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Monitoring Your System

It’s good if you can keep a daily check on your system most of the time, a very quick visual check that the water level in the fish tank looks right, the fish are acting as they normally do, and the plants look healthy and happy will be enough. As you become used to your system, you can tell quite a bit from a quick look at the system, fish behaviour can change markedly when there are issues and it’s worth doing a little more research into unusual fish behaviour to watch out for. A typical example of this is when fish are “flashing”. Flashing is when fish rub their sides of their bodies on the base of your tank, this is generally because they are trying to dislodge something, often it’s can be a parasitic problem and one of the most typical causes of flashing can be Ich, a quick search for Ich on the BYAP forum will help you with further information on this. Some people like to test their water regularly, this is a good idea however you must be careful not to over react to readings. Most people who have trouble with their systems tend to be having troubles because they are often over reacting to test results. Extreme changes to a system can cause a lot of stress to the fish. For example, if you have a low pH, don’t react quickly by adding lime or other alkaline buffering agents. Firstly before adjusting anything you might want to be sure of your other levels in the water, high ammonia levels are not as toxic to fish when the pH is low and the temperature is low. So if you raise your pH you may be putting your fish at risk of toxic ammonia levels.

CLICK HERE TO SEE AMMONIA CHART

Over time and dealing with many beginners in aquaponics, here at BYAP we have found a minimalist approach works best for the majority of people in the majority of situations. Next we will deal with some of the most common problems people may come across and how we recommend you deal with these problems if they arise for you.