Building An Aquaponics System: The Planning Phase

Aquaponics is a type of agriculture that is just starting to catch the attention of many commercial and home gardeners and aquaculturists. Unlike aquaculture and hydroponics, this system creates no harmful wastes to be disposed of. It creates a symbiotic relationship between plants and fish. The fish feed the plants, through their wastes, and the plants clean the water for the fish. The result is high production of fresh healthy fish and produce, without the use of chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides.

In order to get started you’re going to need an aquarium that’s 20 — 30 gallons (or bigger if you have the space). On top of that you’re also going to need a watering trough (they look pretty good and can be bought at your local hardware/livestock store). Once you have those two parts you’re also going to need a small aquarium pump and some PVC to plumb everything together.

Oxygen is also important to the bacteria that are responsible for converting the fish wastes to plant nutrients. If oxygen levels are low, you end up with anaerobic bacteria that can harm the chemical balance of the system and harm both the fish diy aquaponics plants.

There are cases where the fish won’t provide enough nutrients for the plants. In some cases you may want to add additional nutrients. Nitrogen, iron, calcium and potassium are common nutrients that you may need to add. Many of these can be added from organic or simple mineral sources. Your plants will tell you when they are lacking nutrients if you learn what an aquaponics look for.

This kind of farming is all organic. The plants are grown on fish wastes instead of chemical fertilizer. This means the fish and plants can be sold for a premium, and will be better for you if you eat them yourself. But although growing vegetables is great, sometimes growing ornamental plants can be even more profitable.

And out of all this, you get organically grown plants, grown with free fertilizer, and you get a second crop, clean organic fish, all grown with the same system. You do have to add fish food to the system, but fish production can more than cover those costs and you are getting fertilizer free. Or you can grow your own fish food.

Aquaponic systems can be scaled up or scaled down, depending on your production needs. A small aquaponic system can produce up to 100 pounds of fresh fish such as tilapia twice per year. And let’s not forget the 200-pound vegetable yield!

If like me you are new to this then this brief aquaponics diy 4 you review might help. Ok I got the guide six months ago and was very pleased with the overall quality of the product. It comes in the form of an ebook and also has video training included, the videos especially are great because you can just copy what you see.

Though there is an ever-growing trend of eating organic, the market is hard to navigate. Not all the products claiming to be organic are always this way. Moreover, you can spend more on products claiming to be organic and end up getting lower quality than the normal vegetables grown with pesticides. The only way you can be sure that the food you are consuming is 100% organic is to start growing it yourself.

It is important to use a filtration system and/or water additives to neutralize the water and it is vital that you test the ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, 7 to 7.5 is a good range for the ph used in your system. The temperature of your water is critical for your fish to survive. A rapid increase or decrease in temperature can shock to the fish. Keeping the temperature at the right level for your type of fish is important to prevent dead fish.