Aquaponics 101

Written by James Puno

March 11, 2020

Despite its efficacy, aquaponics remain as one of the unpopular and seldom used growing method all over the world. In fact, only a few number of growers use the system in growing their crops. One of the main reasons why a lot of growers stick to the conventional methods is because of the process.

Aquaponics can also be quite expensive as you need various devices to run your system. However, you can harvest fish at the same time while you enjoy picking up your crops from your grow beds. Knowing what to use is important in saving serious money for this project.

Growers who are on a tight budget can always use drums as their tank. The filter box can be any container that is capable of storing filtering materials. Grow beds should be sealed containers that can be easily drilled with holes. Pipes and fittings are also needed for this project. Assemble your grow bed by drilling holes at the bottom. This is where the water goes down and back to your drum. Don’t forget to install your grow bed in a higher position to make sure that the water goes back to your tank (drum).

Filtration is the key to a good aquaponic garden. Your aquatic creatures basically needs fresh water in order to do well in their living environment. One way to do so is by providing a good filtration system. Your filter box should be divided into several chambers. Each chamber has different filtering media to catch the waste. While it serves as a filtration for the waste, it also acts as the breeding area for the good bacteria. Both nitrosomonas and nitrobacter organisms are present inside the filtration box. They can also be found on your growing media. Both are responsible for breaking down ammonia. Nitrosomonas converts ammonia into nitrite which will later on be converted into nitrate by the latter organism.

Normally, bacteria is accumulated on the surface area. However, washing your filter box with tap water can get rid of the good guys. In addition, using the wrong growing media will also destroy the cultivation process of the bacteria. It’s always important to keep the bacteria on your system intact as much as possible. Water passing to your grow bed will feed the plants with the necessary nutrients. After that, the water will go back to the tank clean and fresh. Usually, the filtered water is clean and clear as it drops down to the tank or drum. Water should be changed from time to time especially when it really requires changing.

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