In this article we will show 5 aquaponics secrets that you need to know to build a working aquaponics system.
Aquaponics is simple and everyone can be successful with aquaponics. It is just a matter of knowing some important information.
So I can ask you if you want:
To grow fruit and vegetables up to ten times faster than with conventional soil methods?
To be able to carry fresh organic products from your family all year round?
Save money on your food bill while you do not have to worry about another food horror?
All of the above is possible with aquaponics. Now you might ask how good?
First let’s take a quick look at aquaponics …
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics one as a mini Eco system that you can have in your own backyard. You have fish in a tank and plants in another.
The fish “poo” is used to fertilize the plants and the plants filter the water for the fish. They work in harmony to do all the hard work for you.
It means that you can produce organic products in your own backyard all year round, saving you money on your food bill.
And if you know where your food comes from, you do not have to worry about whether it is safe for you or your family.
Let’s look at our 5 aquaponic secrets anyway; so you are on your way to having a successful aquaponics system
Aquaponics Secrets # 1 – Choosing the right plants
With aquaponics it is possible to grow almost any fruit or vegetables that you can think of …
The fact that you can grow a papaya or banana tree does not mean that I would recommend it. Staying away from plants that prefer acidic or soil-based environments will make your aquaponics life easier.
I would also recommend staying away from plants that prefer a higher or lower pH than neutral, such as fruit and blueberries.
My advice is to look for plants with a pH between 6.8 and 7.0. These plants will thrive in a basic aquaponics system that allows optimal absorption of nutrients.
When it comes to purchasing plants for your aquaponics system, it is easy. You can take seeds, cuttings or transplants from ordinary soil plants and place them in your aquaponics system (just make sure that there is no soil on the roots, because it can infect your system).
Aquaponics Secrets # 2 – Choosing the right fish
Making the right viscous for your system depends on the following criteria:
Are the fish you breed to eat or strictly graceful?
Some fish species are better to eat (Tilapia is very common in aquaponics), while others such as Koi carp are more suitable for ornamental purposes.
What is your local environment?
The average temperature of the water affects the type of fish you can have in your system. If you live in colder environmental conditions, you can choose trout, in warmer regions like Australia you can choose Barramundi.
How much money do you have to spend?
If your budget is limited, we recommend goldfish. They are also a hardy fish and also cheap. Mind you, I would not recommend eating them. That is why many people choose Tilapia; they are cheap to buy and eat well.
When it comes to fishing, I recommend keeping things as simple as possible. So only one or two different fish species in your system. It will make your life easier and increase the likelihood that your aquaponics system is successful.
Aquaponics Secrets # 3 – Choosing the right breeding bed
Having the right breeding bed is of vital importance; it is where your plants will grow. As a beginner, I recommend using a media-based breeding bed and not NFT (food film technology) or DWC (deepwater culture) system.
The reasons are:
Media grow bed system is easier to build
A media culture system is easier to maintain
The system is easier to adjust at a later time (think of expansion)
You get more options for plant choice
Growbed media help break down solids and circulate water in the process called mineralization (it’s good!)
Aquaponics Secret # 4 – Select the right tank
Here it is given the obvious, but choosing the right tank is crucial. Let’s look at size, shall we?
As a beginner I would recommend starting with a tank of at least 200 liters. This makes fish up to 30 cm in size.
Ideally I would say start with at least a tank of 1000 liters. The larger the tank the more space you have if you make a mistake and do not critically damage your system.
You see the larger the tank, the slower the system is affected, giving you more time to correct any errors.
As materials from which you want to build your tank. Ensure that the pH level does not change or that the water is also non-toxic.
Ideally, to begin with, you want the ratio between your breeding bed volume and your aquarium to be 1: 1. This makes life easier. As your experience grows, you can increase the ratio 2: 1.
Aquaponics Secrets # 5 – Water maintenance
Understanding the quality and composition of your water is essential for optimal plant growth and keeping your fish healthy.
You have to keep an eye on the following:
Temperature – I recommend to choose that a fish species can adapt naturally to the average temperature that you have water all year round to thrive.
PH level – As we said earlier, the optimum pH value for plants is between 6.8 and 7.0. The same applies to the fish and bacteria in your system. You must check your system weekly and adjust the pH accordingly.
Purity – If you use tap water, make sure that there is no chlorine in it before you add it to your system.
[Tip] An old trick that people use with aquariums is to let the water sit overnight before adding the tank while the chlorine evaporates.
Oxygen levels – You can not really have too much oxygen in your system. Make sure your levels never drop below 3 ppm (parts per million), ideally but above 6 ppm.
Aquaponics Secrets – A Conclusion
As you can see, the ‘aquaponics secrets’ are simple and easy enough for a beginner to understand and execute.