What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics.
This is the raising of fish for food Aquaculture.
Raising plants for food using mainly water is hydroponics.
When you put both of them together they blend and have a baby which is aquaponics!
The beauty of these systems is the ability to grow food rapidly and re-use the water in a closed loop eco-system. You cannot use any harmful chemicals in the system as it will affect the balance of the system and harm the fish which are the engine which drives the nutrient supply. Thus providing a healthy nutrient dense chemical free vegetable source!
When fish are swimming around they are using the bathroom. Their waste from the urine they generate is in the form of nitrates. To be usable for the roots of the plants bacteria which exists naturally on the surface area of rocks allows the nitrates to transform into nitrites which are usable for the plants.
See the diagram below
There is a secret sauce to how these systems can work highly efficiently and hands off. They can be conformed in many different configurations. However there is a superior design that effectively removes the solids that the fish produce from their poop! I found this out the hard way when I first began experimenting with aquaponics. My first set-up failed miserably when I left for a work trip and came back home to find all my fish were dead because I had an issue with my pump.
This is the typical system many people start with.
This system is built with your fish tank in the bottom and pumping the water to the grow bed on the top that operates with a passive flood and drain system enabled by something called a bell syphon.
Here is a great example of a good bell syphon design.
The flood and drain bed does work extremely well, but you must not pump directly from your fish tank to the grow bed otherwise you will constantly fight issues of clogging your pump.
By the end of this week I will be picking up 100 tilapia from a friend of mine and will post the build of my re-vamped deep water culture aquaponics system.
Thank you for your time if you gave this a read!
Peace and Joy @makinstuff
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