How An Aquaponics Aquarium Can Feed Your Family
An aquaponics aquarium system is made up of specific tank configurations that force water to flow from the tank through growth containers to the plants placed in the said containers. The plants are important to the aquaponics aquarium system since they help eliminate organic waste in the tank.
Additionally, an aquaponic tank system enables you to grow water-loving crops such as herbs and lettuce. Besides, you can use an aquaponics aquarium to grow houseplants, including ferns, palms, and spathiphyllum.
Alternatively, you can integrate an aquaponics aquarium with a fish tank to fully reap the benefits of aquaponics.
Aquaponics Fish Tank
You can combine two aspects of aquaponics (aquaculture) and hydroponics in an aquaponics fish tank.
Aquaculture farming involves raising aquatic animals, including snails, prawns, and crayfish. Aquaculture is a sustainable farming method since you can breed the water animals with minimum use of nutrients and animal feeds. In addition, aquaculture enables you to apply closed-system technologies, raceways flow-through systems, and aquaponics aquariums.
Fish farming is often advantageous since it takes care of family nutritional and economical needs. You can incorporate a hydroponics farming system into your aquaculture structure.
How Do I Turn my Fish Tank Setup Into Aquaponics?
The soilless farming method lets you use a nutrient solution as the growing medium. The hydroponics farming method is more effective than other organic farming methods. For an improved guide to hydroponics, check here. The only aspects you must note are pH balance and a sufficient supply of water and nutrients.
- Growing container
- Air pump
- A simple fountain pumps
- Fish Tank (25- 37 gallons)
- Nutrient solution
- EC meter and pH meter
1. Setup the Fish Tank
Put up the fish tank, and ensure that the size of the tank matches your preferences for the number of fish and plants you intend to cultivate. You could utilize home-made containers for the fish tank since they are less expensive and accessible.
For starters, you could refer to the structure of a ready-made fish tank to make your tank. Note the structure of your tank depends on whether you want to use aeration or whether you will have a direct water flow in and out of the fish tank.
It is advisable to utilize regular amounts of chlorine before and after adding the fish to your aquaponics fish tank.
2. Make a Media Bed
The grow bed will hold your plants and support the fish. It holds the nutrient solution and water from the fish tank. In this case, you could use a deep plastic container. Similarly, ensure that the size of your media bed is bigger or equal to the fish tank.
If you want to reduce the electricity cost or entirely evade the need for a water pump, you could position the fish tank above the growth bed.
3. Add Some Bulkheads
A bulkhead is useful in properly positioning the roots of your seedlings. You can make some holes in the growth container and seal off the grow bed entirely to ensure there are no leaks. Notably, leaks will contribute to water and nutrients loss and increase the cost of running the aquaponics aquarium.
4. Add Water to the System
Ensure you change the fresh water in intervals to ensure that the fish attain maximum oxygen and nutrients from your aquaponics aquarium. The water must have been prepared first and let it seat to reach the needed pH for the fish. You can add an air stone and air pump to encourage more oxygen flow in the tank.
5. Add Fish to the System
Ensure you cross-check the pH levels of the water to ensure that the fish tank is friendly for the survival of the fish. You could use the EC meter test to quantify the acidity or basicity in the water.
Congratulations, you just made your first aquaponics fish tank setup!
Can I Use My Aquarium For Aquaponics?
Yes, you can. There are many great ideas for turning your aquarium or fish tank into an aquaponic system. Although the methods don’t differ greatly, the method you use depends on your budget and the type of crop you want to cultivate in the aquaponics Aquarium.
The equipment and methods of setting up the homemade aquaponics fish tank setup are similar. The only additional aspect of this structure needs an aquarium heater to help maintain a 78 degrees F temperature in the fish tank.
In this case, you could use two types of aquarium heaters; the tank-side mounted heater or the submerged aquarium heater. However, these might not be an additional cost as most aquariums come with heaters, especially if you are domesticating fish or using aquatic animals normally found in tropical waters.
How Do You Ensure That The Aquaponics Aquarium Is Sustainable?
To ensure that your new aquaponics aquarium is economically sustainable, focus more on productivity than profitability. You might not reap the benefits of the aquaponics aquarium immediately. It will take much time and patience. However, ensure that your structure is environmentally friendly. Likewise, maintain the intervals of replacing the nutrient solution and freshwater if you do not use a water pump. Like in any other farming system, use crop rotation to ensure that the fish get different nutrients and thrive properly and effectively in your structure.
Also, remember sustainable farming meets your family’s needs and promotes environmental conservation.
Aquaponics aquarium systems are environmentally friendly because most methods of agriculture contribute significantly to the climate challenge. Presently accounts for 19–29% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. That proportion might climb significantly as other sectors lower their emissions if nothing is done.
Furthermore, one-third of all food produced globally is lost or squandered. Addressing food loss and waste is crucial to meeting climate objectives and reducing environmental stress. Before setting up the system, check out the Environmental Impacts of Agriculture.
Setting up an aquaponics aquarium system depends on the size of the fish tank. You can go for the advanced version if you have the budget. For a beginner, you can start with a small fish tank and learn first before going for the bigger ones. Research on the plants and fish you want to grow in your aquaponics fish tank.
We wish you success with making your first aquaponics fish tank setup!