Growing with Aquaponics
An Aquaponics system is a combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (the medium of cultivating plants without soil media). The technology of aquaponics works together in a way that both the plants and the fishes cultivated have a mutually beneficial relationship as there is a recycling of nutrients occurring between them. This is nothing new to the Middle East and actually uses technology that the Ancient Egyptians invented over 10,000 years ago. It is built around the idea that microbes disintegrate fish wastes into nutritional supplements and provide the plants with food and the fish with clean water. The presence of microbes keeps the aquaponic system active.
Therefore, the principle of the aquaponics system involves the transport of water from the tank through a pumping machine to the culture bed where microbes are present. Bacteria act on fish waste by breaking it down and turning it into nitrate fertilizer to be used up by the plants. Purified water is returned into the water through filtration.
The conceptualization of aquaponics in agriculture has many benefits. It is the simplest and most cost-effective technique for the cultivation of your crops. It offers you access to fresh, natural foods at your convenience. It does not require extensive land, and you can set it up at any location; Backyard, small greenhouses and even in your room. Its adaptation is environmentally friendly because of its water conservation technique and also produces food organically. Aquaponics is also much less challenging to work on than a soil farm.
You need to consider the size of your aquaponics system to determine the size of fish tanks, growing beds, and choosing the right fish stock. Goldfish is a good choice for a small system; They are easy to care for and more affordable than other fishes. You can also choose other freshwater fish, such as crappie and koi. These are also among the most typical edible freshwater fish aquaponic farmers like to breed.
How to Setup Your System
Before planting plants, prepare your fish tanks and stock it. The growth bed is being placed on the fish tank. The growth bed is the platform on which the plants are cultivated and also serves as the habitat for the microbes in the aquaponic system.
The growing bed is considered best using gravel because it filters the water, gives support to the roots and also provides sufficient surface area to contain a large number of bacteria. Plant seeds in the gravel the same way you plant inside the soil. Aquaponics requires a pumping machine located in the tank, and the outlet of the pump conveys the water through a pipe directly into the growth tray and ensure to place the outlet on the growth bed at the top of the fish tank, and the water will continue to flow between fish and plants.