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In any fish aquarium or aquaponics system, fish will continually release ammonia through their gills, urine, and solid waste. Uneaten food and decaying organic matter also add ammonia to the water. Even small amount will kill fish especially in high pH high temperature condition. That is why it is crucial to keep your pH at suitable levels and maintaining optimal temperature for fish while carry out periodic checks on ammonia level.
In an aquaponics system however, ammonia release will be converted to nitrite and then nitrate. This is an indication that the nitrification process is present and this is what we want. In some cases where nitrification is present but ammonia still builds up to high level, this indicates that your system do not have enough capacity to process the ammonia. You can either increase your biological filter capacity(adding bio media) or reduce fish quantity/feed rate. If it more than 2.0mg/l you should stop feeding and carry out partial water change to reduce the ammonia level.
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