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PostPosted: Jun 13th, '21, 00:20 
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Hello all,
I'm a beginner in aquaponics and I have a ten gallon tank with 3 guppies, 1 molly, 1 danio, 1 tetra. I am wondering how often I should perform water changes, and clean the gravel inside.


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PostPosted: Jun 13th, '21, 08:28 
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Hiya VP, welcome to the forum.
I’ll try and answer a few of your posts here.
Firstly your nitrate issues. As you are doing aquaponics you want nitrates for the plants and if you have excess nitrates then you need to either plant more plants or add grow beds to plant in. As the growbeds are your system biofilter which are converting the ammonia from the fish and their waste to nitrite then to nitrate the more growbeds the more effective the biofilter and the more plants.
Having gravel or other things in the tank creates areas for the fish waste to gather which can create anaerobic issues but we still want the fish waste as this is our plant fertiliser which is why it’s necessary to feed the fish with a good feed which provides all the minerals for both fish growth and plant growth.
Fish flakes are generally designed for minimum waste so you may need an alternative or suppliment for the plants.
Hopefully this answers your questions.

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PostPosted: Jun 13th, '21, 10:49 
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I would just lightly vacuum the gravel monthly when i remember. I wont do water changes unless i notice a problem or a watee parimeter gets dangerous. My nitrates stay in the 40 ppm.

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PostPosted: Jun 13th, '21, 15:38 
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I have a couple questions pertaining to the subject.
I'm monitoring. 5 seperate systems. All show slightly high ph - 7, amonia -0, nitrite -0, nitrate -0.
These readings are pretty consistent over several months.
One question is, Does this signify.a perfectly balanced system?
I would think there should be a few extra nitrates. How to rectify? A couple more fish=raise amonia=raise nitrite=raise plant food. My plants appear healthy. But think they should.be doing better. Lack of sun is probably my biggest problem

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PostPosted: Jun 13th, '21, 16:21 
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Should a balanced system ever need to be changed? Isn't that the job of the plants, and your bio filter to clean your water

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PostPosted: Jun 13th, '21, 22:46 
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A2Z wrote:
Should a balanced system ever need to be changed? Isn't that the job of the plants, and your bio filter to clean your water

I’ve had the same water in the system since conception, sure both Mother Nature and I have topped up the water levels. All I check now is the pH.
Ive always erred on the conservative side fish wise. And, I like to keep it simple, I have enough to do.

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PostPosted: Jun 14th, '21, 12:00 
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I only do water changes on my fish tank aquaponics systems because I cant get it balanced and there isn't a SLO. My tank is outside and grows algae like crazy. I just have herbs in net pots floating on the top of a 40 gallon breader. Takes several months but the nitrates will eventual rise up. So i clean all the algae off. Then next day lightly vacuum the gravel. Wife over feads them (which is the main issue) so i get all the nasty uneaten food and poop. It all goes into the garden so the nutrients aren't wasted. But you are correct, properly set up and it will only need top ups and routine preventative maintenance. It shouldn't need water changes.

On my large 400 gallon system. I just check the PH weekly. Top up and adjust PH as needed. Every two weeks I toss in a table spoon of Iron and a shot glass of seaweed extract. I do monthly maintenance on my pump and emergency tank filter and airstones. Which also involves vacuuming the sump where the pump sits which is only a 5 gallon loss of wster. After buying a few pumps over the years. Cleaning them adds a lot of extra life. Only time i do water changes is during initial set up or if there is emergency situation with a parameter. Other than that, its been 1.5 years and I haven't changed the water in my 400 gallon system.

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