4 Reasons to Get Started With an Aquaponics System
If you’re reading this, you probably know what aquaponics is and how it uses fish and water to grow healthy plants and vegetables. Aquaponics has seen a surge in popularity all over the world with more and more people jumping on the aquaponics bandwagon.
There are hobbyists with just a small setup in their backyard to grow vegetables and there are also huge commercial farms producing huge amounts of vegetables using aquaponics.
Why You Should Set Up an Aquaponics System:
So why should you choose an aquaponics system over traditional gardening or hydroponics?
This article will give you 4 reasons and by the time you are done, you will have all the info you need to make an informed decision.
Aquaponics Systems are Easy to Operate
This is the number one reason most people choose aquaponics. Unlike traditional gardening that involves daily watering, weeding and other back breaking work, aquaponics is a relatively hands off system.
The most difficult part is only at the beginning is when you are constructing the system and getting everything in place. Once you get over this hump, the rest is a piece of cake. The most important thing is to get the setup right and do it well. This will prevent future problems from occurring.
You will only need to keep an eye on your fish and the pH levels of the water. Ensure that your fish are happy and healthy and the pH is stable at a range of 6.8 to 7.0.
Plants Grow Faster with an Aquaponics System
It has been proven that the aquaponics system makes plants grow much faster than traditional soil based gardening or even hydroponics. It has been reported that plants grow twice as fast and the yield can be 10 to 20 times more than with normal gardening.
So, not only do you save space, but you also save time. It doesn’t get better than that, does it? Actually, it does… See the next reason.
An Aquaponics System is Cheaper Than Traditional Gardening
So, not only do you save time and space and effort… but you also save money.
Aquaponics uses much less water than normal gardening because the water is cycled. Furthermore, liquid nutrients and fertilizers are not necessary, thanks to the fish waste creating a steady supply of liquid nutrients for you.
You will also save money if you construct the whole system from scratch by yourself. Certainly you’ll have to spend a little money on electricity costs, buying the fish, fish food and seeds. However, these are not really all that expensive and will not make you lose your shirt.
Tastier and Healthier Produce is Grown with Aquaponics
The vegetables you grow with your aquaponics system will be fresher, healthier and taste better. Most commercially produced vegetables have chemicals and all kinds of other substances sprayed on them to ward off insects and make the plants grow bigger.
Your produce grown the aquaponic way however, will be organic and much healthier. You will also have a sense of pride from knowing you cultivated your own fruits and vegetables.
These 4 reasons are good enough to make most people decide to setup a system in their backyard. Providing food for oneself can be a very rewarding experience and it’s fun too.
4 Things to Consider before Setting up An Aquaponics System
Aquaponics has been gaining popularity steady the past few years. More and more people are realizing that it is an excellent method of growing vegetables and produce, quickly, easily and with less work.
However, one needs the correct information to get started. This article will provide 4 tips to get you started.
The first point to take note of is choosing the right way to store your plants. You will have to choose the correct container that your plants will be growing in. Choosing a container that is too small will create problems and hassles later on.
The best choice will be a media-based grow bed. It will have to be large enough to hold the vegetables or whatever you decide to grow. It will need to be non-toxic, waterproof, strong and durable.
The next thing to consider will be how you’re going to store your fish. If it’s just a small setup at home, you may use a fish tank. However, the larger the setup, the more important your choice of container will be. It is essential to get this right because your fish will die if conditions are stressful or not suitable.
You will need to decide how much space you are going to need for your aquaponics system. Whatever fish you decide to go with, one rule applies.
The ratio for the plant container to the fish container should be 1:1. You will want to ensure that there is no overcrowding in the fish tank or container. Later on as you are expanding your aquaponics system, you may choose a 2:1 ration.
Exercise good sense when dealing with the fish and in the initial stages it would be wise to check on them often to see if they are coping well.
The third consideration will be in the choice of plants and vegetables you wish to grow. Aquaponics is best suited for plants that do not require acidic or soil based media. The pH level required by the plants should also be fairly neutral. Good choices would be any leafy lettuce, spinach, basil, arugula, mint, pak choi, watercress, chives, etc. The pH levels for the water should ideally be around the 6.8 to 7.0 range and your plants will thrive on those natural liquid nutrients that your fish leave so faithfully in the contents of their water.
The fourth point to consider will be the type of fish you will use in your system. There are many types of fish you can use such as tilapia, koi, goldfish, catfish, etc. Your choice of fish will depend on your budget, the temperature of the environment your fish will be in and if you want the fish to breed.
Tilapia are a good choice for aquaponics and some people with larger systems (above 300 gallons) will simultaneously raise both produce and fish for their consumption.
There is much more to setting up an aquaponics system but that is beyond the scope of this article. You will be better prepared by getting some books on aquaponics and reading them.
There are also some very useful videos (see http://myliquidsupplements.com/aquaponics-guide ) available online to help you setup an aquaponics system easily without making too many mistakes. Most of the effort is in the setup. After your aquaponics system is all good and ready, you really will not have much to do except harvest your veggies, your plants and when the time is right and you set it for this, harvest some of your fish.