THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DO-IT-YOURSELF AQUAPONICS
What is Aquaponics?
This may seem like a foreign word for your eyes, but Aquaponics is nothing new. In the past few years, it has become a fast-rising trend amongst those who want to grow their food consumption at home. Aquaponics is a combination of agriculture and hydroponics. This means raising fish for use and growing them with water. It becomes absolutely perfect upon finding the precise balance! Bacteria is an essential factor contributing to it; thus, the longer you have the system, the better it becomes. The idea is to take traditional agriculture practices of growing fish, snails, prawns, and other small sea creatures and mix it with hydroponics (cultivating and increasing forms of plants in water).
How Does Aquaponics Work?
In this system, there is a growth bed for vegetables, and the circulation of water happens with the help of a fish tank. The plants get enriched through the waste of the fish, and the fish are kept healthy as the plants filter the water. The primary and main elements of an aquaponics system are the growth beds and fish tanks. Both of these are connected with the aid of a minute pump that generates a water flow.
Before the water is drained into the fish tank, it passes through the roots of the plants that are present in the growth bed. The plants thoroughly clean the water for the fish as they separate the water and its nutrients (the fish waste) they require. There are various types of grow bed designs available. However, the best ones that serve are the flood drain style one and the floating raft.
Why Might You Require Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is an ecosystem that actually works. The best thing is that it is self-contained. There is no need to add chemicals, and this is unlike in hydroponics. Do beware that if you add any chemicals, the fish are likely to die. Moreover, there is no need for cleaning yourself as there is no buildup of fish waste that will make the water toxic. It is the fish waste providing the nutrients to the plants.
The whole system can also be kept in a greenhouse as that will minimize any garden pests. Non-toxic ways can also be put in use. There is no need for constant checkups as the whole system is self-running and continuous.
Things You Need To Make Your DIY and Easy Aquaponics System.
Here is a list of all the required materials you need to make an aquaponics system.
Firstly you will be needing your fish and plants for the grow bed. The second item would be the tank, this you can buy according to your own choice of shape and design. You will also require mud or any other growing material to add to the grow bed. Other things that you will be needing include:
pH Test equipment
Three feet of pipes
Pump for the tank
Grit for five gallons of water
How to Make a DIY Aquaponics System?
The task of making an aquaponics system at home is not tricky contrary to popular belief. With the help of the following easy to do steps listed, you can create an aquaponics system by yourself. Follow the instructions, and you’re good to go!
The First Step
Take the transparent fish tank, in it wash and then place the gravel at the very bottom. After this, drill holes at the lower end of your grow bed after every two square inches. This will make water drainage easy and straightforward. Next, drill a smaller hole for the water pump to be placed.
The Second Step
After placing the pump for water in your fish tank, you have to set up the grow bed. Pass the tubing for the water pump through the smaller hole. Make sure to place the pipe so it can be extended later in case excess of the grow bed has to be cut off.
The Third Step
Add the mud or any other substance to the grow bed; this is below the top of the tube. Add tiny holes at every five centimeters to the tubing in the grow bed. After this cover the loop of the pipe with the growing medium.
The Fourth Step
Start the water pump; make sure to adjust it in correctly inside the grow bed. Fill in the whole of the tank with water. Also, look at the water to make sure it goes through the organic matter and comes back to the tank. The flow of the water is dependent on how you size your fish tank and grow bed.
The Fifth Step
It is time to place in the air pump. Add it to the air stone through the air tubing. A visual of bubbles should appear; this will show that a steady amount of oxygen is being sent inside and given.
The Sixth Step
This is your last step, and your DIY aquaponics system is almost complete! Just check the pH level of the water with the litmus paper. Make sure it is the usual 7.0. In case it is different either higher at 7.2 or lower till 6.8, make use of the good that corrects it for you. This good is available at necessary hardware stores. After this, add your fish to the water. Make sure you do that one at a time, not all together!
Your plants can be added to the bed after four whole weeks. If you are pretty impatient and want your system started right away then just add a bit of seed or plants.
This is all you have to do to build your DIY Aquaponics System!
Lastly, What to Grow With Your Aquaponics System?
You can grow a range of different fish and plants. Starting from and not limited to, catfish, cabbage, yellow perch, broccoli, swordfish, carp, peas, beans, etc.
This is all you have to do to make your own Aquaponics System. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us!