The temperature of the water is crucial in ensuring that your aquaponics system is functioning well. Many enthusiasts monitor the pH levels, plants, fish health but neglect to monitor their aquaponics water temperature. This will result in a system that doesn’t reach its full potential or in some cases, the whole system collapses.
Why is Water Temperature so Important in Aquaponics?
Because it affects the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. The rate which algae multiply is also affected by water temperature. Other factors such as plant photosynthesis, metabolic rates of the fish and the presence of pathogens, parasites and pollutants are all affected by the temperature of the water.
Aquaponics Water Temperature for Fish
Let’s look at the various types of fish. Understanding the requirements of your fish is important. Some fish like to be in warmer water while some like it cooler. For example, goldfish prefer the water temperature to be below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Fish like tilapia love being in water that is 70 – 85 degrees. If you’re using trout, you’d do well to keep the temperature below 60 degrees but then you have to worry about your plants being warm enough. These are all important considerations.
Aquaponics Water Temperature for Plants
Plants are also affected when the water is warm too. In warmer temperature, photosynthesis increases. However, beyond 89 degrees Fahrenheit, photosynthesis will stop and decrease. So, if the temperature of your water is above 89 degrees, your plants will not be able to photosynthesize.
Ideally, you want to keep your water temperature in the range of 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit for your plants with 75 degrees being highly favorable. Or if you’re in the UK – that would be about 22 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius.
Gasping Fish may Mean Your Aquaponic Water is Too Warm
One of the biggest problems many aquaponics owners face is that their fish keep coming to the surface of the water and gasping for air. This means that the fish do not have enough oxygen. With time, the fish will get tired of swimming to the surface and will slowly die. The owners often try to remedy the situation by using more pumps or aerators. Some even try to reduce the number of fish but the problem still persists.
This may be because the water temperature of your system is too high. Warmer water contains less dissolved oxygen than colder water. It is crucial to have dissolved oxygen in the water for the fish to be happy and healthy.
Warm water will also raise the metabolic rate of the fish requiring them to need more oxygen. That is bad when your fish require more oxygen due to higher temperatures but the water has less oxygen due to the same reason. It’s a lose-lose situation all around.
You want water that has 80 percent saturation of oxygen. If the oxygen levels drop too low, it is almost certain that the fish will die and the whole system will collapse.
Increasing Your Aquaponics Water Temperature Increase Metabolism
Increasing water temperature will also increase the metabolic rate of organisms that live in an aquatic ecosystem. When the metabolic rate increases, so does the demand for dissolved oxygen, along with the increasing rate that organisms go through their life cycle. This increase of life cycle can affect their availability as a food source at specific times when needed.
Hopefully this article has made you aware of the importance water temperature plays but it only touches on the basics of it. You would be well served to pick up course or video guide to help you understand this more completely. Keep an eye on your aquaponics water temperature and you will be more successful with your endeavor.