It is not difficult to design a basic aquaponic system that can be placed indoors or outdoors. The options you have are to purchase a readymade kit or get the components from your local hardware and hobby supply stores and build the unit yourself.
What are the components of a basic aquaponics system?
- A fish tank with fish, the size you select will be determined by where you locate it and the scope of your system.
- A grow bed with plants, there is no limit here in terms of what you can grow, it will depend on your goals, the type of water flow and the space you have dedicated to the aquaponics system.
- A water pump and filtration system, it is vital that a perfect balance be maintained for healthy plants and fish. It is a symbiotic relationship between the fish and the plants.
There are several different types of water flow and filtration systems, the type you choose will be determined by the scope of your grow project, the room you have dedicated to the aquaponics system and the amount of time you can dedicate to the maintenance of the system.
A very basic system is similar to the a common fish tank you can purchase from a pet store, however since it is a continuous flow system you are limited to growing plants that will thrive in a constant water environment, a good example would be the lettuce plant. Other plants that require more oxygen will develop root rot and not thrive.
There are several considerations before starting a aquaponics system:
- Check to determine with you will need any special permits for aquaculture.
- You need to use food grade plastics only and other materials for potable water.
- Plan for the times you may be out of town.
- Research your source for fish, because you do not want diseased fish!
- Plan ahead so that you have enough room for your system.
The idea of designing an aquaponic system can be very appealing and it certainly makes sense because of all the benefits. But it is wise to do your homework, start small and scale up. It would be wise to invest in an aquaponics guide that will give you step by step detailed instructions and advice.