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One of the more recent aquaponic myths to circulate is the one that says that the contents of the fish tank must be turned over each hour.

It’s another one of those quaint notions that defies logic.

The fact is that the frequency with which the contents of a fish tank must be turned over are driven by circumstance rather than simplistic formula.

Some of the factors that determine the pumping rate include:

  • the type of bio-filtration in use
  • the pumping regime – flood and drain or continuous
  • the aeration provisions
  • whether sedimentary and suspended solids are removed.
  • the amount of fish biomass.
  • fish species
  • water temperature

Keeping fish alive and healthy in a recirculating aquaculture (and aquaponics) system depends on the ability of the system to convert ammonia to nitrates, to rid itself of harmful gases (like carbon dioxide)….and to meet the oxygen needs of the fish.

That’s what has to happen and that’s what drives the volume of water that has to be moved through a system.

At the risk of repeating myself, “simple guidelines” without qualification (at which point they cease to be simple) are unhelpful and are prospectively dangerous.