Aquaponics is exploding in popularity, and for good reasons. It can be simple to set up an aquaponics system, but there are a few essential things you will need to know if you want to get good results. With these five key ingredients, you can have spectacular results from your aquaponics.
1. Your System’s Location
Where you place your aquaponics system is very important. Choosing a sunny location is very important, unless you are only going to grow shade tolerant plants. If you are building a structure like a greenhouse for your system, think about nearby trees that may some day become a problem by growing up and shading it. If you are in a windy location, shelter from wind can be helpful. Make sure it is not in an area where there will be exposure to chemicals, for the safety of both the fish and plants.
2. Choosing the Right Fish
There are many types of fish that will do well with an aquaponics system. But in some parts of the world many species of fish are not allowed. Growing fish in areas where they are against the law can get you into big trouble with hefty fines. Some fish are more suited to different climates. If you are in a temperate climate, there are some species that will not do well and will even die if you don’t have a water heater to keep the water temperature high enough.
3. Provide Plenty of Oxygen
Just like us, fish need oxygen and will quickly die without it. If they don’t get enough oxygen they will not grow as fast and can become sick and die. Too much oxygen is better than not enough. You can’t give them too much.
4. Nutrient Additives
There are cases where the fish won’t provide enough nutrients for the plants. In some cases you may want to add additional nutrients. Nitrogen, iron, calcium and potassium are common nutrients that you may need to add. Many of these can be added from organic or simple mineral sources. Your plants will tell you when they are lacking nutrients if you learn what to look for.
5. Planter Position
You will do yourself a great favor by placing your planters at a comfortable working level, usually waist level. This way you can work without bending over.
Aquaponics systems are an excellent way to grow both fish and vegetables. It has only recently started to become popular and we have yet to see what the future will hold for this revolutionary way of gardening.