You’re listening to Fish Grow Plants—A podcast all about practicing and sharing the love of aquaponics; hosted by Logan Schoolcraft.
Hello, and welcome to Fish Grow Plants! In today’s episode we’re discussing water routines!
Yeah, I know, that title sounds a bit funny, but it kind of summarizes what I mean by the process.
I wouldn’t even have called it that if it weren’t for realizing that I have a routine myself. And sadly, it’s a pretty awkward one at that. My current setup is far from ideal in a lot of ways, and this water situation is just one of them. I mean, when you have to run a water line across the room to fill up your system, you might realize that something is amiss. Add to the fact that line is nothing more than a trip hazard to me, and it has ended up on the floor just running water all over the place, I just want to scream sometimes.
Nevertheless, I persevere, and make it work with the mindset that it’s temporary and I’ll get a better method figured out to alleviate my pain. Besides, if I didn’t have all the pain and missteps, I probably wouldn’t learn a single thing—and with all that pain and learning comes a lot of appreciation and gratitude for when things do work and go fantastically well.
So, what are some the things I consider part of the water routine? Well, I’d say things like
- Source water checks
- Pumps and fluid motion checks
- Backup and storage water checks, and
- Statistics: including measuring, testing, and recording
Alright, for source water checks, I’m talking about simple things like making sure plumbing is still secure with no leaks, there’s not been a contamination issue, or the water completely stopped flowing. You know, the big obvious things. (I covered source water in a separate episode if you’d like to hear more.)
For pumps and fluid motion checks, it’s exactly as it sounds. I go around making sure I have water moving; i.e. my pumps are doing their jobs. But I also look and listen to the pumps. Do they need to be cleaned, swapped out, or are things humming along just fine? Again, just the basics here; it is a routine after all.
As far as back up and storage water is concerned, I make sure it’s still there and nothing has happened to it. In an ideal world, I’d like my emergency water to be a tank before my aquaponic system so the water is never getting old or sitting for a long time. I picture it like a big pre-tank all on its own.
No matter how you have spare water on hand, the point here is to make sure it’s still there, and not gone south…like a family of rats died in it, or that neighborhood kid dropped some paint inside just to see it change colors!
And finally, we get to stats! Don’t worry, I don’t intend on deriving some extended equation fully explaining all your water usage and expectations. What I do intend on is sharing the basics; again, it’s routine here.
In my mind, having a good routine with your statistics is more helpful mentally than physically. For me, that means I know what I’m going to measure, test, and record on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. On the flip side, it also means knowing what I’m not going to record. And the last part of this is that I know how to do the activity (i.e., measure) and where to record the results so it’s not a lost cause.
For example, testing for chlorine is not a daily task for me. I trust that my water is pretty stable in the long term, but I do occasionally check it just for verification. However, temperature is more critical to me and I try to have a daily handle on that so I’m not stressing my system in any extreme.
Again, you want to think long-term sustainability with your actions so you have records to help you figure out any issues that come up along the way. (I hope I’m over emphasizing the “routine” part here.)
Okay, so what is a take-away tool for today’s episode?
Well, if I didn’t just say, it I’ll say it again—routine!
That’s right, take the time now to think about what is critical to you and your system, when you think about water. Then, (and this the tricky part) try to lay out a system for how you want to create a routine that becomes habit for you.
If you can create a habit consciously about what you want to inspect, measure, and maintain, it’ll keep you mentally and physically sharp over the long run without having to drain your energy figuring it out every single time you do it.
Then, you can focus on the fun stuff—like talking to and feeding your fish!
Take care and happy aquaponicing!
This has been another episode of Fish Grow Plants—the podcast all about practicing and sharing the love of aquaponics; hosted by Logan Schoolcraft.