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Mosquitofish - Freshwater Pond Fish for Water Gardens

Grow Fish & Plants - Aquaponics System

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Beneficial Mosquito Fish
The beneficial Mosquito Fish can consume large quantities of insect larvae in your pond. Most backyard water garden enthusiasts use this species of Gambusia to control, as its name suggests, mosquitoes.

However, this voracious feeder will also consume other insect larvae and algae to benefit your pond in numerous ways. First, the Mosquito Fish helps prevent your pond from becoming a backyard breeding ground for potentially disease-carrying mosquitoes. Secondly, it helps keep your pond beautiful by feeding on algae and hatching insects that can damage pond plants and the overall aesthetics of your pond or water garden.

Native to the backwaters and freshwater ponds of North and Central America, Gambusia sp. is related to the common guppy and very similar in characteristics. The body is long and slender and pale in color. Most Mosquito Fish have a tail of moderate size, void of any coloration. Varieties of Mosquito Fish can be found naturally as far north as Central Illinois and most survive harsh, freezing winters as long as the pond is deep enough and well aerated throughout the cold season.

For best care, the Mosquito Fish requires a pond of at least 20 gallons with moderate water temperature and plenty of plants for hiding. If insufficient natural foods are present, supplement their diet with a quality flake food.

You can differentiate the male and females easily. The males are smaller in size, have a pointed anal fin and are much thinner than the female. The females are larger in size, have a rounded anal fin, as well as a pregnancy patch on the lower portion of the body. Ideally, the environment should have a covering of floating plants or a breeding mop to protect the fry. Adults may eat the fry if left to fend for themselves without a safe nursery area.

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Grow Fish & Plants
Aquaponics System
About:Aquaponics (pronounced: /ˈækwəˈpɒnɨks/) is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In the aquaculture, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as vital nutrients, after which the cleansed water is recirculated back to the animals. The term aquaponics is a portmanteau of the terms aquaculture and hydroponic.
Work:Aquaponic systems vary in size from small indoor or outdoor units to large commercial units, using the same technology. The systems usually contain fresh water, but salt water systems are plausible depending on the type of aquatic animal and which plants.[citation needed] Aquaponic science may still be considered to be at an early stage.
More Info:Aquaponics consists of two main parts, with the aquaculture part for raising aquatic animals and the hydroponics part for growing plants.[1][2] Aquatic effluents resulting from uneaten feed or raising animals like fish, accumulates in water due to the closed system recirculation of most aquaculture systems. The effluent-rich water becomes toxic to the aquatic animal in high concentrations but these effluents are nutrients essential for plant growth.[1] Although consisting primarily of these two parts, aquaponics system are usually grouped into several components or subsystems responsible for the effective removal of solid wastes, for adding bases to neutralize acids, or for maintaining water oxygenation.

Typical components include:

Rearing tank: the tanks for raising and feeding the fish;

Solids removal: a unit for catching uneaten food and detached biofilms, and for settling out fine particulates;

Biofilter: a place where the nitrification bacteria can grow and convert ammonia into nitrates, which are usable by the plants;

Hydroponics subsystem: the portion of the system where plants are grown by absorbing excess nutrients from the water;

Sump: the lowest point in the system where the water flows to and from which it is pumped back to the rearing tanks.

The plant bed in an aquaponic systems Depending on the sophistication and cost of the aquaponics system, the units for solids removal, biofiltration, and/or the hydroponics subsystem may be combined into one unit or subsystem,[1] which prevents the water from flowing directly from the aquaculture part of the system to the hydroponics part.
Growth Technique/Layer:Structures, Tools & Objects
Main Purpose: 2
Lifespan: 25 to 50 Years
Time to First Harvest: 1 to 3 Months
Yearly Maintenance Visits Required: 365

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