What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a system that links conventional aquaculture with hydroponics. In conventional aquaculture, excreta from animals being raised can accumulate in the water, spreading toxicity. In an aquaponic method, water from an aquaculture system is supplied to a hydroponic system. The by-products are split by nitrifying bacteria initially into nitrites and finally into nitrates that are used by the plants as nutrients. Then, the water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
The method incorporates the best produce from both systems.
How does it work?
To quickly explain how it works, the system is composed of growing beds and fish tanks. Freshwater fish like Tilapia or Trout are put in the fish tank. The water in the fish tank is then oxygenated using a primary circulation system, enabling the fish to flourish and reproduce.
Fish food pellets or other natural fish food are then utilized to feed the fish. When the fish begins to consume food, they will start to produce waste. The waste that comes from the fish and the unused fish food compounds in the water and accumulates in the tank. This trash becomes nutrients and food source for the plants. The organic beds, which contain the vegetables and fruits, purify the water from the fish tank and pass it to the tank. This cycle is replicated over and over again, holding the water in the fish tank clean. This allows the fish in the tank to stay healthy and the plants in the organic bed well-cultivated.
DIY Aquaponics Tips
An Aquaponics DIY method is easy to set up at home. There are several ways to build an aquaponics system. However, several critical aspects and tips need to be considered when designing this system from scratch.
Usually, Aquaponics comes in three variants: nutrient film technique, deep raft technique, and media-based technique. Choose the best one that will suit your budget and needs. Traditionally, homeowners used the media-based technique for their backyard. But, if you want to grow crops, either the deep raft technique or the nutrient film technique will serve best.
The aquaponics system operates by employing water. Hence, it is vital to ensure that the excess water is drained out regularly and that both the fish tank and the grow bed are correctly aligned for stable growth.
Insulate your greenhouse
It is also essential to use a well-insulated unit for your aquaponics garden. Some people use masonry, such as bricks, to keep the heat inside the fish tank. The skill is to find a system that enables water to penetrate the ground.
To attain a balanced level, a controlled environment, it is advised to use fish tanks that are built from polyurethane.
It is also necessary to consider the height and width of the growing beds that will be used. Make sure that it is long enough for the plants to get adequate sunlight and should be at a level that is not too low or too high for your reach. The size of the growing beds primarily affects the growth of the plants.
For amateurs, start with tiny growing beds to keep the primary mistakes minimal. This allows you to decide which Aquaponics setup is more suitable for you. Once you are content with the system, you can always increase its size.