At the risk of sounding like your mother, hygiene is pretty darn important. Aquaponics system cleaning is vital to its success as it will remain pest and disease free.
Successful aquaponics farmers keep their equipment and personnel clean at all times. Anything that is going to come into contact with the plants or fish need to be food-grade quality.
Once your aquaponics system is established, the sides of all of the tank walls will be covered with beneficial bacteria and will feel slimy. If you are OCD clean it may be tempting to scrub this off – don’t! This bacteria is the good kind so let it be.
It’s also worth remembering that fish are very sensitive to chemicals so any chemical cleaning agents are to be avoided.
General guidelines for aquaponic cleanliness:
– Keep all walkways free of debris, weeds and dirt
– Never touch your plants, fish or water without first thoroughly washing your hands
– Testing supplies and test kits are to be kept in a clean, dry place
– Fish food, seeds and other organic supplies are to be kept separately in an area that is clean and dry
– All plants are to be grown from seed
– Your aquaponics area should be an animal free zone – so no birds, rodents or even your pet dog should be allowed in!
– Fish from unknown origins must be avoided
Commercial farmers should have an effective bio-security program to maintain standards. Unlike field farming with its numerous problems and potential for contamination, an aquaponics greenhouse grower can manage the environment to avoid infection and have consistently healthy and abundant crops!