Many people are turning to aquaponics and want to set up their own aquaponics system because of its many benefits. Setting up an aquaponics system is an easy task but requires some basic knowledge of aquaponics.
If you plan to install your own or purchase a complete aquaponics system, you probably know what aquaponics are and what benefits you will get. However, there are some very essential things that you need to consider first for you to be successful. So we made these lists of the essential things that you need to consider in setting up your own aquaponics system.
1. Is your aquaponics knowledge enough?
You have to invest time, effort, and money in aquaponics, so it is important to gather enough knowledge and understanding before committing to setting up or purchasing your own aquaponics system. Although aquaponics is easy to learn, challenges are always present when you start something new. There are lots of free resources available. You can also join aquaponics communities to exchange thoughts and ideas, and if you have more budget, you can enroll in an online aquaponics course.
2. What are your goals in setting up an aquaponics system?
What are your reasons for setting up an aquaponics system? Are you just experimenting, or are you going to grow a wide variety of foods for your family? Do you intend to eat the fish? These are some questions that you need to answer in planning your own system.
3. Are you going to DIY or purchase a pre-designed aquaponics system?
Purchasing a pre-designed aquaponics system or going DIY are the two options that must be given a thought before getting started in aquaponics. DIY aquaponics can be fun and rewarding, but can be challenging. You can also purchase a system that is ready to use and comes with instructions and technical support. Either way, the choice is yours on how you want to start with aquaponics.
The cost will have significant effects on the planning and setting up your own aquaponics system. Aquaponics systems can be done on a shoestring budget, or they can be elaborate and expensive. There are many options available for you to choose from; you can choose a less expensive DIY system or purchase a ready use system. Keep in mind that the cost includes the fish's costs to raise plants to grow, electricity, fish feed, and system maintenance. An ultimate aquaponics beginner's guide will help you start the right way.
Aquaponics Setup Considerations
To get significant results, make sure you have chosen the right location for your aquaponics system. The location will affect the entire system's health all year round, so choose an area suitable for growing fish and plants. If you want an indoor aquaponics system, make sure that the location is easily accessible. Temperature and lighting are not problems in an indoor aquaponics system because the temperature can be controlled by a heater or a cooler. You can use artificial lighting to supplement the sunlight. It is essential for outdoor systems to ensure that the system is in a place where there is enough sunlight and safe from extreme weather conditions.
2. Aquaponics System Types
The most common aquaponics systems are the media-based aquaponics system, nutrient film technique, raft system, barrelponics, and toteponics. Do-it-yourselfers gardeners often use these types of aquaponics systems. Choose a system that you think is easy for you to set up and maintain.
3. Water Source
What is your water source? Your system will need to be topped with water regularly due to natural losses through evaporation, transpiration, etc. It is important to understand where your water is coming from. Water quality is important in aquaponicsbecause toxins, hardness levels, pH, chemicals, and other contaminants can kill the fish in your system. So you need to have an excellent water source of fresh or de-chlorinated water.
4. What plants do you want to grow?
Your choice of plants can affect the system you will end up building. Media-based aquaponics is the most versatile system and can grow various plants such as tomatoes, peppers, carrots, lettuce, and kale. It is essential to know what plants will grow best in the system you plan to build to ensure its success.
5. What Fish Do You Want to Raise?
Do you want to raise edible fish? What species is readily available in your area? These are just two of the many things you need to consider in setting up your own aquaponics system. The most common fish raised in aquaponics are tilapia, goldfish, and koi. Choosing the best fish to grow is essential for the success of your system.
Understanding the components needed to build your aquaponics system is essential because you must carefully consider the design, set up, and location that work best for you. Aquaponics system components vary in style and sizes, and each plays an important role. So it is important to give a thought on your designs and components before setting up your system.
These are the following components that you need in setting up your aquaponics system:
- Fish Tank - Depends on the size you choose, but a round fish tank is the recommended fish tank shape in aquaponics.
- Grow Bed- Media bed, raft, PVC pipes.
- Grow Bed Support- The frame that will support the weight of your grow bed
- Sump Tank - (Optional) This will depend on the design of your system.
- Plumbing pipes and fittings - Depends on the type of your grow beds, system, and other factors.
- Water pump - The size depends on your desired tank exchange rate and several grow beds.
- Bell Siphon- This is required in a flood and drain or media-based system.
- Grow Lights - This is required in an indoor aquaponics setup.
- Heater - Optional. This depends on your location, fish species, and target water temperature.
- Grow Media - Required in a media-based system. You can use expanded shale, clay pebbles, gravel, lava rocks, and other inert media.
- Monitoring System- Optional. It depends on your situation and how you want to manage your system.
- Timers and Controllers - Optional, mostly used for lighting and pumping.
The supplies are things you need to ensure that your system is maintained correctly and smoothly running.
- Water Quality Test Kit - This is important in monitoring the water quality of your system.
- Fish Food - You need a supply of fish food for your fish.
- Cycling Kit - A source of nitrifying bacteria or ammonia required in system cycling.
- Fish Care Products - These are fishnet, thermometer, automatic feeder, etc.
- Gardening Supplies - Supplies you will need in gardening like gloves, pruning shears, sprayer, etc.
- Seeds and Seed Starting Supplies - Net pots, germination trays, or seed starting kit will need to get your plants off to a good start.
Making these considerations are essential for the success of your aquaponics system. A successful aquaponics system requires proper planning and putting thoughts into your system's design before you get started. Setting up an aquaponics system is a trial and error and requires patience and determination.
Don't get discouraged by the problems you will encounter because it will provide you with experience and learning. Always remember, there are many available free resources available on the internet. Keep on reading and watching those free resources, and you'll surely learn a lot. Subscribe to our mailing list if you want to get new aquaponics updates.