The goal with aquaponics is to establish a natural balance of both predators and pests. Pesticides are not used, however a range of complementary techniques are used including beneficial insects, sticky traps and non toxic barrier treatments such as soap sprays.
As a further adoption of the ecosystem approach to growing food, you can for example stock giant fresh water prawns into the water of the hydroponic tanks to help clear up any solid wastes, algae and to act as an additional food output, as well as freshwater mussels into the filter tank to absorb fine.
If You Have A Pest Problem…
Before we go any further, it is important to remember that no pest or disease sets out to damage our plants “deliberately to thwart our efforts!”- they are merely carrying out their lifecycles, just as we do ours. Pests and diseases are part of the natural ecosystem and, as such, are subject to natural limits. As significant players in this ecosystem, it is our responsibility to understand the natural limits of pests and diseases, and to incorporate these into our (aquaponic) systems from the beginning. In this manner, pests and diseases and diseases are kept in check by nature; instead of by expensive and potentially dangerous chemicals.
With the above in mind, let’s look at the ways you can manage pests. The best framework for pest control in aquaponic systems is integrated pest management (IPM). IPM is a framework, or ‘general approach’ to controlling pests that relies on a combination of common-sense practises. Knowledge of the pests and the ways in which they interact with the environment is combined with available methods of control, so that the pests are controlled in the most economical and least environmentally damaging way.
If you want to know more about natural pest control the following is a very useful website: http://www.infonet-biovision.org/default/ovvImg/-1/recipesForOrganicPesticides