Aquaponics Prep

I’m getting ready for my aquaponics tank setup, even though I don’t have the new tank itself yet. Hopefully this will allow me to put everything together quickly once it arrives!
Here’s what the tank comes with… Natural dechlorinator, nitrifying bacteria, organic fish food, and natural tank cleaner for one use.

It also comes with a water pump.

Here are the grow stones, gravel, and organic seeds. The seeds in my kit are radish and wheatgrass sprouts.

This is what the unassembled top tank components look like…

… And what they look like assembled. There are five spots for plants, and a hole on top for feeding your fish.

All together, the kit would look something like this, only I haven’t included the water pump in this picture.

I also purchased some additional components that I thought would help me to have a healthy, happy betta fish.

Here you can see, from top left clockwise, the betta heater, thermometer, pH and ammonia monitors, purple aquarium gravel,  an air stone, air pump, and tubing to connect the air stone and pump.
Here’s what all of the ‘extra’ things do:

  • Betta heater: absolutely necessary if you live in a cold climate. Betta fish like to be in the 77 degree (Fahrenheit) range. This brand is safe to bury under gravel, but always check the safety instructions.
  • Thermometer: helps you make sure that the temperature is correct.
  • pH and ammonia monitors: I just like these because I can quickly see what the water chemistry is like without using test strips. I use test strips as well, but this is useful because it’s at-a-glace.
  • Gravel: I wanted to use a larger amount than the kit provides, so I bought this. It’s good for burying the air stone and heater, and I will be adding live aquarium plants in addition to the aquaponics plants. They will need a place for their roots.
  • Air stone, air pump, and tubing: These will connect and help oxygenate the tank. Even though bettas are labyrinth breathers and can breathe at the water’s surface, there still needs to be oxygen in order for the beneficial bacteria to work.

I also already had these. The lettuce and arugula would be fun to grow aquaponically, and the shells (which are natural and not painted or coated with anything, purchased at my local pet store) are both decorative and functional. Calcium carbonate, which is what such shells are made of, is a good substrate for the beneficial bacteria, and helps act as a buffer for the pH. (Don’t worry, the shells won’t look yucky!)
All of these things will help to make sure that my aquaponics tank is as healthy and happy as it can be!

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