Nitrification is the hidden magic that underlies every successful aquaponics system. It purifies toxic fish waste, (ammonia), and generates a continuous supply of healthy, organic plant nutrients, (nitrates). A Two-step Process Nitrification is fundamentally a two-step process. The first stage
Category: Pond Filtration Systems
Pond Filtration Articles
Pond filtration systems are essential if we are to ensure excellent water quality. Water quality is the prime pre-requisite for healthy and happy fish. Without the microbes involved, the toxic ammonia produced by the fish, would not be converted to less toxic nitrate. As a consequence fish quickly would become stressed, open to disease and early death.
In aquatic systems it is the pond filtration system that links the health of the fish and the plants. Natural ecosystems purify the toxic fish waste and supply the essential plant nutrients on an entirely organic and sustainable way.
In addition nitrate is also an indispensable plant nutrient. Aquaponic farmers are really culturing three separate living systems. The fish, the plants and the biofilter. Each system is affected by, and affects, the other two.
It may sound extremely complex and impossible to balance the three systems but the truth is that there are natural feedback systems operating in the background. For instance, should there be a decline in water quality this will directly reduce the amount of food taken in by the fish and, by so doing, reduce the production of further waste products excreted. This in turn will allow the water quality to improve. Plant growth will also be directly affected by the quantity of plant nutrients available. Biofiltration is a very staple and reliable and as such is the technique of choice for the vast majority of aquaponic and recirculating aquaculture systems. (RAS)
There are limits of course but with experience, and back up water analysis, it is perfectly possible to maintain all three living ecosystems in perfect harmony.
Although historically the emphasis has been on bacteria such as Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter more recent research indicates that these species are usually in the minority. There is a complex array of microbes involved in biofiltration that can utilise a very extensive range of chemicals dependent upon the micro ecosystems involved. As research progresses our understanding of the nitrogen cycle improves along with our ability to make improvements in the design and operation of aquaponic systems.