How to Maintain Fish Water Quality for Aquaponics by John Musser of Aquaponics and Earth

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  • Ammonia: http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/cycling2.htm The ammonia level should always be zero (that is, undetectable by conventional test kits) in a mature aquarium. Fish waste, uneaten food and decaying plant matter will all contribute to the level of ammonia in the tank. However, in a mature tank, there are usually enough ammonia-converting bacteria to ensure that it never rises to detectable levels. However, there are situations which may result in a temporary rise in ammonia levels, even in a mature tank. These include: Filter failure, or lack of maintenance Use of medications The addition of a large number of fish at the same time Over-feeding Over-enthusiastic cleaning of 'biological' filter media. In such circumstances, the bacterial population will need time to increase or recover to cope with the demand. If fish appear unwell, testing for the presence of ammonia should be a priority. The total ammonia in an aquarium will be present in two forms: ammonia (NH3) and the ammonium ion (NH4+). The proportion will depend mainly on pH, and to a lesser extent temperature. At alkaline pH, more of the ammonia will be present as the more toxic NH3, while at acidic pH, more of the less toxic ammonium (NH4) will be present. Ammonia poisoning is therefore more common at alkaline pH. Ammonia can cause damage at levels of only 0.1 ppm (which is below the level detected by many kits!). There may be haemorrhaging and destruction of mucus membranes, the gills are particularly likely to be damaged, and may appear reddened. As with nitrite poisoning, fish may apppear to gasp for air at the surface, and show rapid gill movement. Higher levels, of several ppm, can be fatal. In a mature aquarium, ammonia is oxidised by bacteria to form nitrites. The chemical reaction which occurs is shown below: NH4+ (ammonia) + 2 H2O (water) >>> NO2- (nitrite) + 8 H+ (hydrogen ions) For many years the bacteria responsible were thought to be Nitrasomonas species, but more recent research indicates that these bacteria may do little or nothing in freshwater aquaria, and that bacteria known as Nitrosococcus may be the true ammonia-oxidisers in our aquaria.
  • Nitrite : http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/cycling2.htm The nitrite level should always be zero in a mature tank. A temporary rise in nitrite levels may be seen for the same reasons as listed for ammonia above. However, the nitrite spike may persist longer, so if there is a delay in testing after a problem has occurred, it is more likely that nitrite will be detected. A nitrite level of only 0.1 ppm could prove harmful if exposure is prolonged. Symptoms of nitrite poisoning include gasping and rapid gill movements, which could be mistaken for a shortage of oxygen. In extreme cases, fish can actually die of suffocation because nitrite binds to the oxygen-carrying component (haemoglobin) in the blood. In a mature aquarium, nitrite is oxidised by bacteria to form nitrate. The chemical reaction which occurs is shown below: NO 2 - (nitrite) + H 2 O (water) >>> NO 3 - (nitrate) + 2 H + (hydrogen ions) It was originally thought to be Nitrobacter species which were responsible for nitrite conversion to nitrate in aquaria, but again, recent research (by Dr. Timothy Hovanec and others) indicates a different group of bacteria - Nitrospira - are responsible.
  • Checked the water test booklet. Says freshwater aquariums are best at 40 or below. Slide said non toxic in levels up to 800 but I changed it to 80ppm. Nitrate: http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/cycling2.htm In the past, nitrate was considered essentially harmless to fish; certainly it is far less toxic than ammonia or nitrite. It has been shown that levels of up to 1000 ppm may be required to cause death, but the effects of lower levels on long term health are not well understood. The sensitivity of different species to nitrate levels varies, and there may be long term effects on general health, growth and breeding ability. Generally, many aquarists seem to agree that keeping nitrates below 50 ppm is necessary to prevent any long-term effects on fish health, but below 25 ppm is more desirable. Remember that many fish may come from a natural environment where there is little or no detectable nitrate. Fish which have been aquarium bred for generations are more likely to tolerate nitrates.
  • http://www.aquaponicsusa.com/Aquaponics_USA_Water.html Tilapia prefer a pH range of 7-8, which is on the alkaline side of the scale. But most Aquaponic farmers keep their pH levels between 6.8 and 7.0, which is a compromise for the fish and the plants as the plants prefer a more acidic environment. Drastic shifts in either direction can be lethal to both the fish and the plants. So watching pH levels is very important.
  • http://www.aquaponicsusa.com/Aquaponics_USA_Water.html What’s the ideal Water Temperature? As I explained on The Fish page, the ideal water temperature is a variable that depends entirely on what fish species and what plants you are growing. Tilapia thrive in temperatures between 70-85 degrees F, but most Aquaponic farmers keep their Tilapia tanks between 72-74 degrees F, which is a compromise between the fish temperature requirements and the plant requirements. Aquaponics is a multi-faceted system in which one component effects one or more other components. Water temperature is a cross-affecting component. It affects the oxygen levels, the amount of unionized ammonia (ammonia not yet converted to nitrite ions) and the amount of salinity (salt) in the water. Warm water has less oxygen than cold water. It also has a greater proportion of unionized ammonia and more salinity than colder water.
  • Temperature: 80-100°F, 85°F is optimal (Note: tilapia will slow their eating at 75°F, will become weak at 60°F and die at 50°F) Dissolved Oxygen: 5-7 ppm (parts per million) http://www.tilapia-farming.com/tag/ph/ PH: 7-7.5 Free Ammonia (not total ammonia): optimal=0, 2ppm will kill, 1ppm will slow growth. Nitrite: 0.3 mg/l or less Nitrate: 200-300 ppm CO2: 20 mg/l or less Chlorine: 0
  • http://www.piclist.org/techref/other/pond/tilapia/oxygen.htm –very good notes- Just put into google the exact title and many articles will appear. Dissolved Oxygen is the most important environmental factor influencing health and productivity of farmed Tilapia . Low Oxygen level can result in fish mortality, reduced growth or act as a stressor so that fish have increased susceptibility to infection. There are important interrelationships between dissolved Oxygen , certain water quality variables and factors within the fish themselves that have implications for fish health. Any factor or conditions that reduces diffusion of Oxygen through the gill lamellae (all forms of gill disease), impairs Oxygen transport (anemia, nitrite toxicosis) or blocks oxidative metabolism (hydrogen sulfide toxicosis) will be exacerbated by low environmental dissolved Oxygen . If the culture water contains significant quantity of phytoplankton, the dissolved Oxygen level will usually fluctuate on a diurnal cycle. During periods of high sunlight, Oxygen is released into the water by phytoplankton as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Thus, dissolved Oxygen level will be greatest in the late afternoon and lowest just before sunrise. This feature largely explains why dissolved Oxygen deficiency kills occur mainly at night and, not uncommonly, with an onset in the early morning hours
  • How to Maintain Fish Water Quality for Aquaponics by John Musser of Aquaponics and Earth

    1. 1. How toMaintainFish WaterQuality forAquaponicsWith John Musser
    2. 2.  John Musser has been raising andbreeding Tilapia fish for overseven years. Some of the leadingexperts in the field all agree thatthey are among they finest theyhave seen in health, thickness,and even looks. John Musser was taught by oneof America’s leading Tilapia fishscientist. John says, “if you can learn howto raise Tilapia fish and keepwater quality you can use thesame principles for Aquaponicsand your system will flourish.”Special enhanced breedJohn is fighting to hold!IntroductionWater Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    3. 3. Water QualityWater TestingWhat Fish Need in WaterAeration and OxygenWater Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    4. 4. Water Quality for TilapiaWater Quality for Tilapia Fish breath oxygen andgive off carbon dioxide. You can’t smell carbondioxide. Fish without enoughoxygen, or too muchcarbon dioxide gulp airfrom the surface of thetank. Make sure there is plenty ofaeration and that there arenot too many fish in a tank.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    5. 5. Water Quality Testing We test for severaldifferent chemicals orconditions in the water. Ammonia Nitrite Nitrate pH Chlorine TemperatureWater Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    6. 6. AmmoniaFish give off ammonia intheir urine. Ammonia is toxic to fish Ammonia levels of morethan 5 ppm can be deadlyto most fish. Tilapia can tolerate higherammonia levels, but it isunhealthy.Ammonia is brokendown into Nitrite thebacteria in the bio-filter.Ammonia (NH3) is a gasunder standard conditionsand is highly soluble inwater.Its also excreted as awaste product by fish andother aquatic animals.Three-fourths of theexcreted ammonia leavesthe body respiration andthe remaining fourth isexcreted in urine.Ammonia is highly toxic invery small quantities anda concentration of 0.25parts per million (ppm) issufficient to compromisethe immune system ofsome species of fish.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.orgAmmonia levels should always be 0!
    7. 7. NitriteNitrite is the product ofammonia beingdigested by bacteria inthe water, on the skin offish, and in the bio-filter.Nitrite is poisonous to fishat levels of 2.5 ppm.Nitrite is broken down bybacteria to form NitrateWater Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.orgNitrite levelsshould alwaysbe at 0 ppm.
    8. 8. Nitrate Water Quality for TilapiaNitrate is formed bybacteria in the water,on the skin of fish andin the bio filter.Nitrate is a naturalfertilizer, used byplants to makeprotein.Nitrate is non toxic inlevels up to 80 ppm.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.orgNitrate range is bestat 40 ppm or below!
    9. 9. pH TestingpH Testing pH indicates how acidic (sour) or basic (bitter)water is. pH ranges from 1 to 14. Pure water is pH 7 1-7 pH is acidic (sour) 7-14 is basic (bitter) In general, tilapiacan survive in pHranging from 5 to 10but do best in apH range of 6 to 9.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org7.6 - 8.3 range is good!
    10. 10. pH TestingpH above 10 orbelow 6 can beharmful to the fish.pH is changed byseveral factors: oxygen, carbon dioxide waste in the water and the quality ofthe source water.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    11. 11. Chlorine My advice is either usewell water or RV filters ifyou need to put water inright away! Otherwise let chlorinatedwater aerate in 55 gallonfood grade barrel for afew hours. I prefer to do itover night. Chlorine is a killer of fish!Water Quality for TilapiaAESL sells almost everythingseen in this presentation.If you need help please call ore-mail Jonathon at:469-275-8652 orcustomers@aquaponicsandearth.orgAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    12. 12. Temperature Tilapia are tropical fish andrequire warm water. Ideal temperature is around85° Fahrenheit, 29.4° Celsius. Breeding occurs above 72° F(22.2° C) Death can occur below 55° F(12.8° C) Growth, health andbreeding are all tieddirectly to temperature. KEEP YOUR FISH WARM!Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    13. 13. What Fish Need in Water Clean water Remove the waste Oxygen Light Food MovementWater Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    14. 14. Clean Water Clean water is not necessarily clear Clear water is not necessarily clean Carbon Dioxide, Nitrite and other polutants do notdiscolor water. Green water, while not clear is very healthy for fish,particularly Tilapia.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    15. 15. Waste Removal Solid waste canfoul the system,consume oxygenand change pH. Liquid wastes canbe poisonous tothe fish. Remove thewater, eitherphysically orautomaticallythrough plumbingWater Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    16. 16. Oxygen Tilapia prefer Oxygen levels above 5 ppm Can survive at less than1 ppm, but they will not thrive underconstant low oxygen, and will eventually become sick anddie. Ideally Oxygen levels will never drop below 3 Oxygen is introduced through several processes. Plant life Aeration Waves and cascades Degassing columns … All or a combination of thesemethods can be used to increaseOxygen levels.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    17. 17. Light Tilapia require light togrow. Will not breed with lessthan 12 hours a day oflight. Will not eat when there isno light. Light is also necessary forhealthy green water andalgae populations.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    18. 18. Food Natural foods are algae,plants, small fish, and insects. Commercial floating pelletsare balanced for maximumgrowth. Uneaten food can becomewaste and hurt the fish. Don’t let too many peoplefeed fish. In fact it’s best tohave one person in charge ora check list! This will ruin your systemfaster than anything and foulup your aquaponics systemin a hurry.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    19. 19. Water Movement Stagnant (still) water will become unhealthy. Moving water can help remove waste. Moving water increases Oxygen and removesCarbon Dioxide. Fish prefer moving water to still water.Water Quality for TilapiaAquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    20. 20. Our use policy You may use this PowerPoint FREE of charge forany training as long as you keep everything intack: all addresses, websites, copy write, etc. You may use it as a give away as long as it is keptjust as you received it. The material is used to help orphanages becomesustainable in the third world. Haiti is our bigproject right now. You may contact us anytime. Yours for sustainability!Aquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org
    21. 21. More trainings available! John Musser is considered a globalexpert in developing micro gardensusing Tilapia fish waste andbyproducts as the primary fertilizer. John Musser has requests from over 40countries of the world includingleading universities and majorhumanitarian organizations asking tohelp with food systems. Entire citieshave requested his help. Teachings include: Developing cinder-block gardens Making homemade substrates andfertilizers in your back yard that willbring bumper crops. Backyard Aquaponics Breeding and caring for Tilapia fish And much more….Aquaponics and Earth, 314 W. Belt Line Road, DeSoto, TX 75115 ● 469-275-8652 ● www.aquaponicsandearth.org

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