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Aquaponics Information - Water Gardening with Fish

Updated on July 7, 2017
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed writes about many different hobbies and one which is very popular is gardening and landscaping. Earth and water.

Aquaponic Vegetables

A red pepper grown in a media of water and fish.
A red pepper grown in a media of water and fish. | Source

What is Aquaponic Gardening?

Aquaponic gardening is the combination use of water and fish in an aquarium or fish tank. Water replaces soil and fish waste products provide natural fertilizer with essential nutrients for the plants.

Most people use their local fish, such as, catfish, tilapia, perch, trout, goldfish, bass, and carp. The choice of local fish is dependent on your geographical area of warm or cold water fish. Your state agriculture department will have a list of fish which can be used.

Edible fish are used because as the fish become larger they do become a part of your meal planning. With this type of food farming there will be both vegetables and fish to eat.

When fish are not eaten the larger fish may need to be removed to allow space for the newborn to continue the plant feeding cycle. Certain fish may become your pets and you may decide to move them to a larger tank to decorate a living room or office space.

The plants will grow as nature intended. The growth cycle of the plants is the same as plants grown in the ground. However, no spading, no weeding, no pesticides, and no additional fertilizers are needed.

The aquaponic waste byproducts are used by the plant roots which are immersed in this waste water. The ammonia content is converted by bacteria into nitrates and nitrites which are utilized by the plants.

Leafy green vegetables, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, corn, and peppers do well in this type of system. There are also some tubal vegetables which do very well in this growth media.

Enjoy experimenting growing different varieties of fruits and vegetables which are healthy, tasty, and nutritious.

Fish Provide Fertilizer

Put fish into a fresh water tank and let nature do the rest. Waste matter from the fish fertilize the plants and the water is absorbed by the plants as needed.
Put fish into a fresh water tank and let nature do the rest. Waste matter from the fish fertilize the plants and the water is absorbed by the plants as needed. | Source

Clean Gardening

If you do not like getting hot, dirty, and sweaty with traditional gardening, this method of gardening is for you because ...

  1. No dirt or dust. Water and clay pellets are utilized. Say goodbye to sneezing and coughing.
  2. No plowing, digging, hoeing, raking or other intense labor. The water, fish and plants are in controlled containers and are placed at convenient levels for easy reach.
  3. No fertilizing. Feed the fish and they will provide the fertilizer.
  4. No insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals.

Aquaponics Using Fish, Plants A...

The Aquaponic Systems

Raising fish in an aquarium is not the only option. Fish can be raised in a bathtub. Much of the equipment may be purchased at you local hardware store. The diy folks are able to design and construct their own fish pond.

There are two methods of aquaponics:

1. Raft system…Using Styrofoam as floating rafts. The rafts have holes in which the plants will be placed and the roots dangle in the fish water which has been filtered from solid wastes.

2. Media-based system…plants are grown in gravel, sand, a variety of fibers, clay and other desired media which allows plant roots to fasten and anchor. Then the containers are flooded with fish water. No pests and usually no diseases affect fish or plants as the medium is sterile.

Before getting started in this type of farming, do your research in order to make as decision as to the best method for your lifestyle. Start with a small system in order to not invest too much money and discover that you lack certain skills or technical knowledge.

There are systems for the home grower and the commercial grower. Many people are successful in providing food for their household at an affordable budget which actually saves monies from their grocery bill.

Others consider the commercial systems in make an income. Those who are successful have done much research, especially buying markets to insure profits.

Aquaponic farming has advanced through the years and is widely used in many countries. Much information is available.

Aquaponic Systems Floating Raft Construction

How to Set Up Aquaponic Grow Bed and Select the Right Medium

Benefits of Aquaponic Systems

  1. The primary benefit of plants growing in this type of system is similar to organic gardening on land. All foods taste better and are more nutrient healthy for our well-being.
  2. The second benefit of the aquaponic growing system is the fish. These fish are edible. This system affords you the ability to grow both complex carbohydrates and animal protein to meet the requirements of daily healthy nutrition.
  3. In addition to fruits and vegetables, flowers can be grown in this type of system. Many people are experimenting with their favorite plants and are having excellent returns for their efforts
  4. Little land is needed, less water, reduced operational expenses. The aquaponic system loses 7% of its water through evaporation. Traditional farming loses 90 percent.
  5. Grow your foods year round.
  6. Produce twice the yield compared to traditional farming.
  7. Plants grow in half the time.
  8. There are no waste products.

Leaf Lettuce

A beautiful and nutritional head of leaf lettuce.
A beautiful and nutritional head of leaf lettuce. | Source

Educational Sources

The hobby interest of aquaponics is becoming more popular. This is a unique, but not new, method of home gardening. It can be done on a small scale for family needs or it can become a commercial endeavor for part-time or full time income.

There are many sources for aquaponics education. There are many reading resources through magazines, books, government pamphlets and booklets, private and public organizations, online resources, and classes are available in local communities and online.

Land Gardening vs. Aquaponics

Have you tried aquaponic farming?

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