Dealing With Pests And Deficiencies


There are a few different methods of dealing with any pests and/or diseases in your system, of course most of these require no petrochemical based sprays as these are generally very toxic to fish and also possibly the beneficial bacteria within the system. Caterpillars are easilyEasy DIY Aquaponics controlled by applications of Bacillus thuringiensis, this is a natural soil borne bacteria which is available around the world under a number of different brand names. Often organically certified the spray is safe for aquaponic systems.

For sap sucking insects you can use chilli and garlic sprays, these are often available commercially now a days, however they should always be used in moderation, as excess and over spray is never good.

For moulds and fungus on plants you can use potassium bicarbonate sprayed onto the effected plants. Potassium bicarbonate is available under a number of different brand names around the world. It also can help a system by adding potassium, something often lacking in a system and the bicarbonate helps to keep the pH up, as most of the time pH goes down in mature systems.

If slugs are a problem, a small saucer filled with beer will attract them and they easily drown, making disposal simple and effective. Colored sticky traps work well for thrips, aphids and whiteflies and are a good way to monitor visitors to your aquaponic system.

Dealing With Deficiencies

We have found that generally supplementing for plant deficiencies is not necessary when using good quality aquaculture feed, the systems here at our display center rarely receive any supplements, perhaps once or twice a year we might dose our systems with seaweed extract if we see some deficiencies. Deficiencies can be difficult to diagnose, thankfully there are a number of sites online which can help you diagnose particular deficiencies with images. One of the simplest ways to deal with any deficiencies is by the addition of seaweed extract. Seaweed extract is available under a number of different brand names around the world, it can also come in a powdered form or as a liquid, sometimes extracted by boiling, but often considered better if you can get liquid extracted by crushing rather than boiling as you have the advantage of getting added elements like humic acid.

Seaweed has very high levels of most micronutrients and minerals. Some other things you may want to add if the relevant deficiencies are showing in your plant growth. Chelated Iron, readily available in powdered and liquid form. Potassium bicarbonate for potassium deficiencies, so long as your pH is not high already. Be sure your pH is not high before you try and add elements to fix a micronutrient problem.

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  easy diy aquaponics 2 Probiotics Increases Bowel Health


Methods Of Cycling An Aquaponic System

Methods of Cycling an Aquaponic System


Yes, it is as it sounds, some people get their system started and cycled by adding urine to the system. Urine contains urea and urea breaks down to ammonia, once you have ammonia this can be a useful source of food for beneficial bacteria populations. It’s a good idea to age your urine for a few days to a week in an open well ventilated area before adding it to the system, but not totally necessary, you can just add straight from the source if you wish. If you are taking any type of medication it’s not recommended that you try this method.

Urea Fertilizers

Another method to add an ammonia source to help establish the beneficial bacteria is to use Urea fertilizer, generally available from agricultural suppliers, hardware stores and nurseries. This is a fairly straightforward method of cycling a system, however you must be careful of your dosing, regular water testing is recommended.


Household ammonia can be sourced from many different places. As with urea, care is required to ensure you don’t overdose the system. Also when sourcing your ammonia make sure that you only use food grade ammonia, there are plenty of cleaning and industrial ammonia sources but they often have perfumes and other additives.

The Dead Prawn or FishEasy DIY Aquaponics

Yep a method of cycling practiced a fair bit within some aquarium circles over the years. By placing some rotting fish or crustacean in the system you are inducing a source of ammonia for the bacteria to feed on.

Fish Feed

You can start cycling a system by introducing the fish feed you will be using to feed the fish into the system, as the feed starts to break down on the bottom of the fish tank and in the growbeds it will release ammonia for the bacteria to feed on.

Feeder Fish and/or Fingerling

Possibly the simplest method of starting a system and the method we recommend so long as you follow a few simple golden rules. Your system can be cycled by adding feeder fish, usually cheap bronze comets or goldfish to start the system before adding your final fish species. You can also stock the system with fingerling of whatever type of fish you plan on growing in the system and this is the way we start our systems and the method we recommend people start theirs. But feeding the fish must be kept to a strict minimum for the first 2 months. No more than one tablespoon of feed, per day, per 500L of media. If you get an algal bloom, stop feeding until the algae clears. After 2 months you can start increasing feed levels slowly because your bacteria would have been established. You can easily monitor this with a basic freshwater master test kit.


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Backup Your Aquaponic Home Garden With AC/DC Aerators


Having a backup system for your Aquaponic home garden is very handy, bordering on essential. If and when the power goes out, you want to be sure that your fish are not going to die. A well stocked system filled with fish will not last long as they consume the available dissolved oxygen within the water, so you need a way to get oxygen into the water that doesn’t rely on mains power. There are a few ways you can go about this, you can keep battery operated aerators or a generator handy for when the power goes out so that you can implement your contingency plan when things go wrong. But,Backup Your Aquaponic Home Garden generally as Murphy’s law would have it, if the power is going to go out, it will be when you are not home, so you will be unable to react to the power failure.

This means you will need to have your backup system already thought out before hand, and it will need to be automatic. There are a couple of simple ways you can do this. We like to use AC/DC aerators, these are air pumps with internal rechargeable batteries in them. Normally they run while plugged into the power, pumping air through air lines and air stones in the fish tank. When the power goes out they switch automatically over to their internal batteries and continue to pump air into the water keeping the fish alive for the life of the battery within the unit, often up to 10 hours. When the power comes back on, the internal battery is recharged.

Another method used by some is to make their own back up using either water pumps or air pumps, using batteries, something like a car battery, an inverter, a trickle battery charger and a power fail switch. Essentially this does the same thing as the AC/DC air pump above, but it’s larger and in an individual components form. This type of system can be chopped and changed, you can leave out the inverter and use 12/24V DC components if they are readily available.


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Probiotics Increases Bowel and Colon Health


Within healthy intestines and stomachs living organisms thrive. These organisms help maintain the body by breaking down foods that hydrochloric acid can not dissolve, and helping move them through the stomach, intestines and colon, and out of the body. Normally, these microorganisms are introduced through living foods, like fresh vegetables, and through raw foods that are not processed, heated, homogenized or pasteurized. Recent developments in both medicine, and the way we eat have caused these friendly organisms in our body to die off, leaving us with a number of health problems.

Along with the fact that the majority of our diets consist of cooked, processed, or otherwise chemically altered foods, the introduction and prevalence of antibiotics have been Easy DIY Aquaponicsresponsible for the lack of helpful bacteria found in adults around the world. Antibiotics are bacteria killers, and they don’t discriminate between the good and bad bacteria in our bodies. When we take antibiotics for an illness, we are jeopardizing the healthy balance that our body works so hard to maintain.

Perhaps that is why medical scientists have been able to study the positive effects probiotics have had on adults in many parts of the world. Most of these studies were done in relation to a specific disease that is caused by a lack friendly bacteria in the colon: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is characterized by flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, and pain or irritation in the bowels.

IBS is a serious disease effecting millions, and, before now, people were being given pharmaceuticals as a treatment. Pharmaceuticals relieved symptoms, but didn’t stop the disease, and they had a number of side effects. Some of the effects of these prescription medications for IBS were so adverse, that it led scientists to study other options. These studies \* included a study of probiotics as effective relief for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

In the double blind studies, patients with IBS were given either a probiotic or a placebo. While placebo patients reported varied or no change in their IBS symptoms, those taking a probiotic reported benefits such as less flatulence, more frequent, regular bowel movements (no constipation or diarrhea), and relief of abdominal pain. These findings led medical scientists to conclude that probiotics can increase colon health.

Since probiotics are our body’s defense against negative build-up within the digestive tract, and because negative build-up causes many problems common today, we believe probiotics are a good idea. If you find that you are constipated, unusually gassy, or prone to diarrhea and other problems, we urge you to try probiotics in conjunction with a healthier, more natural diet.

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