How To Setup Aquaponics System At Home – Things To Consider
Aquaponics systems are food production systems that facilitate the raising of aquatic animals in tanks, and the cultivation of plants in water.
Aquaponics system setups require careful planning, especially among beginners, so that it can be successful for long-term purposes.
And finally you can now master Aquaponics setup, Aquaculture systems and green growing when you do this one simple thing.
Aquaponic System Video Instruction Setup
aquaponics gardening system
Table Of Contents
About Aquaponics Gardening System
It is said, the aquaponics system of cultivation provides numerous benefits to those who utilize it. One such benefit is that no weeding is needed.
Also, the fish waste need not be disposed off. Aquaponics systems do not favor the growth of weeds. They also do not harbor pests.
Additionally, no watering is needed due to recirculating of the water within the system. This then makes it easy for its owners to maintain it.
Lastly, the plants that grow in an aquaponics system grow a lot faster than the alternative gardening technique.
The vegetables grow to be bigger and healthier. This is because of the constant access to nutrients.
This also means that no artificial fertilizer is needed. The best part of it all is that you can build your own home aquaponics system.
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Simple Things To Consider When Setting Up Aquaponics System
The following are some handy steps that will guide you on how to make your own aquaponics system.
When choosing the location for your home made aquaponics system, consider your available space and climate.
If you reside in areas with year-round nice weather, then you can grow or use your aquaponics system all year round outdoors.
This can be at the backyard of your home. If not, then the system needs to be relocated indoors during the winter.
When it comes to space, you can build a greenhouse. This is the most convenient location for the aquaponics system.
This however is only possible if you have so much available space at your home. If you live in apartments or a high-rise, the space dictates that the system is placed indoors.
If this is the only option for you, then you will be forced to make use of artificial lights or window lighting.
Alternatively, you can combine the two, so that the output from the indoor aquaponics system is successful.
Select the style that you will use. When trying to grow plants using the aquaponics structure, you can choose from three styles.
These are the media – based design, the deep – water culture and the nutrient film technique.
The media based system refers to containers that are filled with expanded clay or rock.
How it works is that the water from the fish tank is pumped over the bed of clay or rock media where the plants are growing.
You can choose to make the flow of water continuous or flood and drain the bed.
DIY Aquaponics Design
More often, beginners are recommended to use media based designs, for various reasons. The first reason is that it is way easier to understand and learn the process.
The second is that the cost is cheaper in comparison to the deep-water culture and the nutrient film technique.
Another reason is that the system is similar to soil gardening, hence provides support for the growing plants much more.
The grow bed that you make is a huge determining factor of the success of your aquaponics system design. Stat off with a grow bed to tank ratio of 1:1.
This means that the entire size of your grow bed needs to be equal to the entire volume of the tank.
The grow bed should be sturdy, such that it withstands the weight of the grow media for the aquaponics system setup. The grow bed material should also be thick and dark.
Additionally, it should be non-toxic since it will house lots of worms and bacteria. It also should be deep enough so that the various plants can be grown with adequate filtration. The standard for this bed is 30cm in depth.
Most importantly, the material should be waterproof to control water escape from the system, and also should not be a material that can alter the pH levels in the aquaponics system format.
The water flow design
Choose a suitable water flow design. You can either use the constant flow aquaponics system or a basic flood or drain design.
The flood and drain design is the most common design among home-based gardeners due to its simplicity. Additionally, it is easy to maintain, easy to customize and doesn’t need so much space.
How the flood and drain system works
The media-based system also known as AquaBundance Aquaponics Terra Cotta System is placed in a position higher than the fish tank.
Water is then pumped from the fish tank to the bed, either above the bed or from its bottom, depending on whether or not the bed is drained from the pump.
The waste rich in ammonia in the water from the fish tank is then fed to the plants. A timer or the siphon trips to switch off the pump. As a result, the water returns to the tank because of the basic laws of gravity.
The constant flow aquaponics system is not something that you should completely rule out. The system is similar to the flood and drain system.
The difference however is that the constant flow/continuous flow have no timer. This then means that the system is constantly flooded. In this system, the pump is in the fish tank. The major challenge of this system is that the roots of the plant can become water logged.
The Parts Of The Aquaponics Design System
As mentioned earlier, the home aquaponics system setup requires a tank and a grow bed. The tank can be a stock tank, a large barrel, or a glass fish tank.
The grow bed can be a grow tray, or a flood table. The size will determine the quantity of plants that can be grown. To keep the grow bed sturdy, you need to choose a suitable support foundation.
You can use pre-made frames, which tend to cost more. Alternatively, you can create your own foundation out of concrete blocks.
The water pump for the flood and drain design needs to be from a trustworthy brand. The magnetic drive pumps are usually highly effective. The siphon can be made at home using slip caps, PVC pipes and tubing.
The bed media can be of clay pellets which usually hold moisture effectively. Lastly, the plumbing for the whole aquaponics system layout needs to be well assembled, such that the water feed line and the systems drain line bring the whole system to life
An additional, part of the system is the sump tank. The sump tank is the lowest point of the aquaponics system. It is the part where the water in the system collects after draining from the grow bed, before it goes back into the fish tank.
The sump tank is not very essential for the functioning of the system but it brings to the table some advantages. One is that it allows your pump to operate better with cleaner water.