Failing to provide plenty of oxygen to your fish and plants is one of the most popular mistakes among aquaponics beginners. Aeration is mandatory to increase the levels of dissolved oxygen, which is critical for the beings in your system. Keep in mind that failing to provide will most likely kill your plants and fish, so you need to be careful. There are more options when it comes to supplying oxygen to your system, and an aquaponics air pump is probably the most popular one.
Such a system is great for backyard aquaponics systems because it is highly portable and efficient. Spray pumps tend to be less expensive, but they are also less efficient, so they may not always be suitable. You can also find the so-called paddlewheel, but this option is more appropriate for large ponds. Now, what else should you know before making a final decision?
The concept of an aquaponics air pump
The air pump has a crystal clear purpose – it pumps as much oxygen as possible to your system. Your creatures and plants will then have lots of oxygen to survive and thrive. There are plenty of options on the market, and while they may seem similar, the truth is they come with a plethora of small differences. The capacity varies widely; for instance – at this point, you need to know precisely what your aquaponics system actually requires.
Now, there are a few other things you will need apart from an air pump.
Extra parts required for an air pump
Airline tubing is one of the first things to pay attention to. It usually goes on the nozzle – the area responsible for the transfer of compressed air. Such parts are usually based on plastic – they are soft, so they are flexible. This type of design is preferred because you can make adjustments without too much hassle.
Air stones are also important. They are porous and go to the other end of the tubing. Their main role is to diffuse the air into the actual tank.
Never overlook the check valves either. They are designed with protective purposes. Since they prevent water from being sent back into the pump, they actually prevent damage.
Now, you know already that your system needs oxygen. What makes an aquaponics air pump so important for the system?
Importance of having the right aquaponics air pump
Just like people, fish and plants need decent amounts of oxygen in order to survive. But then, unlike these creatures, people can adapt better. People can adapt to various environments without too much hassle. These creatures will find it more difficult to adapt. In fact, such changes will bring in lots of stress. Therefore, they tend to fall ill or even die. They need consistency in their lifestyle, and the system must match their original environment in the smallest details. Without an air pump, none of these would be possible.
As you raise fish, you need to pay attention to their behavior. It is your responsibility. The same rule applies to plants. You need to observe changes, identify the causes, and react accordingly before it is too late. If you notice any issues, your system may not have enough oxygen, so you need to invest in a quality pump as quickly as possible.
Now that you know the importance of an air pump, how do you choose the right one for your system?
What to look for in an aquaponics air pump
You know you need a pump, but the market is quite diversified. There are plenty of options out there, and all brands will promise you the world. What do you need to take into consideration before spending your money?
The actual size is the most important consideration. It is often referred to as the capacity. The capacity of your air pump depends on the size of your tank.
If the volume of your tank is less than 100 liters, you will need an air pump with an output of 150 liters per hour. If your tank goes between 100 and 200 liters in size, get a pump that can handle 510 liters per hour. Do you have a large tank between 350 and 700 liters? Invest in a high-quality air pump with an output of 1,000 liters per hour. Last, but not least, professional aquaponics systems counting 1,000 liters in volume will usually do with pumps doing twice as much – around 2,100 liters per hour.
It is worth noting that the type of air pump varies based on the size of your fish as well.
Double-check the noise
Second, double-check the noise too. As a general rule of thumb, an air pump is noisy. However, since this is an issue for many users, more and more brands come up with quiet pumps. Since the air pump should be kept on round the clock, it is worth investing in one that can be tolerated without too much hassle.
Last, but not least, go for value for money. Price is not the only consideration. Compare features, your system’s needs and choose the most cost-efficient model you can find.
As a short final conclusion, an aquaponics air pump is never to be overlooked. It can make the difference between a failing system with dead fish and plants and a thriving one. Again, not any pump will get the job done, so a bit of research is highly recommended upfront.
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