Routine management practices

2 months ago

2 min read

Below are daily, weekly and monthly activities to perform to ensure that the aquaponic unit is running well. These lists should be made into checklists and recorded. That way, multiple operators always know exactly what to do, and checklists prevent carelessness that can occur with routine activities. These lists are not meant to be exhaustive, but merely a guideline based on the systems described here in this publication and as a review of the management activities.

Daily activities

  • Check that the water and air pumps are working well, and clean their inlets from obstructions.

  • Check that water is flowing.

  • Check the water level, and add additional water to compensate for evaporation, as necessary.

  • Check for leaks.

  • Check water temperature.

  • Feed the fish (2-3 times a day if possible), remove uneaten feed and adjust feeding rates.

  • At each feeding, check the behaviour and appearance of the fish.

  • Check the plants for pests. manage pests, as necessary.

  • Remove any dead fish. Remove any sick plants/branches.

  • Remove solids from the clarifier and rinse any filters.

    Weekly activities

  • Perform water quality tests for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate before feeding the fish.

  • Adjust the pH, as necessary.

  • Check the plants looking for deficiencies. Add organic fertilizer, as necessary.

  • Clear fish waste from the bottom of fish tanks and in the biofilter.

  • Plant and harvest the vegetables, as required.

  • Harvest fish, if required.

  • Check that plant roots are not obstructing any pipes or water flow.

    Monthly activities

  • Stock new fish in the tanks, if required.

  • Clean out the biofilter, clarifier and all the filters.

  • Clean the bottom of the fish tank using fish nets.

  • Weigh a sample of fish and check thoroughly for any disease.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2014, Christopher Somerville, Moti Cohen, Edoardo Pantanella, Austin Stankus and Alessandro Lovatelli, Small-scale aquaponic food production, http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4021e.pdf. Reproduced with permission.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

http://www.fao.org/