A very important part of maintaining an aquaponic system is keeping the fish healthy. The fish are critical to the system, because they provide nutrients for the plants in the form of waste. The most common mistake made when feeding the fish in an aquaponic system is feeding them too often. Overfeeding can lead to excess waste and uneaten food settling to the bottom. This excess food and waste can easily be counteracted by the addition of bottom feeders such as snails and shrimp. The leftovers are then converted to nutrients for the plants in the grow bed.
The easiest and most surefire way to prevent overfeeding altogether is to feed the fish the recommended amount once per day. A small amount of leafy greens can also be added into the tank for the fish to consume as a snack throughout the day. The type of food fed to the fish should directly correlate with the type of fish in the ecosystem. For example, a system containing goldfish requires either flakes or pellets. Our shrimp jar aquaponic systems contain shrimp instead, which usually feed off of biofilm in the water. They only need to be fed very small amounts of flake food. See this shrimp food article for additional information on feeding your shrimp!
Feel free to share your own experience! What feeding habits help keep your tank clean and your fish thriving? Please leave any questions below and a SGS member will follow up shortly.
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