Aquaponics is truly innovative way to set up your own little garden! Yes, that’s right. Our understanding of a garden may be highly limited, but consider for a moment a Japanese garden – it is a miniature landscape in itself, with the plants framing waterbodies in which fish thrive. And why can you not have both the fish and the plants. And an aquaponics system allows you to have your own aquaponics fish garden – at a fraction of the hassle and the effort!
Why a ‘fraction of the hassle’?
Well, let’s start by explaining the term aquaponics. The word is actually a portmanteau – a combination of two different words. And the words here are ‘aquaculture’ and ‘hydroponics’. Aquaculture refers to rearing aquatic animals in a contained environment, like a tank. Hydroponics, on the other hand, refers to growing plants in containers and with the help of a growing media other than soil.
However, in hydroponics, the moment you take away the soil, you need to provide your plants with nutrition some other way. And that is achieved by adding chemical fertilizer to the water. On the other hand, in an aquaculture (or simply aquarium) set up, your system needs a pump to keep the water moving and oxygenated, but you also need a filter and frequently need to manually clean the tank as well. Both processes explained are a hassle and require time and effort.
But consider an aquaponics system – the poo from the fish provide nutrition to the plants, eliminating the need to add synthetic fertilizer to the water regularly. And the plants actually absorb the fish waste and therefore act as a natural bio-filter. So you don’t need to really clean the tank, at least not often!
And now let’s take a look at…
The advantages of a fish garden built on aquaponics
Since there are many fish – including tilapia that take to aquaponics very readily, you can also use the system to rear fish for food. At the same time, these systems prove to be very good grow beds for many different kinds of plants, particularly edibles like lettuce, tomatoes, herbs of all kinds and other small plants. So you can grow both for food.
Another thing to consider is the health angle. Many people these days are particularly wary of not-organic produce, genetically modified food and synthetic and sometimes toxic additives to food. But with such a system, you are able to grow your own food (fish and veggies) without any of these scares. The only thing you must add to the tank yourself is the fish food, and so long as you use an organic option, all your produce will be entirely organic and safe. Many people also choose to grow their own fish food – making the system even more self-sustaining and cost efficient!
And now you must be wanting to…
Set up your own aquaponics garden
Well, with a few humble supplies, it is easily done. It would help if you already have an aquarium in the house with fish in it – they naturally create part of the ecosystem, and you just need to incorporate the other half – the plants into it.
We have compiled instructions to set up a self-sufficient and very compact aquaponics fish garden – it allows you plant 2 plants, and keep up to 3 fish along with it. You can check out what all you need and how to set up the system by clicking here. And now you have all the basic info you need. As for the other questions you may have – and problems you may face – browse through the rest of the info here. You are sure to find all the important information!