An aquaponics system is an agricultural practice that involves the cultivation of plants and fishes in a mutually beneficial environment. With traditional aquaculture, the fishes waste builds up in the water, making it a toxic environment for the fish. However in an aquaponics system this water is transported to a hydroponic system where the aquaculture byproducts are filtered out by plants and used as nutrients, then the filtered water is recycled back into the fish tank. The size of an aquaponics system varies from small indoor units to medium outdoor units to large commercial units.
Putting together the features of fish farming (aquaculture) and soil less farming a practice that is known as hydroponics, the aquaponics system purpose is to incorporate the ecological benefits of both to minimize the negative effects on the environment. With all of its benefits, this method of farming is rapidly increasing in popularity.
Is it easy to build a system like this?
A basic aquaponics system that can be installed both indoors and outdoors is not difficult to design and build. All of the components you need to build the unit are available in any hardware or hobby supply store. You can even purchase a kit that has everything you need.
So what do you need to build it?
1. A fish tank. The size will be determined by the location you are planning to use for your system and what you want to accomplish with it.
2. Plants. There are no restrictions for what you can cultivate, to decide you must consider your goals, the kind of water flow and the area you have to devote to the aquaponics system.
3. A filtration system and a water pump. It is very important to maintain a perfect balance for healthy plants and fish by using a water pump and a filtration system.
There are various kinds of water flow and filtration systems available, the type you select will be determined by the scope of your grow project, the space you have dedicated for the aquaponics system and also the amount of time that you can set aside for the maintenance of it.
A basic aquaponic system is just like a regular fish tank, but since it is not a continuous flow system you are restricted to growing plants which will only thrive in a stagnant water environment, like lettuce for example. Plants that require more oxygen will not thrive in a system like this and that is why you need a system that has a continuous flow of water.
Here are some of the things you need to consider when initiating an aquaponics system project:
1. Be sure to find out if special permits are required to practice aquaculture in your area.
2. Be sure to use food grade plastics only.
3. Plan ahead if you are going out of town.
4. Research where your fish comes from, because you don’t want sick fish.
5. Make sure you have enough room to accommodate your systems growth.
The thought of designing and building an aquaponics system is very interesting and it definitely makes a lot of sense do to all its benefits. But first you must do some research, begin with a small project that is easy to manage, and then grow as you learn. The smartest thing to do is to invest in an aquaponics system guide that can give you detailed and step by step instructions.
You can find a great guide by visiting www.aquaponics4you.com.
They have a step-by-step video instruction guide on how to build your own home made aquaponics system.