4 Things to Consider Before Setting up An Aquaponics System

Aquaponics: there are catfish in this tank, fe...

Aquaponics: there are catfish in this tank, feeding the plants above, which feed the worms below, which feed the catfish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aquaponics has been gaining popularity steady the past few years. More and more people are realizing that it is an excellent method of growing vegetables and produce, quickly, easily and with less work. However, one needs the correct information to get started. This article will provide 4 tips to get you started.

The first point to take note of is choosing the right way to store your plants. You will have to choose the correct container that your plants will be growing in. Choosing a container that is too small will create problems and hassles later on.

The best choice will be a media-based grow bed. It will have to be large enough to hold the vegetables or whatever you decide to grow. It will need to be non-toxic, waterproof, strong and durable.

The next thing to consider will be how you’re going to store your fish. If it’s just a small setup at home, you may use a fish tank. However, the larger the setup, the more important your choice of container will be. It is essential to get this right because your fish will die if conditions are stressful or not suitable.

You will need to decide how much space you are going to need for your aquaponics system. Whatever fish you decide to go with, one rule applies.

The ratio for the plant container to the fish container should be 1:1. You will want to ensure that there is no overcrowding in the fish tank or container. Later on as you are expanding your aquaponics system, you may choose a 2:1 ration. Exercise good sense when dealing with the fish and in the initial stages it would be wise to check on them often to see if they are coping well.

The third consideration will be in the choice of plants and vegetables you wish to grow. Aquaponics is best suited for plants that do not require acidic or soil based media. The pH level required by the plants should also be fairly neutral. Good choices would be any leafy lettuce, spinach, basil, arugula, mint, pak choi, watercress, chives, etc. The pH levels for the water should ideally be around the 6.8 to 7.0 range.

The fourth point to consider will be the type of fish you will use in your system. There are many types of fish you can use such as tilapia, koi, goldfish, catfish, etc. Your choice of fish will depend on your budget, the temperature of the environment your fish will be in and if you want the fish to breed.

There is much more to setting up an aquaponics system but that is beyond the scope of this article. You will be better prepared by getting some books on aquaponics and reading them. There are also very useful videos available online to help you setup an aquaponics system easily without making too many mistakes. Most of the effort is in the setup. After your aquaponics system is all good and ready, you really will not have much to do except reap your veggies and plants.

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