Aquaponic Gardening

So what is Aquaponics and why is it so popular? Aquaponics is a method of being able to grow fish, organic vegetable and fruit types inside a system which is primarily driven by water ( freshwater ). There are two main systems to use when it comes to home aquaponics systems. The first is the more modern aquarium aquaponics and the second technique is the older aquaculture aquaponics.  The main difference between the two is that the aquaculture method needs constant drainage of old water.

Aquaponics made easy

Aquaponics is mixture of soil-less hydroponics and traditional fish farming ( aquaculture ). Plants are solely responsible for cleaning the water and actually supplying the water to the fish in the system. There are 3 types of basic aquaponic systems that you can choose out of:

- Media Filled Beds

- Nutrient Film Technique

- Deep Water Culture

Media Filled Beds

Using Media Filled Beds are regarded as the easiest way to succeed with aquaponics. Basically, a fish tank releases water over the Media Filled Beds and plants then grow in the media. 

Nutrient Film Technique

This technique tends to lean towards more of a hydroponic style of practical aquaponics. With this system you have water full of special nutrients which is pumped along water slides or gutters. Plants are suspended above the water gutters with their roots entering the water. This all sounds pretty easy but this aquaponics system design is only good for certain types of plants ( usually leafy vegetables ). The bigger forms of plants have large root systems which do not fit into this type of aquaponic gardening.

Deep Water  Culture

This type of aquaponic system is also known as 'The Raft System'. Deep water culture is probably the most diverse of commercial aquaponics systems and originally came from a technique used in hydroponics and was modified to be used in aquaponics. In this system the plants are floating in net pots on top of oxygenated water ( which runs continuously through the system ). The pots are actually suspended in the water by types of Styrofoam bridges. With these types of raft systems the water must constantly be cleaned or filtered, this can be achieved easily enough by use of a 'clarifier'. This allows the water to be re-circulated and stops the plants roots from getting coated.

Aquaponics Questions And Answers

In this section we will cover as many of the common aquaponics questions and answers as possible. The questions will be in bold type and the answers will be in normal type for easy reading.

1. Can you set up and use an aquaponics set in a spare room?

You can set up aquaponics indoors but I really would not advise it. The smell of rotting fish is not nice at all and the amount of flies the system will attract is way over the top for an indoors room ( in my opinion ). A wide open space is needed really but, there are people who have succeeded in setting up indoors - it will need much more maintenance and cleaning.

2. If I use yellow perch in my aquaponics system how many can I use per gallon?

Most fish of the yellow perch size should be used with the ratio of one fish for every five to six gallons of water - the fish deserve to have a decent amount of space to live in comfort if you are confining them to a closed aquaponic system.

3. Molasses are sometimes used in aiding plants when they bloom, can I use them with the plants with aquaponics tanks?

No, molasses produce a thick gooey solution that will harm the fish and mess the aquaponics tanks. Plants should only need sunlight and the nutrients in the water.

4. What type of media should I use in aquaponics system?

The type of aquaponics kits you choose will determine the type of media you should use. For example, clay pellets work well with a Flood and Drain system.

5. Which is better, Hydroponics or Aquaponics?

Both give you exactly the same results. It's down to personal taste and the amount of money you have to spend.

6. Is Aquaponics legal in the UK?

If you are growing to sell then you will need a license. If you are on a small scale and generally keeping the end product for yourself then you are considered a hobbyist ( no license needed ). 

7. What pesticide do I use in an aquaponics system?

None - that's the point of aquaponics. If you do spot a few bugs on your plant life brush them into the water and let the fish have them - simple!

8. What kinds of freshwater fish do not eat plant roots?

Most carnivore fish are safe with plant roots ( except Cichilds ).

9. What fish are best for aquaponics? 

Three  easy choices for beginners - Tilapia, Channel Catfish, Rainbow Trout. 

10. What nutrients do plants need to survive?

The aquaponics plants need something called Macronutrients. These nutrients are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.

11. What plants do channel catfish like to eat? 

They like insects, clams, worms, snails and crayfish. None of these need to be alive - they will eat them anyway.

12. Why don't plants drown in an aquaponics system?

The water in aquaponics kits has a high content of oxygen in it, plants will only drown if their root zones do not get oxygen.

13. Why do the leaves curl at the tips in my aquaponic system?

This is usually down to water deficiency - you need to get more water to the plants.

Aquaponics How to

There is a product that covers all of the aquaponics know-how that a newbie needs to succeed in aquaponics. Aquaponics 4 You is designed to give you a step-by-step instruction on how to create your own aquaponics system. This system has been a breakthrough in introducing aquaponics and is used by general gardeners and farmers alike. 

This system was actually developed at the University of the Virgin Islands where the creators decided to combine old-fashioned aqua-culture techniques with the effective Hydroponics techniques. The fish that were added to the unique system provided all the by-products needed to create a perfect growing environment for plants.

Organic foods are plentiful with Aquaponics 4 You and the system works perfectly - the plants get fresh nutrients and nature provides the filter for the fish water. The best factor in all this is that you do not have to put a large dent in your pocket to set up the system. The product is a step-by-step system which is near enough fool-proof and in no time at all you will have a fully functional aquaponics system which will provide you with up to 10 times the normal crop of plants which are watered automatically. Plants actually grow up to 50% faster with aquaponics compared to traditional gardening methods.

If you are interested in finding out more detailed information on Aquaponics 4 You then simply click on the link below for access to the official website:

                                       CLICK HERE FOR ACCESS TO AQUAPONICS 4 YOU OFFICIAL WEBSITE!

Aquaponics Vs Hydroponics

All aquaponics enthusiasts will have varying ideas and opinions on the 'aquaponics vs hydroponics' argument. Of course all the aquaponics users will lean towards aquaponics being a better choice and vice-versa for the hydroponics users. But what is the truth of the matter, aquaponics vs hydroponics, which really is the best choice?

I'll start with one of the initial points from the aquaponics vs hydroponics argument - the start-up speed. This is usually a straightforward 'win' for hydroponics.  In hydroponics you just add commercially formulated nutrients to your nutrient reservoir and you are off the mark and on your way to growing success. Aquaponics involves an initial process called 'cycling' where develop useful bacteria for use in the system, this normally takes about a month. This process is essential for the fish waste to be converted properly. 

Another of the 'aquaponics vs hydroponics' arguments revolves around the topic of bacteria. In very 'professional' hydroponics setups the owners are always paranoid about the introduction of any outside bacteria. This is not the case with aquaponics systems - the owners of these setups realize that most types of bacteria will be the engines that drive the system.

There is a big difference in nutrients or 'supplementation' when it comes to aquaponics vs hydroponics. Hydroponics users tend to be very religious with nutrients and supplements to these nutrients. With aquapoincs everything is geared towards creating a 'eco-system' and anything added to enhance the plants growth will effectively damage the fish. 

Plant disease is always a worry for any gardener and is a valid point when it comes to aquaponics vs hydroponics. Hydroponic gardeners tend to always be on the lookout for plant disease because it can become quite a problem in these systems. This, however, is not the case with aquaponics systems. The bacteria and other living organisms in an aquaponics system help boost immunity; just as bacteria helps boost our own body’s immunity.

Insect control is an interesting factor when it comes to aquaponics vs hydroponics. You would think that insect control can become quite a problem with aquaponics considering you cannot add any insecticides or harmful chemicals to the system. This is not really the case - if you simply remove the insect infected plant(s) and let them soak in the fish tank the insects will quickly let go of the plant. These insects then become a natural food source for the fish.

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