaponics System
Not every fish is suitable for aquaponics system. Tilapia, blue gill/brim, silver perch and sunfish are the common ones.
Moreover, before choosing the fish breed, check out whether it is compatible with the plants you wish to grow. Both the fishes and the plants have their own requirements, so compatibility is a crucial factor! Caution: if you are located in Australia then you cannot use Tilapia for aquaponics
Extreme temperatures can affect the growth rate of plants and might destroy the fish as well. Keep in mind that fish require normal to warm water for survival.
The overall climate of the area you are located in also affects the growth of your plants. If you live in a place where the weather remains humid throughout the year, then you might want to consult an aquaponics specialist and look up what kind of plants thrive best under those climatic conditions.
The tank, grow bed, grow media and lighting all come under the setup category. It might be true that the light you are using is not adequate for proper growth of your plants.
You might as well check with an aquaponics expert regarding the type of ‘soil bed’ you are using as this may also hamper the growth of your plants.
Keeping water levels in the tank too low especially initially is a common mistake committed in any aquaponics system. Low levels of water are unable to reach the roots of the plants and they are unable to get the required nutrients for proper growth.
If you experience slow plant growth then there is also a chance that your plants are attacked by bugs or caterpillars that are disturbing their growth. Many sprays like Dipel are available that help you in getting rid of this problem.
You should remember that there are some plants that do not grow or thrive in aquaponics and there is a chance that you may have ended up choosing one of these for your aquaponics system.
Best Plants for Aquaponics
There are around 300 different varieties of plants that you can grow using aquaponics which cannot be listed here due to the obvious reasons.
Some of these however can be noted down. Best plants for aquaponics include
- Green leafy vegetables – tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, strawberries
Plants that Do Not Grow with Aquaponics
Some plants that are known for not growing well in aquaponics include:
- Chrysanthemums, calendula and zinnias
Bear in mind, root vegetables, plants requiring a pH greater or lesser than 7.0 are not quite fit to be grown in an aquaponic system.
So by avoiding the above mentioned mistakes, you can help your plants grow at a faster rate. By making the right changes and using the right setting, fish and plants you will surely see a marked change in the healthy growth of your Aquaponics plants!