Aquaponics Fish Tank – DIY!
How does an Aquaponics System work? Aquaponics is a cyclical method which is used to grow fish and plants together, thereby saving expenses and resources.
“It takes practice to get the balance right, but once you do you will enjoy the delicious benefits of a sustainable system that provides year-round sustenance and nutrition.”
As Tafline Laylin quotes above ‘It takes time’ and learning the whole process will surely put you steps ahead with building an Aquaponics/Hydroponics system.
With the increase in population all over the earth, the figure is soon to reach 10 billion in the near future, the resources are becoming limited and are depleting fast as a result of advancement of human civilization and over-use of resources. So, to use the resources like water and land judiciously, some newer and smarter methods are being developed by scientists, agriculturalists and pisciculturists to save resources and money at the same time. Aquaponics happens to be one of them.
Aquaponics is basically the combination of two processes hydroponics and aquaculture. Let’s see what these two processes are all about-
Hydroponics is the art of producing vegetation’s with no soil and minimal water. It is an effective method in today’s world since it becomes difficult to get adequate water for growing plants and crops for everyone’s food with the increasing population. We have developed a number of irrigation methods which use less water however nothing is as great as hydroponics.
Aquaculture is the culture of producing fishes and aquatic species in a fresh water body under controlled conditions. It is different from the commercial fishing in the sense that commercial fishing is mainly catching wild fish while in case of aquaculture you are actually growing fish to serve your purpose.
In aquaponics, the growth of plants helps in the growth of fishes and vice versa. The cyclical process is somewhat like-
- The fishes produce waste materials.
- These wastes are acted upon by bacteria and microbes to produce fertilisers.
- These fertilisers are used for the nutrition and growth of plants.
- The plants help in purifying the water.
- The purified water provides a healthy environment for the growth of fishes.
- These fishes produce waste materials which again follow the same cyclic process.
So, basically it’s a mutual symbiosis between the fishes and plants so that they can share the same fresh water body. Do you have any idea of the quantity that it produces? Well, it is one pound of fish for every ten gallons of water. Isn’t it a great idea to produce your own food throughout the year in the simplest and cheapest way possible? There are other benefits also-
Aquaponic DIY Plans-Advantages
- It does not produce any unwanted waste since the wastes produced by fishes are used up in the cyclic process:- In a normal aquaculture, the wastes which are produced by fishes need to be cleaned up regularly since the ammonia produced may harm the fishes.
- It requires minimal volume of water thereby saving water:- A plot of land used for growing crops requires huge amounts of water for irrigation. On the other hand, a body of water used for aquaculture requires regular replenishment with water. But, in hydroponics, the only water loss is due to evaporation and transmission which results in a slight descending of the water level. So, it does not require much water to be added up to maintain the level.
- It is easy and to maintain:- You need to go for weeding or tilling of soil. You don’t need to strain your back or hurt your knees and elbows. Just check the pH and the ammonia level once a week and it’s done!
- It is a biological and environment-friendly process and requires no chemicals:- Excessive use of insecticides and chemical fertilisers has threatened human civilization by poisoning the crops. In case of aquaponics, plants get nourished in the most natural way and hence, there is no question of chemical poisoning.
- It reduces pests which can harm the crop:- This is because it does not require chemicals and soils.
Best Plants To Grow In Aquaponics
- Wondering what to grow in aquaponics? Plants suitable for aquaponics range from herbs like mint to basil and vegetables like kale, lettuce and chard. The aquaponics fruit trees are mainly pomegranate, blueberries and tomatoes.
Setting up Aquaponics System
You just need to gather the following things:-
- Fish:- Chose fishes according to the environment and temperature of water. You can go for goldfish, carp, koi, crayfish, buramundi and even mollusks and crustaceans.
- Seeds:- Use the seeds of the plants advised above.
- Tank:- The alignment of tank is important. Some people make it vertical while some others make it horizontal, it all depends upon how you plan it.
- Pump:- A pump is a must for circulation of air as well as filtration.
- Grow Bed:- Adequate quantities of gravel and bell siphons should be used for draining of water and absorption of moisture as required.
- Sun:- Build your structure in an area which is well exposed to sunlight.
As you can see, it’s the easiest method which will serve your purposes in an environment-friendly and economical way. So, make one yourself ASAP!
Are you ready to start building an Aquaponics system? Available are some great DIY step by step guides that will save you time and money below!