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Ongoing Plant Care

Once you have a nice gardens-worth of seedlings going, you will have to establish a routine to take care of everything. At least, a routine for the plant half of the system.

The watering system should be fairly automatic which means one less chore for you to deal with, though we'll talk more specifically about timers later. Other than that, check your plants often to look for any problems. Trim off browned leaves and add supports as your plants get taller. Really, its the same sort of routine that you might have with any garden.

Water testing is a big part of your aquaponics routine, especially when you are just getting a system set up. Once everything is happily thriving, it will be less necessary until you see problems in your plants or fish. That doesn't mean you can skip testing completely though. Waiting until your plants or fish are suffering isn't the smartest approach to maintenance. There is an entire section later on water, so all the testing details are laid out there.

Temperature is another factor that should be mentioned as an aspect of your plant care, though you are probably aware that you can't keep your plants in a cold room. Your fish tanks will also have their own temperature needs too, but we'll talk about that in the fish chapter. Keep your plants at around 75F (24C) during the day, and then allow for a cooler night at 60F (16C).

Though that's a little warmer than typical room temperature, don't forget that your lights will be adding some extra heat to your growing area. And if it's a degree or two below this in your house, your plants will still be fine. If you are heating your room to boost your growing power, just make sure you still drop the heat at night. You're not going to do your plants any favors by keeping it warm 24-hours a day. They need some cooling at night in order to grow and develop properly.

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