Now we come to the lifeblood of any aquaponics system: the water. As you are first setting up a system, you will want to keep a very close eye on your water quality and learn the ins and outs of the various chemical tests you need. With both plants and fish depending on your water system, make sure to pay close attention to all these various factors. And there are plenty of them to watch.
The main component of your water is the nutrient levels. This is what keeps your plants alive, but also must be filtered out enough so that the fish don't die from accumulation in their living tank (most of the chemicals are from fish waste).
If your plants and fish are thriving, you are probably doing just fine for nutrients. But as you get your system running to begin with, some monitoring is a good idea to see where everything stands. It's better find a problem early before your plants or fish start to suffer, if you can.
Other than nitrogen, you are almost never going to have a surplus of nutrients in your water so your work will be to raise up those levels more than decreasing them. Adding fertilizers is the way to go, and we covered that up earlier in the plant care section. Sometimes this can be a one-time thing, and sometimes it may be something that has to be part of your regular routines.
We can't provide any specifics because it depends on what you are growing, and there are hundreds of plants you may want to try. They all have their own nutrient requirements, with leafy plants being notably different from those grown for fruit or root. More detailed hydroponics references can help you out with whatever plants you decide to go with.
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