Fish need space to move for good health, and overcrowding promotes disease. As long as you’re sticking to fish with an adult size of two or three inches at most, a handy rule of thumb is “one inch of fish per gallon of aquarium” - that is to say, a 40 litre tank, you could safely have five two-inch fish, or three three-inch fish.
What do I do if my fish are sick ?
Treating sick fish in an aquaponic system can be tricky, because many of the medications and treatments used in aquariums may not be safe for your plants, especially if they’re plants you intend to eat. Prevention is the most important tool you have: always quarantine new fish in a separate tank for several days before you add them to your system, and do your best to keep your water clean and healthy, with low nitrates and a stable temperature and pH.
If you do see sick fish, your best bet is quarantine, again; if you can pull out the sick individuals and put them in a separate tank, you can medicate them there, and you may be able to stop the disease from spreading to other fish.
Finally, if your fish are suffering from ichthyosporosis - one of the most common aquarium fish diseases, and distinctive due to the appearance of small white nodules like grains of salt on the fish’s fins and scales - you may be able to stop the disease by increasing the temperature of the water. “Ick,” as it’s known, can’t reproduce at temperatures over 30.5 °C, so turn up the heat!
algae starts growing in my tank? What to do!
Even if you’re careful about the amount of direct light your tank receives, you might find algae growing in your aquarium from time to time. This is harmless in itself, but nobody likes being unable to see their fish!
Algae can be a useful indicator, however; lots of algae growth can indicate that your system is holding a lot of extra nitrate, which can be unhealthy for your fish over time. The first thing to do if you’re having algae trouble, other than using a clean glass scrubber or cloth to scrub it away, is to test nitrate, and to perform partial water changes as necessary until your nitrates are below 10 ppm. You may also need to reduce the amount you’re feeding your fish.
A stable system will also be more resistant to algae growth; bigger, better-established plants will be better at taking up more nitrate, more quickly!
Does the Aquasprouts need maintenance?
If the Aquasprouts system finds balance within its natural eco-system, it will essentially clean itself. We recommend a full tank clean once or twice a year. This shouldn’t take any longer than 30 mins. If the Aquasprouts system is functioning correctly you will notice that the water level will decrease by about an inch per week. This happens due a number of factors include the fact that your plants will be consuming some of the water.
Tropical VS Fresh Water pack?
There is very little difference between these packs, except the tropical pack comes with a heater and different fish food. It really comes down to whether you prefer fresh water fish or tropical fish in your tank.
How long does it take to install ?
The Aquasprouts system is pretty quick to setup and get going. It shouldn't take any longer than 45mins for a first timer. All the instructions are supported by a manual that you can find here . Check out our quick setup clip below.
WHAT KIND OF PLANTS CAN I GROW and how many?
There are a few factors to take into consideration when choosing plants for your garden.
Size: Keep in mind the full size of plants you want to grow. While you can prune plants to keep them from growing too large, it’s much easier to select varieties that are suited to the space you have available, and you’ll get better production from naturally small-statured plants than from big ones that you artificially constrain.
Nutrient and Environmental Needs: Most plants adapt well to aquaponic growing, but some whose natural environment is very different than that of typical crops won’t adjust. A few to avoid - or at least wait to attempt until you’re more experienced - include cacti and succulents, as well as anything woody like trees or shrubs. Root vegetables, while they can be grown in aquaponics, won’t have enough depth to grow into in the AquaSprouts Garden.
Light Requirements: In general, plants will be more productive with more light, but you should try to select plants that will grow well under the lighting conditions you have. If you add a strong grow-light to your Garden, you can attempt almost anything, but if you’re relying on ambient light or partial sunlight from a window, it’s a good idea to pick more shade-tolerant varieties, generally greens or ornamentals, and steer clear of anything that needs a lot of energy - which includes most fruiting plants.
Some plants that we’ve found do very well in the AquaSprouts Garden include: Herbs like basil, oregano, mint, and dwarf varieties of rosemary; Salad Greens such as lettuce, arugula, mesclun, and radicchio; Microgreens like baby spinach, kale, and chard (all of these varieties can grow much larger, but harvesting them while they’re small and tender makes them great for eating fresh). You can grow Fruiting Plants in your garden as well, but be aware that it’s a little trickier! Many fruiting plants need special conditions to bear fruit and may require hand-pollination, or much higher levels of nutrients to be productive. Small fruiting plants like strawberries, many hot peppers, and container-or patio-type tomatoes can do very well in your Garden, as long as you’re up to the challenge! Many Flowers and Ornamentals will also take well to your garden. And of course, this list is just the beginning - there are many more varieties of plants that will thrive in an AquaSprouts Garden. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
How many plants you can add depends on the expected size of each plant, and their nutrient needs. Try not to crowd plants in - remember, they’re competing for light and nutrients, so if you add too many, they’ll all do worse. Consider the adult stature of plants when determining where to place them in your Garden. Of course, if you do overplant, you can always thin out your crop - and in some cases, like cilantro or microgreens, this thinning process can even be part of the harvest!
WHen should i plant seeds?
Many folks new to aquaponics wonder when to add plants to a new Garden. There’s a “break-in” period in new aquaponic systems called cycling (see below for more details on Aquaponic cycling) and we’ve often been asked how you know when it’s time to plant. The simple answer is that you can plant at any time! You’ll get faster, more consistent growth after your tank is cycled, a process which typically takes between 2-6 weeks, but it’s safe to sow seeds or add plants whenever you like.
what is Aquaponic Cycling and when do I do it?
Aquaponic cycling can be quite comprehensive and quite technical. Watch the clip below for a download.