Let's Consider the Two Principle Workers:
// Murray Hallam's Practical Aquaponics
Aquaponics utilizes natural processes. We rely on these natural processes to produce a truly organic nutrient bank.
– Nitrosamines Bacteria
– Nitrobacteria Bacteria
These two bacteria are naturally occurring. They are in the soil and water all
When we provide the starter compound, ammonia, the bacteria
swing into action and grow and multiply according to their food source.
The Nitrosamines bacteria
convert the ammonia to Nitrite, and when Nitrite is present, then
the Nitrobacteria bacteria convert the Nitrite to Nitrate.
Nitrate is, of course, the principal plant food for all plants, in particular leafy green plants such as vegetables.
To reiterate – it is important to understand that there is a myriad of microbes and bacteria at work in an Aquaponics system and eventually as the system matures many naturally occurring
nutrients become available to the plants.
Ammonia is the major waste product of the Kish.
released across the gills as a gas, and immediately dissolved in
the system water. Ammonia is TOXIC to fish at low levels and therefore, needs to be made
non-toxic as quickly as possible.
This is where the Bacteria play their role. The Bacteria convert the Ammonia (NH3) to Nitrite (NO2), then to Nitrate (NO3) Nitrate is non-toxic to the fish at small to medium levels ( This bacterial conversion of Ammonia to non-toxic Nitrate occurs in the bio-filter and on all the wetted surfaces of the system.
The breakdown, or mineralisation of solids in other areas eg, media beds and mineralisation tank, or sludge tank. This process occurs on all wetted surfaces. Grow media, underside of rafts, sides and bottom of raft beds, walls of fish tank and inside vertical towers.
So we have a system that is home to many, many forms of beneficial oxygen dependant microorganisms that perform very valuable tasks for us, providing the necessary ingredients for nutrient dense produce and healthy fish