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Are you interested in having a garden but you don’t have enough outdoor space or living in a cold climate? This should not stop you from getting the benefits of homegrown food. Using aquaponics is one good way of overcoming these challenges. You will have the chance of growing your food anywhere, and this includes the indoors.
What is Aquaponics?
This is a hydroponic-based method where vital nutrients come from fish. It will involve growing plants in water, instead of soil or dirt. Plants are usually grown next to or on top of a fish tank. The waste from the fish living in the tank is going to be broken down by bacteria, and they become nutrients and minerals, mainly nitrates, that the plants can use. There is a pump that delivers water to the plant, although you can just expose the roots to the tank. There is a bed housing the plants, and it is made of clay pellets or gravel.
Aquaponics Equipment Needed
The type of aquaponic used will determine the equipment you are going to need. The three main setups are; deep water culture, media beds, and nutrient film. In all forms of aquaponics, there is a tank for the fish, but the size of the tank will be determined by the type and the amount of fish that is going to be used.
The set up of the media bed will utilize the planters going to be placed on top or alongside the fish tank. The pump is then put inside the tank, and lines are running from the tank to the watering placed above the plants. The pump and watering rigs are going to deliver water from the tank to the plants. If the media bed is placed above the fish tank, then the water will filter through the plants.
When using the deep-water culture method, planters are used so they can float on top of the tank. There is no need for a watering rig or a pump because the roots are exposed to the water directly.
The set-up of the nutrient film will be like a cross between the other two. The water is going to be pumped from the tank using PVC pipes. There are tiny holes on the pipes, and the roots of the plants will grow into these holes. The plants are going to absorb the liquid nutrients when the water flow through the pipe.
Which Type of Fish Needs to be Used?
You can use any type of fish for your aquaponic garden. Many people choose Tilapia because they have the least hassle – they are low maintenance, rarely spread disease, and can survive many conditions. If you are planning on eating the fish, Tilapia is going to be your best option. Some other options include koi, goldfish, and carp.
What Plants Can You Grow?
Plants you grow on dirt and soil can grow in an aquaponic. Some plants work better in aquaponics compared to others. Some plants that will thrive in aquaponics include green vegetables, mint, and basil. Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and many other plants can go well in an aquaponic garden.
Benefits of Aquaponics
There are many benefits you can expect, including less maintenance for both the plants and fish. The fish can be food or pets, that will depend on your preferences. Aquaponic farming is also organic because if chemicals are used, they end up hurting the fish and rig.
Aquaponic is a good option when you want to garden but don’t have enough space to have a traditional garden, or when cold temperature limit what you can grow. Settings up and maintaining a rig is very easy.