If you have been following some of my earlier posts then you will probably have realised that I’m a bit of a fan of aquaponics. That’s because this amazing system for growing vegetables and cultivating fish offers a whole host of benefits.
As well as the obvious environmental benefits there are many others that might not be as obvious but are just as important such as:
- A well constructed Aquaponics system uses only 10% of the water needed to grow crops in the ground.
- Compared to normal gardening methods, Aquaponics is very space efficient.
- You can produce crops all year round in far less space than with traditional methods of growing fruits and vegetables and because they mature faster, yields are bigger.
- No harmful materials are pumped or leeched into the surrounding eco-system.
- It doesn’t use any chemicals or potentially harmful pesticides.
- Aquaponics systems are very low maintenance after the initial build.
- The grow beds can be built at a comfortable working height which allows disabled or wheelchair bound people the same opportunities to grow their own healthy vegetables.
- Compared to traditional methods of soil preparation, an Aquaponics system is very simple and quick to set up.
- It does not suffer from any soil borne diseases..
- Kids love building and running Aquaponics systems.
- They are very cheap to run compared to alternative systems.
- Suitable for hobbyists and professional market gardeners alike.
- Scales up very well for commercial operations.
- Multiple income streams from vegetables, fruit and fish.
Home based Aquaponics systems are actually vey cheap to set up and simple to operate. They are suitable for urban environments as well as rural ones so they make an ideal addition to a city centre apartment where it may be impossible to grow organic vegetables any other way. When you add in the fact that the produce that they generate is tasty, health and , of course organically grown, you have a system that can not only save you money but can also be good for your health.
There are four basic components to every aquaponics system:
1. The tank. This can be as big, or as small, as space dictates but should be sized according to the breed of fish that you will be stocking.
2. A filter. This is a very important part of the system because it keeps the water clean which helps the fish and it prevents solid waste reaching the grow beds.
3. Plastic piping. This transports the water to the grow beds and must be set up correctly in conjunction with the filtration system to ensure that the waste products are transported away from the plants and the tank is kept clean.
4. The grow beds themselves. These are normally located above the tank to allow the water to drain back under the influence of gravity into the system. Again, its important to make sure they are at a safe working height and of an appropriate size to handle the plants your are growing.
So, there you have it – Aquaponics really does offer a huge range of benefits. If you would like more information on how to build your own working Aquaponics system, then check out this great Aquaponics guide and get started right away.