Creating the optimum conditions in your fish tank can be tricky. This is why we have written this article to give you a step-by-step guide to establish the lowest maintenance fish tank.
When you design an aquaponics system there are two main areas for you to focus on. One aspect is growing the plants, and the other is raising fish.
If you really want to have an aquaponics system but are worried about time commitment you can follow these useful tips to make your job easier.
How To Easily Maintain A Fish Tank
One of the most important things for your fish tank is keeping it clean and free of excess debris. According to ACS Distance Education in Australia, water quality management is the most important aspect to control when it comes to keeping a healthy balanced tank ecosystem.
There are many approaches to do this properly.
First off, don’t contribute to the problem of a dirty tank. This means avoid overcrowding your fish tank with too many fish or too many plants. The exact amount of fish and plants that your tank can safely handle depends on the size of your tank and the variety of fish.
Another source of particle buildup comes from the fish food. Do not overfeed your fish. After some time of experimentation, you can find the real amount that your fish will consume.
Anything extra will break down and add nitrites to your water which could kill the fish if it got out of control. Basically, starting with a good system will make for an easy-to-maintain fish tank.
But, you won’t get off that easily. You still need to have some kind of filtration system to keep your water sparkling clean.
For the lowest amount of work, choose a filter that can handle a bigger tank size than yours. In doing this, you will have to change or clean your filter a lot less frequently.
Normally, a filter should be able to pass all your tank water 4 times per hour. In this case, you can get a filter size that can cycle 7 times per hour.
Tank Size and Location
There are a few decisions that you can make before you start that will allow for a maintenance-free fish tank.
First, it is highly recommended to work with a large fish tank size. A bigger tank size means more water volume. The higher water volume makes it easier to maintain because it stays stable longer than in comparison to a small tank.
Read more about: How To Clear Fish Tank Water Fast For Aquaponics
Water Temperatures and PH are more consistent with more amounts of water. If done right, you could get away with only doing 10-20% water exchanges every 2 weeks in a large tank. This is simply because in a larger ecosystem there is more space for things to work and balance naturally.
It is very important not to forget to change some of your water out weekly. Water exchanges inject your tank ecosystem with fresh and clean water, rebalancing anything that may have gotten out of control.
When you do your water exchanges, you can also use a fish tank vacuum cleaner to suck up any debris that is trapped in your gravel. You can use the old water to fertilize your plants! It will be high in nitrogen and the perfect supplement for your garden.
Besides having a large tank, pay attention to where you put your tank. If it’s in a place with a lot of sunlight, algae growth will be accelerated. If you really want an easy-to-maintain fish tank, keep it in a darker spot.
Of course, algae growth is natural and will occur no matter what. In this case, it is super useful to put algae eaters in your tank to help you do the job of cleaning. Some varieties that are good for this are the Plecos, Siamese Algae Eater, and some catfish.
The exact one that you choose will depend on the types of algae you need to be eaten. To be sure, talk with the fish suppliers to determine which one will be best for your system. Keep in mind the size of these algae eaters and their compatibility with the other fish in your tank.
Commitment To Maintenance-Free Fish Tanks
If you really don’t have time to manage your fish tank but you want aquaponics, then you should avoid putting plants in your system. Unfortunately, plants provide a lot of other benefits for your fish. This is the sacrifice you will have to make to have an easy-to-clean fish tank.
Plants break down inside your tank and can cause nitrification of your tank (too much nitrite) if you don’t clean it enough. Also, all that excess plant matter starts to float around your tank, making it dirtier.
Without plants, this is all avoided. Of course, it’s not the most fun and vibrant ecosystem for your tank. Plants provide a great source of oxygen and CO2 absorption for the fish. If you choose to bypass plants, then you will need to make sure you have a good air pump!
Lastly, avoid having certain fish in your ecosystem. Some fish grow very fast and excrete large amounts. The more fish waste in your system means more cleaning up needed. One variety to avoid is the Goldfish.
Think carefully about the reasons why you want to raise fish if you don’t have time to take care of them. Of course, everyone likes an easy-to-clean fish tank. But, if you want the lowest maintenance fish tank this means that you are limited in creating a similar environment that fish would naturally grow up in.
I think with any living system, it requires attention, love, and care. With aquaponics, it’s no different. Perhaps you are reading this because you want tips to make your journey easier.
But, if it’s because you don’t want to dedicate time and effort to your system- reconsider why you are doing this.
Feel free to comment and ask questions below!