Its obvious, when considering your new Aquaponics system, that you would think about the fish, the plants, the tanks and even the pump. But there are 6 Aquaponics supplies that many people forget.
1. Net Pots-
Net pots are important in all types of systems. It is one of the Aquaponics supplies that you don’t even know you need if you haven’t built a system before. If you have a fish tank, a net pot is important to cover the PVC pipe that goes out of your tank into your grow bed. It stops the fish from getting sucked out of the tank and into the grow bed. You also use one to stop the rock in your bed from falling out the drain pipes. If you opt for a floating raft system, the Net Pots are valuable for keeping the plants neatly in the float bed.
These babies are what makes your tank water tight when putting in your PVC pipe plumbing. They are very easy to use and only cost a few dollars and their pay out in keeping leaks at bay make them worth their weight in gold!
3. Aquarium Glue-
Another one of your required aquaponics supplies would be aquarium glue. It is necessary in several parts of your system- sealing around the PVC pipes and the uni-seals especially. The biggest thing that people don’t realize here is that a lot of “waterproof” caulking at the local hardware store has an anti-fungal added to it in order to stop the growth of mold and mildew in bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture is the best place for it to thrive. If you choose to use a bathroom caulk in your system, you risk introducing those anti-fungal properties to your system and killing off the beneficial bacteria that have to grow for your fish to live. So do yourself a favor and buy a real aquarium glue that will do the job the right way the first time!
3. Fish Food-
Many people are trying to grow their own fish food but for the purposes of a beginner, you need to buy it. I highly recommend a high quality fish food because the higher quality you give the fish, the healthier the entire system is going to be.
You spend a lot of time and money on your systems and it would be devastating to have to redo it every winter because of the hot summer weather. Buy tarps to cover the outside of the tanks in order to cut down on the sun’s hot rays beating on the plastic of your tanks. This will help keep your containers from breaking down as fast. As an added bonus, the tarps will help keep the grow beds darker so algae doesn’t grow as fast and rob the water of the nutrients the plants need to thrive. This is one of those aquaponics supplies that you wish you had known you needed when you finally realize you need it!
5. Water Test Strips-
This item is also very important. The balance in your tank can be very fragile. Extra waste build up, dying plants, too many fish, anything could knock the pH, nitrates, and nitrites off balance and exacerbate your problems. Testing daily until your system is well established is highly recommended and then testing weekly is advised.
Some systems benefit from adding in extra goodies like Liquid Seaweed, especially for the first few months until your system is running at its peak. Sometimes your system will need help adjusting and will benefit from pH Down, until you get it exactly where you need it to be (although I have to caution you to do it slowly and only after making sure you know what you are doing!). Things like Shell Grit or Lime will help your mature system if your water is especially hard or especially soft.
As long as you remember these important Aquaponics Supplies, you should be ready to get your system up and running easily!
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