You will need a location that gets plenty of light. Either a sunny location or with artificial light. If your system is indoors, a large sunny window, or even better, a sun room makes a great place. When outdoors, the shady side of a building or trees might inhibit growth. Full sun is best, unless you live in an area with extreme heat, then afternoon shading may be welcome. Choose a place where you can maintain proper temperatures. This is where indoors or in a greenhouse has its advantages. Avoid areas where chemical substance may be present. And if outdoors, think about protection from wildlife that could be a problem, like raccoons.
There is a certain satisfaction that comes with seeing something that you have created with your own hands develop into something useful for the whole family. Watching as the plants grow bigger and then bloom before baring all manner of delicious fruits and vegetables. And knowing that under the water there are fish-usually tilapia or catfish-that will one day be big enough aquaponic source grace your dinner table.
After the water from the fish holding tanks is filtered through the growing beds, it is returned to the fish holding tank. The fish live in a clean healthy water supply and the cycle is repeated again and again. Your plants will grow like gangbusters in the nutrient rich water in the aquaponics system.
For a straightforward definition, aquaponic gardening is a combination of fish producing (aquaculture) and planting plants without the use of soil (hydroponics). It is an emblematic relationship in which the fish will actually aid the plants and vice versa. It’s a cycle that works very nicely with both environments exercising as one and not as separate ones.
Many garden plants really do not need soil aquaponics will grow just fine without it. As long as the roots get plenty of water, nutrients and in some cases oxygen, they can grow very well. Hydroponics is a way to grow plants without soil. Bu typically, hydroponics uses chemical fertilizers and tries to create a sterile growing environment. The results are often vegetables that are low in flavor, or have a chemical flavor, and it can be a lot of work keeping the nutrient levels just right in the water.
So I’m a fan or organic vegetables, there’s no doubt about that. However what I would like to share is another form of growing your own organics. If you haven’t heard of Aquaponics i’ll give you a brief run down. Aquaponics is a cross between your typical home grown vegetable garden, your fish tank and hydroponics. Essentially you grow your vegetables from the nutrient rich water a tank of fish produces. An Aquaponics system is incredibly easy to set up and maintain, requires only a small amount of space and the benefits… well I’ll list just a few.
You system may not work perfectly to start. Monitor the condition of your fish on a regular basis. This is especially important for the first few weeks of operation. Also, buy some test strips so you can keep track of the nitrate levels in the tank.
Fish can go a while without food, but just like us, they need a constant supply of oxygen. Even though they live in the water, they don’t need oxygen any less than we do. They require oxygen from the water just the same as we do by breathing air. If their oxygen supply is gone they will die. And without the fish, your plants will quickly start to turn yellow from a lack of nutrients and will eventually die. Oxygen is very critical to keep the balance of the system.
You will also be able to produce food for yourself. This type of farming can be profitable, and it can be a lot of fun. You can get started with this aquaponics how to guide. You will learn how to set up a low cost system and learn everything you will need to know to grow endless amounts of fresh fish and vegetables.