As earlier posted, We have started working on Aquaponics for testing its possibilities in Indian conditions. Initial small project is going on with NFT model (Which can be called as hobby scaled setup) with Indian Carp fish Species (Catla). Presently we are facing lot of problems in fish survival and plants growth.
With this initial experiment, we have identified few area need more focus as –
- Fish survival – We are facing problem of fish survival in tank, which is around 500 lit and of 1 ft depth. Water is of 8.5 PH and 625 Hardness. We were feeding them with ground nut oil cake of around 10 to 20 gm / day. Following are the initial observations for fish mortality as – Low oxygen level in water , improper fish feeding , less water depth, Fluctuating water temp ( because of on setting winter) , high ammonia content. Presently we don’t have any water testing kit for monitoring above parameters, so exact figures are not available.
- Plant growth – Plant growth when compared with control treatment (plants planted in normal soil conditions), no significant growth is observed for Aquaponics plants. This is mainly because on improper growth of fish (as per references from internet documents).
- Improper bio filters – This is been observed that water color was turning blackish and giving off smell. It’s may be because of less root and growth media surface area for bacterial growth.
Now in new setup on the basic of above observations are designed for cultivating Lettuce crop (as its best adapted to Hydroponics system) and with same fish species. Precautions will be taken for controlling above parameters and new water testing kit will be purchased for testing NH4, NO3 and Dissolved Oxygen.
Whoever trial on decorative fish (in my home) is working fine. Initial when root surface area was less water smelling but now when plants are growing fast and developing more roots, smell is decreasing and water quality is also improving ( by visual observations observation ) . Growth of the plants are still not as good as open soil planted plants , but vigor , health , shine on leaf is good. I read on net that it takes at least 5-6 moths to starts nitrogen cycle properly with functional bacterial colonies.