Should you add sand on the bottom of the fish tank?

Should we add rocks or sand on the
bottom of our fish tank? This is what we’re going to see together in this
video. [Music] I just received a question from Julian, who is a member of the Private
Aquaponics Club and he asked me if on the bottom of the fish tank you could put
some gravel or sand or rocks to make it more natural and to have the fish to
feel more comfortable and why not to hide. So to respond to this question, I
would like to go back to my video, a video that I made a few days ago, a few weeks ago, that was about a shelter. Should we add a shelter in our fish tank? And my response
to you was yes. It’s good to have a shelter in the fish tank, depending on
the species of fish you are growing. If you are growing fish that are a bit shy
that are not very domesticated, it’s always a good idea to put a shelter
because it helps them to hide and to feel more relaxed, more comfortable, and
to decrease the level of stress that is present in the fish tank, and basically
that is going to affect the fish. So for the surface, right, that you’re going to
put in the fish tank that’s the same question and then the same thing I would say. You can add some but the problem is how are you going to clean the fish tank? So
you know, depending on the quantity of fish you have, the quantity of food
you give them, you may have some sedimentation which means particles of
organic matter that are going to fall down on the bottom of the fish tank. If
you have a fish tank that is empty, when the fish are swimming, they move the
particles around. They move the particles in the water and eventually all those
particles will finish in the the water pump. They will be sucked by
the water pump. If the fish tank has got plenty of rocks, between the rocks, there
are spaces and this organic matter is going to fall down in the space
between the rocks. It’s going to fall down on the bottom of the tank and then
it’s never going to move again. So the organic matter is going to build up on the bottom of the fish tank and unfortunately, it’s going to
finish in mud, and it’s going to turn in anaerobic conditions which means without any oxygen. There you’re going to have fermentation. So some bacteria are going
to be present but bacteria that we don’t necessarily want in aquaponics.
It can be an opportunity for disease to develop. That’s why it’s very tricky in
one way. Yes, we would like to have gravel because it looks good and that’s
good for the fish. They are — it’s closer to what they will find in their normal
environment, depending on the fish, obviously. Some fish will will be happy
in the mud, but generally speaking, you know, it would be good to have something
that is similar to their natural environment.
But on the other way, we don’t want to develop a fermentation on the bottom of
the fish tank because it can be critical for for the fish. It can be a
source of disease, and yeah, it may be something that we don’t really want. We
try to keep the fish tank quite clean. So my recommendation will be to not add
any gravel or any sand, and if you do, just a very, very thin layer that you can
clean but not something that is thick. Not 10 centimeters where basically, it’s
going to create lots of space in between the rocks and all the organic matter is
going to fall down. It’s going to be completely anaerobic. It’s going to smell.
That’s not what you want. So that’s my recommendation is to avoid those types of things but to put a shelter so it can be a pipe. It can be roots. It can be some pieces of wood, anything in the tank that is going to allow the fish to hide but no
gravel, no sand, no media or substrate on the bottom of the fish tank. I hope I
responded to your question, Julian. And I hope it’s going to help a few of
you who watch this video. If you want to start aquaponics, I recommend you to
have access to the free aquaponics training from the description of the
video just below. It’s a step-by-step training to help you to build your
aquaponics system in the best conditions. It’s completely free, in the description
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success with aquaponics. Have a good crop!

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