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An Introduction to Building Aquaponic Systems (page 3)

So How does Aquaponics Work?

The plants: The water from the fish tank is pumped by a small electric pump to the grow beds which can be adjacent or above the fish tank typically. Water is utilized principally to fill the grow media bed (typically small pebbles or rocks), which acts as the soil where plants and yields grow. Once the grow bed gradually and slowly fills, a bell syphon is used to automatically drain the grow bed emptying the water creating a continuous cycle where the plants roots are wet as the grow media bed fills and then the roots dry out when drained allowing the roots to breath, eliminating root rot that may occur if the roots were constantly immersed in water. Since fish waste, first broken down by beneficial bacteria, bacteria turning fish waste Nitrites into plant food Nitrates, growing in the grow bed media, becomes an abundance of useful nutrients for the plants and acts as nutritious compost for the full plant growth.

The fish: Once the plants have filtered the water, the clean water from the grow beds will be released through the bell syphon by gravity into the fish tanks below typically. This eliminates the need for elaborate filtering techniques as in the Aquaculture system of fish farming. From there the fish benefit from the naturally cleaned water and the system can continue the cycle of pumping dirty fish water into the grow bed and having the plants clean the waste water which then returns to the fish tank. The only maintenance needed will be to feed the fish a rich fish food diet and watch them grow! As a food source it is worth noting that many different types of fish can be grow in this type of system, Tilapia, Trout, Catfish, etc. You will of course have to regulate the temperature should the species need a certain water temperature that is not naturally occurring in your region. Also, some cities have restriction regarding the type of fish that can be grown because they could escape captivity and introduce an invasive species, so make sure that you follow local regulation regarding raising fish.

The Basic Elements of and Aquaponic System

The Grow Media Rocks

It is normally intended for terrace aquaponics system where each individual can see it even from a remote place. It utilizes rocks or muds for waste and for cleaning purposes. The stones in the plant beds will in the direction of water flooding in the waste to guarantee that it streams consistently, and maintain a strategic distance from any blockage that may interfere with the capacity of the system. Notwithstanding, the mud in the plant beds encourages retains the water to keep the plant roots keep up its dampness without being soaked up.

The Float System

This sort of aquaponics is regularly utilized for plants like lettuce that prefer their roots remaining wet for a longer period of time. The system utilizes a floating pontoon which is comprised of Styrofoam or a floating board with openings for the pots that permits the plants to sit solidly, empowering the roots to retain water.

The Fish Tank

In all likelihood, you will grow fish for sustenance and whatever the fish interact with you will likewise be eating, so if the holding tank should be either new and having no previous chemicals or foreign agents inside or if used it should be of a 'food grade' source that can be ingested. Of course you will wan to to clean all of the recepticles thoroughly before using them in your aquaponic system.

It is best to start small with your system, try it out, grow a few plants and some inexpensive fish to start testing how it works then move to a larger system that will produce larger plants and vegetables. Move from inexpensive fish like goldfish, then in a larger system invest in fish that you can eat. With a larger system you will have lasting organic protein.

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