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What's the ideal water hardness for aquaponics? (personal experience)

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Ringer, May 5, 2016.

  1. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Hi,
    Been reading a lot lately ,researching ,trying to find what's considered an "ideal" hardness for aquaponics with opinions varying drastically. Wondering if anyone here as an opinion based on their own real world backyard systems? Not horticultural lab tested results. I would like to collect ideas here (even if already posted) so the data is easier to reference for us. Please post actual gH, kH and pH you are successfully growing your plants at and your chosen fish species. I would really appreciate any input.

    A note for fish keepers:
    Fish a very sensitive to water hardness and ph, please consider the welfare of your fish when making changes to any water chemistry in your system or introducing fish to a new system . Even small adjustments will have an effect. Using pH as an example.
    A pH5 is 10x more acidic than a pH6, and a pH4 is 100x more acidic than pH6.
    So if your fish are supposed to live in water pH 7 and your waters at 8, your water is 10 times more alkaline than it should be. If the pH is 9, then your fish are in water 100 times more alkaline . So you can see why even small changes in water chemistry measurements can be stressful or potentially kill fish, the same is true for your hard earned nitrifying bacterial culture as well. Make changes slowly to give everything time to adjust and your fish will be happy.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  2. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Water hardness is something we don't talk about very much. Maybe we should. Perhaps as a separate issue to pH. In Aquaponics we tend to focus on pH the most. But perhaps we should have more discussion on the "hardness" issue.
     
  3. Ringer

    Ringer Active Member

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    Totally agree Murray,
    Hardness has a huge influence on waterborne micro organisms and plants and has a direct relationship to waters pH levels yet is virtually ignored or maybe mis understood by most people .
     
  4. Danscraft

    Danscraft VIP Supporter

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    Interesting. Never considered too much with AP but its something fish and plants both are plugged into. Nutrients and minerals.
    I've only used rain water as top up. The small additions of Eco Lime (liquid lime product with Calcium) and some iron. That's it. I guess the gravel can contribute something too? Fish evolved in ground water.
    This hits a note with me. We as humans take vitamins, minerals etc too literally. Its a broad band of all that is truly natural.
    We isolate things like Iron and Calcium as deficiencies eg for AP.
    But a broad band of all minerals and nutrients can be naturally in ground water that's been the source of all water plants and fish to evolve.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016

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