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The water temperature in an aquaponic systems is of great importance. It can influence dissolved oxygen levels, the rate that algae and aquatic plants photosynthesize, metabolic rates of aquatic organisms, and how aquatic organisms are affected by different parasites, pathogens and pollutants.
The ideal water temperature of an aquaponic system is a variable that depends on the fish species and plant life of your aquaponic system. Goldfish don’t like when the temperature of water rises above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, Tilapia thrive in water that is 70 – 85 degrees, and Trout like temperatures below 60 degrees. In an aquatic plant environment, increases in the temperature of water will also cause changes in plants and animals. As there is an increase in temperature, the rate of photosynthesis increases. Once the temperature rises to about 89 degrees Fahrenheit, photosynthesis will level off and begin to decrease as temperatures continue to rise. Most aquaponic system works best when a constant water temperature is maintained between 70 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit, this is also the range that beneficial bacteria species convert ammonia to nitrate. Most aquaponic farms that raise Tilapia keep the water temperature between 72 – 74 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a compromise between fish and plant requirements.
Increasing water temperature will also increase the metabolic rate of organisms that live in an aquatic ecosystem. when the metabolic rate increases, so does the demand for dissolved oxygen, along with the increasing rate that organisms go through their life cycle. This increase of life cycle can effect their availability as a food source at specific times when needed.
Water oxygen levels, dissolved oxygen, is one of the most important components of an aquaponic system, and is very important that it is monitored on a regular basis. Dissolved oxygen levels are at their best when close to 80 percent saturation, or 6 -7 mg/l, milligrams per liter. When the level of dissolved oxygen falls below 3 mg/l, it presents a hardship on aquatic life. Temperature, time of day and weather all have effects on dissolved oxygen levels, cold water contains more dissolved oxygen than warm water.
Water temperature plays a very important role in a healthy aquaponic ecosystem, and can drastically change the environment if not monitored regularly. Watching both the fish and plant life that make up your aquaponic system, and noticing any changes that occur can make a difference in the success of your system.
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