Indoor aquaponics is within a tailored environment, so abiotic factors such as temperature, air, light and water can all be controlled.
This means physiological disorders should not be an issue in most aquaponics systems, however there are a few common mistakes that beginners, and intermediate DIY aquaponicists make, which can lead to plant disorders.
PHYSIOLOGICAL DISORDERS WITHIN AQUAPONICS
Excess water causes plant roots to take up more water than they can transpire. This could occur when the water temperature in the aquaponics is warm, and the atmosphere is cool.
Symptoms: Blisters/warts, particularly on underside of older leaves. This is caused by excess water rupturing cells.
Control: Reduce irrigation/flow rate or reduce depth of water in your growbed, improve ventilation by opening windows or introducing a fan. Do not remove affected leaves.
Overwatering causes roots to become submerged in water for too long, and roots fail to get enough oxygen.
Symptoms: Plants are anchored in the media, so it is sometimes difficult to notice root rot until a plant falls over and dies. Although, rotting at the bottom of the stem is also an indicator.
Control: You cannot easily save plants which have already rotted, but you can prevent it happening to the other plants. Ensure your grow media is free-draining and that there is adequate oxygenation of the roots. Do not allow media such as coco coir to stand in water too long, especially when using plugs. Add air-stones to dead patches of water or beneath plant roots to improve aeration. With flood and drain systems, check your beds are draining correctly, and adjust watering cycle length if necessary.
Plants lack an adequate light source and search for light.
Symptoms: Elongation between leaf nodes.
Control: Plants require light in order to photosynthesise. Therefore, aquaponics needs to be situated either where plants can access sunlight or under a full spectrum grow-light.