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When beginning with aquaponics it is wise not to start with a system that is to big….And if you go to small you need to adjust for increased fluctuations in water temperatures depending on climate…
The ideal starter system size would be between 500 litres fish tank size to approx 2000 litres….
When beginning, one thing to remember is the amount of grow bed you will need is proportional to the size of your fish tank…
Technically The filtration capacity of your system dictates the amount of feed to feed your fish, how many fish and size of your fish tank…This is difficult to work out and understand when starting out so working to a proven rule of thumb tends to get you started.
Having a Hydroponic component (growing the plants) and an Aquaculture component (growing the fish) The fish help the plants and the plants help the fish.
The fish waste provides these nutrients to the plants. Aquaponics makes use of fish wastes in the system. The naturally occurring bacteria in the grow beds converts the ammonia to nitrites then into nitrates, that the plants then consume as their main nutrient source. (not the only nutrient source) The water returns to the fish clean and so the cycle continues.
Listed are some of the reasons why we practice Aquaponics
- Minimal water usage. 10% of water used in AP than in conventional growing systems.
- Minimal weeding, digging or bending down.
- Plants are always watered and have nutrient delivered to them 24/7.
- Plant growth is optimal because of #3. Some claim plants grow 10 times faster which is just not true. Plants grow as they actually should which will most likely be much faster than you have ever witnessed before in regular gardening.
- Aquaponics is an ECO system. This is perhaps the most attractive aspect of Aquaponics.
- No need to use chemical based fertilizers. In fact is is most undesirable to attempt such. Because of the truth of #4 we do not need or wish to use artificial chemical based fertilizers.
- Food produced is nutrient dense and chemical free.
- Can produce fish and plants for the family all year round. (depending on climate may need well designed greenhouse structure to achieve year round production)
- Hi density food production. Lots of produce can be grown on a small footprint, and it is just so good to be able to catch a fish dinner in the backyard.