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The Myth of cycling an aquaponic system

Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.

Karl Popper

water quality test strips in front of aquaponic fish tank

Where did it all start?

Maintaining system performance comes with good observation and a quick response to any changes in system health. Fish food is the number one input into your system therefore the variable with the most influence over system health and more often than not it comes down to feeding your system less until the biofilter can catch up. But selling test strips is a good way to go to so you sell this idea that your making something happen when in reality after the so call cycle your still going to crash and return to natural levels of bacteria.

a very simple way to control water levels in nft system

The 3 states are as followed.

1st state: Your system is balanced; the bio filtration digest the feed inputs effectively, plants and fish are healthy and growing,water stays clear, biofilter has no foul odours.

2nd state: Your system needs feed; fish are hungry and in severe cases stunted, pest or disease. Plant growth is slow and in severe cases stunted, pest or disease.

3rd state: Your system has much feed; the bio filter smells foul, water is cloudy and severe cases fish die.

fish in cristal clear aquaponic water fish tank

“When in doubt leave a feed out.”

As the water turns from clear to cloudy it usually means the biofilter is not working as normal and an input of feed at this time may push the biology to crash. It is better to find a solution than to feed because fish can go weeks without food but hours with too much feed can kill them.

Everything I write is to get you to use our calculator because it is a easy way for you to document your aquaponic journey and let us help each other along the way to successful aquaponics.

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