This is one of the most common questions around people who first learn about aquaponics. If you do not change the water, nor clean it in any way, what happens with the excrements fish leave behind? Well in order to answer to this question we must go back to the very basic principle on which aquaponics relay.
Aquaponics is a way of taking advantage of the interdependence which can be created between fish and plants. Fish are placed in a tank and left there for a while. The goal is to keep them alive so that they eat and poop in a normal way, as the fish poop will be used as food for the plants. This may sound quite strange at first as the fish excrements contain ammonia, which is toxic for the fish and may endanger their lives.
This problem is solved naturally, as the ammonia is decomposed, in the presence of oxygen, into nitrites and afterwards nitrates, which are benefic for the plants. When the amount of nitrites reached the appropriate level, seeds are propagated in netting pots. From them plants grow and assimilate the nitrates, thus leaving the water fresh and clean for the fish.
A full cycle takes up to 3 months, this is why it is recommended that the seeds will be propagated after 3 months from the acquisition of the fish. Because this is a continuous cycle, there will not be periods in which the plant will not have enough supplies to grow, unless the fish are not in good condition. Thus, apart from the fact that you grow fish for your meals, you will also need the fish poop to set the aquaponic system as this is the starting point of the entire business.
Great things start indeed from simple things, as you can see! Thus if you hated cleaning your fish tank, this aquaponic system will solve your problem and will give you fresh, healthy and organic veggies for you and your family. With so many advantages, you should really give it a try! It will be easier than keeping only a fish tank in your home and will certainly be more convenient!