Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Aquaponics Systems - How To Choose The Proper Size Unit

aquaponics equipment
Combining fish and plants in a system that recirculates the water is called aquaponics. This allows the plants to take advantage of the nutrients that are generated by the fish, either with their waste or microbial processing of organic waste.

The fish provide a majority of the nutrients the plants require to thrive. As the aquaponics systems are using a pump to circulate the water, the fish waste is removed as nutrients by the plants root systems. This in turn treats the water, which will be reused by the fish for growth and reuse in their systems.

A huge decision you will face when you are looking at the aquaponics systems is how large of a system you want to use. To do this, you should ask yourself what kind of goals you have. Is this is just a hobby system for growing your own food? Do you plan on growing enough vegetables to sell at markets? The other choice you need to make is if you plan on selling the fish for income also. You should also spend sometime thinking about the aquaponics equipment you will need for the aquaponics system.

Each one of these questions will have an impact on your decision. Each of these rules will be needed no matter how large of a system you settle upon. With the aquaponics you will find they do have a couple of rules that need to be followed if you want to have success. While these are not set in stone, following them closely and making minor modifications will guarantee you have success.

For the home systems a lot of people will use an aquarium to start their set up process. The key factor here is to make sure the fish are stocked correctly to guarantee they are not overcrowded and not providing the plants with the proper nutrition. The key is to only put in 1 inch of fish for each gallon of water. Too many fish will lead to stress and death of the fish. For a larger system, you will have a larger container and can have more fish. However, some fish are a lot larger than what people think and a container which can have about 15 goldfish may hold only 5 Tilapia fish.

Something else you need to consider is how much waste the fish will generate and if this is enough for your plants nutrition. The University of the Virgin Islands discovered in a study that 60-100 grams of food the fish consume will sustain roughly a square meter of plants in a raft type of aquaponics system. This study may hold true for a media bed system to, but you should do some of your own math to figure it out.

Scaling up in the future is something you should plan ahead for. Once people start off, typically in a small room or garage, they end up seeing how successful it is. They will want to scale up to a bigger operation to provide more of their own food with the aquapoincs systems. However, they are constrained because of the lack of space they have. When this happens, you will have to either build an entirely new set up or expand the building holding the system. Whichever you choose it will be a pain. To avoid this, you may want to set up in a large space to allow for the expansion.

While a lot of information is available on aquaponics systems for beginners to experts, you should research the topic carefully. Each time you learn something new, it will save you a lot of headache and hassle in the long run.

A great source for how to set up a successful aquaponics garden is aquaponics 4 you.