Growing Using An Indoor Aquaponics System
Growing of plants at home has been known to have positive effect on people. Plants produce a lot of oxygen and their beauty is also known to lift people’s moods. This is one of the reasons why house plants are so popular nowadays, some people also discovered that majority of the food crops can do well indoor. It is also good to grow plant that will provide many benefit if you would grow any. There are plants that can provide fresh vegetables and also beautify your home. Indoor aquaponic systems allows you to do this in an effective way without the challenges of potting soil, fertilizing and watering.
What is aquaponics?
Aquaponics combines the growing of plant with a fish tank which is another form of home decoration. Fish are known to produce a lot of wastes, these waste are full of different nutrients that are of great benefit to the plants. In a typical fish tank, the water goes through a filter that removes the waste from the water. If this is not done, the waste will accumulate to a certain level and will become toxic to the fish. However, the plant loves these wastes, but fishes don’t. So the idea of growing plants in nutrient-rich fish water is amazing and work very well for plants. In this system, the plants also do an important thing; they filter the water and make it clean, less toxic for the fish. With this kind of system, the water can be recycled again and again. While the plant continues to clean the water for the fish, the fish will continue to fertilize the plant.
This can be done in a soil-free system because plants don’t really need the soil in order to grow; they only get the nutrient and water out of the soil. So you can bypass soil by giving them water and nutrient directly, you won’t have to do other works associated with planting such as conditioning, digging, getting your hands dirty, etc.
This type of system can be used indoors, in the greenhouse or outside if the climate permits. However it is mostly used indoors and in this case controlling the climate will be very easy. If it is outside, the weather will determine what and when you can grow. But inside, the temperature is being controlled and common garden pests are eliminated. No more snails, gophers, slugs, weeds or any other predator. This system also makes it easy to grow food in a small space. Young crops can be alternated with older crops to make a nice contrast and to also decorate your home. This will also make it easy for you to pick organic product outside your living room whenever you desire.
If you wish to construct an indoor aquaponics system, you will be in need of some materials which are listed below:
- A fish tank: the size of your room will depend on the kind of tank you’ll be able to use. It is also important for you to note that you must leave the tank to run for at least three weeks before stocking fish; this will allow the natural bacterial which will serve as foods for the fish to grow.
- A filter: the filter will help to remove the solids from the water before it gets to the crops. This is important because the solid waste will start smelling when they get to the grow beds.
- Plastic piping: this will serves as a channel for the water to the grow beds. The water will be pumped through this pipe and it is best placed at the bottom of your indoor aquaponic tank so as to get rid of waste that sinks naturally and to keep the tank clean.
- Grow beds: it is good to place the fish tank higher than the beds so that the water would be taken back into the tank by force of gravity. The ideal object is a shelving unit and make sure you use netted pots so that the water can pass through easily.
Now that you’ve gotten all the materials necessary to set up your indoor aquaponic system, so let us get some vegetables growing. The first set of pipe should be passed over the grow beds and should be perforated so as to allow water to reach the plants. This water has enough nutrient needed by plants so as to grow well without using any chemical, this makes your vegetable and other plants to be organic. The second set of pipes is placed under the beds and directed downward in order to allow the filtered water to return to the fish tank, with this the cycle will be repeated over and over.
Because some water would be lost because of evaporation and the usage by plants, you will need to fill up your tank. The topping of water is one of the hard task, other ones such as feeding of fish, harvesting are simpler. With this system, it is very easy to harvest the fish because the grow beds are placed on a raised shelve so you won’t have to break your back to harvest them.
Aquaponic is perfect for everyone because it reduces wastage and is easy to practice however; there are other reasons why it is of great benefit.
Benefits of Aquaponics:
- IT SAVES CASH
Instead of buying tons of equipment for traditional farming, aquaponic provides a recyclable system that is self-sustaining. After paying for the initial equipment, you won’t have to buy expensive materials or chemicals to maintain the system.
- IT IS EASY TO MAINTAIN
Fish normally discharge ammonia as a waste which is useless in traditional farming. However, with aquaponic, the same waste can be used for plants and can also be harvested for other purpose. Therefore, you’ll observe that maintaining an aquaponic system is easier to maintain than a fish tank.
- IT HAS LESS CARBON FOOTPRINT
Less land is required to produce crops in an aquaponic system. Also it can be constructed anywhere you desire. If you have a space in your home, you can place an indoor aquaponic there and you’ll definitely love it.