Aquaponics is one of the latest techniques that enable you to have a self-sufficient food supply. It is a sustainable system that is simple to understand and easy to maintain. It is borne from two traditional approaches, aquaculture and hydroponics. What’s great about aquaponics is that it eliminates the disadvantages of these traditional approaches. In a nutshell, aquaponics is a way to maximize the benefit of fish tank water, instead of wasting it like aquaculture does.
A high pH level in the water means the water is more alkaline than it should be. However it is not necessary to make any adjustments, as the nitrification process will cause the water to become more acidic an aquaponics lower the pH level.
This revolutionary food production system was devised by Dr. James Rakocy. Dr. Rakocy also known as the «Father of Aquaponics» he is a pioneer and actually the leader of the research teams that coined the phrase «Aquaponics» at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) some 30 odd years ago.
An Aquaponics system in its most basic form is similar to the common fish tank, however since there is no continuous flow in this basic system you are limited to growing plants that thrive in stagnant water, like the lettuce plant. Other types of plants that require more oxygen will die in a basic system like this. And that is why you need a continuous flow system.
With conventional and organic gardening, the method is to work hard to till and condition the soil, plant your crops in the ground, and then regularly dump massive amounts of water and fertilizer into the ground. Much of the water ends up evaporating, while the majority of the rest, along with most of the nutrients, soaks into the ground and is lost. It’s only a small amount that is actually used by the plants, many of which may be weeds.
aquaponics is a form of hydroponics, but without the chemical fertilizers and the high maintenance. It can actually be less maintenance and work then growing plants in the ground. commercial aquaponics uses a fish tank to supply your plants with a garden watering system that is full of organic nutrients from the fish wastes.
Water pumps and filtration systems maintain a perfect environment for both fish and plants. Before starting the project, you will need to determine the type of plants and fish aquaponics grow. You need to plan on water temperature that suits the tank size. Other factors include calculating water heaters in watts; number of lights needed and water quality parameters for various types of fish.
A garage or even a spare room in your home can be a great place to get started. No need to rent an industrial space to get started. You can get started in front of a sunny window or a small greenhouse in your back yard. If you don’t have access to these things, artificial grow lights will work, although they add to the cost.
The other great thing about indoor aquaponics is that it doesn’t take very long to setup and doesn’t cost very much (if you go the DIY route which is recommended because kits cost too much). You can be setup quite quickly and after you let the system cycle once (which is important) you can start growing whatever you want.
Learn more about aquaponics with this aquaponics how to guide. Learn how aquaponics can take a lot of the work and expense out of small scale fish farming, and make it more productive.