Aquaponics Plans: Here’s What You Need To Know

Aquaponics PlansIf you’re building yourself an Aquaponic garden, you’ll find that you’re entering a realm that not too many people are familiar with. While there are many hydroponics and greenhouse garden experts, Aquaponics is a niche field that isn’t as well-known as you might think.

Setting up an Aquaponics garden may mean that you have to do everything yourself, so it’s important that you consider everything you’ll need for the garden.

Before you build the system, you need to know about the three most common aquaponics systems:

  • Nutrient Film Technique – This system can be used for backyard tanks, but it will be much more expensive to build than the other two. The water is basically trickled through a channel from the tank, and it is run past the roots of the plants – enabling them to suck up water.
  • Deepflow/Raft – This is the system that is most commonly used in commercial aquaponic gardens, and it basically involves plants sitting on Styrofoam rafts with holes poked in the raft to allow the roots to dangle down into the water.
  • Media Based – These systems use pebbles or clay as the base for the plants, and they allow the water to pass through the soil and back down into the tanks. Gravel is used for the flood and drain systems, while clay pebbles are used for continuous flow systems.

Here are a few styles of aquaponic gardens to consider when drawing up your aquaponics plans:

  • Drip Feed -This system is very similar to the one that is used for keeping greenhouse gardens properly irrigated. The water is pumped from the tank into long tubes, and those tubes have holes in them that allow the water to drip out onto the plants – providing them with water. This system is fairly easy to make yourself, as the holes are easy to make in the tubes.
  • Gravity Feed – Many tanks have a drain at the bottom, and the drain allows the water and fish waste to be collected by the pump. You’ll need a sump waste collector to pump the fish waste out and dispose of it, but it will provide a steady stream of water for the garden.
  • Continuous Flow – This system will need a reliable pump that will always keep the water circulating, and you will need to ensure that the fish tank is directly beneath the garden to collect the water run-off from the plants. The pump will just keep the water flowing from the tank up to the plants, where it will drip through and fall into the tank.

The two most important parts of your plans are:

  1. The Pump – The pump you use will ensure that the water flows, which is the key to the whole system. If you can use just one pump, it will be cheaper and easier to set up. Make sure the pump can handle both the water flow and the energy output required by your gardens.
  2. The Water – You’ll need to install a filtration system to remove the chlorine and other minerals before filling up your fish tank, and the filtration system will have to eliminate all of the fish waste from the tank as well. If there is a sudden change in the water temperature, the fish may die – so it’s important that you have a way to regulate the water temperature as well!

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