Getting the system up and running is labor intensive, but not difficult. Having a well planned filtration method will minimize problems. Having your media be able to float into your filter will be a pain in your butt, for instance. I think the most important factor in how much work it is is the fish you choose. Tilapia are "gill feeders." They eat fish kibble, but they also filter algae for food, through their gills. That means they LIKE the water a bit funky, and that if you get behind and it gets really funky... well, to a point, they like it better.
You can get computers to automate everything once you are up and running, but it really only takes about 20 minutes a day at that point. You check your pH and total dissolved solids - how often depends on how near capacity you run your fish tank, but daily is a good minimum, and takes only seconds. Then it is about like gardening, check your grow beds for problems or stuff to harvest, feed the fish and go on. They have automatic fish feeders, too, but I like to feed them, check on their health.
Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.
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