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FAQ last updated: July 21, 2020

Nitrogen Cycling (1)

Your fish need bacteria to break down their ammonia and make it less toxic, but your bacteria need your fish to feed them the ammonia so they survive! We recommend adding the appropriate amount of nitrifying bacteria for your quantity of water, and also adding small tilapia…

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Building Your System (7)

To build the ISB 2′ x 4′ design, please refer to this ISB 2×4 Design Guide. For a 4′ x 4′ design, please visit this site.

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Please refer to this page, which has a comprehensive introduction to aquaponics.

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For total costs of the materials needed for the two ISB designs, please refer to the 2′ x 4′ ISB Design Materials or 4′ x 4′ TX Design Materials lists.

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Right now, the Institute for Systems Biology is working on a crowdfunding campaign to help teachers like you obtain funding for building a classroom aquaponics system. We also recommend Donors Choose, a crowdfunding website specifically for education projects. Just create an account, follow the instructions…

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Typically, aquaponics enthusiasts use Tilapia because they’re incredibly hardy, grow quickly, and can be harvested as a food source! Tilapia require slightly higher temperatures, so a small tank heater may be a nice addition to increase their metabolism and help them grow faster. If you’re not interested…

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One great part about aquaponics is there is very little maintenance required once your system becomes stable. In a stable aquaponics system, the only daily addition required is fish food.

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Generally speaking, you want to have as little algal buildup as possible. Algae thrive in areas with a lot of light (from the sun or a bulb), but they also use much of the oxygen that would typically be available for your fish. To reduce the…

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General (2)

Please refer to this page, which has a comprehensive introduction to aquaponics.

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Typically, aquaponics enthusiasts use Tilapia because they’re incredibly hardy, grow quickly, and can be harvested as a food source! Tilapia require slightly higher temperatures, so a small tank heater may be a nice addition to increase their metabolism and help them grow faster. If you’re not interested…

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Cost (1)

Right now, the Institute for Systems Biology is working on a crowdfunding campaign to help teachers like you obtain funding for building a classroom aquaponics system. We also recommend Donors Choose, a crowdfunding website specifically for education projects. Just create an account, follow the instructions…

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Optimization (7)

Because the water is being cycled through the system, there is no need to change the water. Some water may be lost through evaporation. However, if you decide the water level is running low and needs replenishing, proceed with caution. Adding water to the system…

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One great part about aquaponics is there is very little maintenance required once your system becomes stable. In a stable aquaponics system, the only daily addition required is fish food.

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Ideally, you should have a backup power source or battery for situations like this. However, in the event that you do not, a less crowded fish tank means the fish can survive longer without extra oxygen. Be sure someone is checking the system daily.

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Ideally, you’d like to have about ppm oxygen in your tank for healthy fish and plants. If your dissolved oxygen is less than that, it may be due to the high temperature of your water (as temperature and dissolved oxygen have an inverse relationship) or an…

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The water in your aquaponics system should be between 6.8 – 7.0; however, others have experienced success slightly higher/lower as well. If the pH is too acidic, add  calcium/potassium carbonate (in the form of sea shells). Add in small doses. It is much better to…

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In this case, it is recommended you add pure iron chelate to your water for the plants. It makes iron soluble in water and thus, more accessible for the plant. In addition, it is also used as a way to treat a plant that is producing…

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Your fish need bacteria to break down their ammonia and make it less toxic, but your bacteria need your fish to feed them the ammonia so they survive! We recommend adding the appropriate amount of nitrifying bacteria for your quantity of water, and also adding small tilapia…

Please click here if this helped you.
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Troubleshooting (7)

Generally speaking, you want to have as little algal buildup as possible. Algae thrive in areas with a lot of light (from the sun or a bulb), but they also use much of the oxygen that would typically be available for your fish. To reduce the…

Please click here if this helped you.
0 people found this helpful. Permalink

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Ideally, you should have a backup power source or battery for situations like this. However, in the event that you do not, a less crowded fish tank means the fish can survive longer without extra oxygen. Be sure someone is checking the system daily.

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If you have just started your system and put fish in, it may be the shock of a new environment that caused them to die. If your fish are used to warm climates but your water is too cold, that could also be a factor….

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Ideally, you’d like to have about ppm oxygen in your tank for healthy fish and plants. If your dissolved oxygen is less than that, it may be due to the high temperature of your water (as temperature and dissolved oxygen have an inverse relationship) or an…

Please click here if this helped you.
0 people found this helpful. Permalink

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The water in your aquaponics system should be between 6.8 – 7.0; however, others have experienced success slightly higher/lower as well. If the pH is too acidic, add  calcium/potassium carbonate (in the form of sea shells). Add in small doses. It is much better to…

Please click here if this helped you.
0 people found this helpful. Permalink

0 Comments

In this case, it is recommended you add pure iron chelate to your water for the plants. It makes iron soluble in water and thus, more accessible for the plant. In addition, it is also used as a way to treat a plant that is producing…

Please click here if this helped you.
0 people found this helpful. Permalink

0 Comments

Your fish need bacteria to break down their ammonia and make it less toxic, but your bacteria need your fish to feed them the ammonia so they survive! We recommend adding the appropriate amount of nitrifying bacteria for your quantity of water, and also adding small tilapia…

Please click here if this helped you.
0 people found this helpful. Permalink

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