Growing With Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a great, sustainable way to grow plants and vegetables by utilizing the symbiotic relationship between fish waste and plant growth. An aquaponics system requires fish waste to be broken down into nitrates that can then be used as nutrients for the plants being grown.

The plants draw the nitrates produced by the fish out of the water, cleansing the water before it is pumped back to the fish, completing the ecosystem.

Why Use Aquaponics?

There are a few reasons to use aquaponics as an alternative to soil growing methods, the first being that aquaponics is a highly sustainable method of growing plants. The water and plants create an ecosystem of their own that works well.

Another great reason to use aquaponics is the higher yields that come from aquaponic growing. Plants spend as much as 25% more time growing in an aquaponics system because the root growth doesn’t have to be so large. Plants are given nutrients directly through the water, which means they don’t have to spend time growing roots to search for nutrients. This doesn’t just mean your plants are growing more, it also means that your growth waste is down.

With nutrients being pumped directly into the root of your plants, you don’t have to worry anymore about your plants missing nutrients.

More importantly, your plants can grow year round with an aquaponics system in any area. You don’t have to have perfect weather or specialized soil to grow plants with an aquaponics system. Using aquaponics is a great way to increase yields and decrease plant loss.

Building An Aquaponics System

The aquaponics system starts with a fish tank. You should set up your aquarium based on the type of fish you’re using. The most popular fish types used in aquaponics are tilapia and barramundi. These fish are popular in aquaponics because of their ability to grow in diverse water conditions. Tilapia and barramundi also grow quickly, which is a plus. In lower water temperatures, trout can also be used.

Other animals that can be grown in the aquaponics system are snails and shrimp. Depending on what type of fish or animal you are using in your aquaponics system, you want to set up your system so your fish have enough room to grow and mature.

Next up is your media bed, which is where your plants will grow. The best option for a media bed is clay pebbles as they are pH neutral and won’t affect your water.

After adding your fish to your aquarium, you’ll want to add your plants to your media bed. Most of the plants that can be grown naturally in the aquaponics system are plants that don’t require a high nutrient input. This can include kale, lettuce, arugula, watercress and more. You can also grow vegetables with lower nutrient needs such as leeks, radishes, and spinach.

Other vegetables, such as tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, and beans require higher nutrient values. While this doesn’t mean that these vegetables can’t be grown using aquaponics, it does mean you might need a more advanced system if you’re planning on growing these vegetables.

After your plants are added to your system, you want to make sure you’re keeping up on your routine maintenance.

Hiring Professional Maintenance

Maintenance for your aquaponics system is an important part of your aquaponics project. The best option for ensuring your aquaponics system is taken care of is by hiring a professional to do your more in depth maintenance.

The experts at Aquarium Pros VA are here to help with all your aquarium maintenance needs. We know that maintenance for your aquaponics system can be difficult. That’s why we offer a variety of aquarium maintenance options.

To set up an appointment with our professionals and learn more about aquaponics, call Aquarium Pros VA today.

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