In case you are thinking about joining 1000s of other "ecologically-enthusiasts" and getting engaged in backyard aquaponics, then congratulations. You've made an intelligent decision on a number of levels, including health-wise, environmentally friendly, and economical. There are many good reasons why aquaponics has joined up with the interests of chicken raising, as an extremely popular backyard mission for so many households.
Aquaponics may seem like a fashionable brand new concept its roots go back 1000's of years. Its roots can be traced to the Aztecs, and ancient Egyptian and Far Eastern civilizations. This historic way of harvesting essentially combined fish farming with crop cultivation. Although these ancient methods have already been adapted to contemporary situations, the simple concept still is true.
You might already know, aquaponics is a technique of cultivating crops, and fish in a managed closed loop atmosphere. In terminology, you are merging "aquaculture" - fish farming, with "hydroponics" - growing plants with no soil. But wait, how does it work?
Whenever you keep fish in fish tanks, their waste materials build up within the water in which they're living, and at some point reach toxic amounts. However, what is toxic for the fish is truly good for plants. They virtually thrive on it. Thus, in aquaponics you carry the contaminated water to containers where plants are usually supported with their roots dangling in the water.
The plants soak up the nutrients they need from the water, which in this instance, are the waste chemicals from your fish tank. In doing this, they remove these pollutants, basically cleansing the water of the poisons. So you can then securely transport the water back in the fish tank. Recycling - pure, and easy, as 1000's of individuals are discovering.
This straightforward recycling process has several extremely important benefits both for you personally, and for the atmosphere.
You've got a ready supply of the freshest, most healthy, most delicious vegetables, and fresh fruits
Select the right fish and you have a supply of low-fat, high-proteins fish meats
Since the fish waste behaves as a natural fertilizer with the crops, it eliminates the requirement for adding fertilizers pesticide sprays, herbicides, or fungicides
Water is recycled in the tank set-up which saves around ninety percent of the water that could be required for growing in the ground.
It is extremely easy to set up a backyard aquaponics system and, having done this, will need very minor attention, and lowest running expenses.
Aquaponics is a completely balanced environmentally friendly system that provides you a basic way to provide the freshest possible source of those tasty green veggies, fresh fruit, and fish. What might be healthier than that? In addition, it definitely has significant ecological benefits, and will certainly help to decrease the expenses of your food.
All you need to do now is choose the best advice, and assistance. This is easily available on the internet. However select cautiously, so that you get your mission up and operating easily and quickly.
Backyard aquaponics is absolutely the approach to take for an ambitious "ecologically enthusiasts". It will surely make an impression on the children. Why not include them, and transform it into an entertaining, family endeavor. You simply cannot lose.
Starting a Backyard Aquaponics
You can start your own backyard aquaponics system very easily, even if you have only a small amount of space in your back yard. You do not need a lot of equipment or expertise to begin.
Backyard aquaponics is simply the creation of an ecologically viable system to grow both fish and vegetables at home. You begin with the fish and the fish tank.
What you need to start your own backyard aquaponics system:
- a small fish tank, or a plastic container to keep your fish
- a small pump with a timer, to circulate the water
- electric cable to your tank for the pump (the cable must be waterproof if your system is outdoors)
- a flat-bottom container to use as a growing bed for your vegetables. A 2 x 3 foot container is ideal to begin with
- water pipes to the aquaponics bed
- an irrigation "grid" to fit over your bed to distribute the water evenly
- gravel for a bedding medium
The best place to start your backyard aquaponics is on your back veranda if you have space. It can be moved into your back yard later once it is established. Always choose a semi-shaded area in your garden for your pond or fish tank.
Putting your backyard aquaponics system together
- Place your fish container on a level lower than your aquaponics bed.
- Remember, always use water that is not chlorinated for your fish (chlorine will kill your eco-system fish and bacteria). You can use rain water collected from a gutter, or river water. Never use tap water.
- The bed should overlap the fish tank and be secured on a slight slope down to the fish tank.
- Drill a few small holes near the bottom of the bed where it overlaps the fish tank. The circulated water will then drip back into the fish tank
- Fill the bed with your medium
- Place the pump in a secure place in the fish tank and fix it there.
- Fit your irrigation grid over the bed
- Connect the irrigation piping from the pump to the irrigation grid
- Time your pump to work 15 minutes every hour. This allows the bed to be saturated with water and nutrients before a drying off and re-oxygenating period for your medium. Your plants benefit the most this way.
- Switch on your pump and see that everything works.
- Make sure your fish tank water level does not get too low during the pumping time.
- Always have some clean water available to top up your tank