Having an aquaponics system at home has many benefits and due to the nature of aquaponics systems they can be set up and work in many different climates.
Aquaponics comes from aquaculture and the basic explanation for it is using fish to grow plants. The fish create all the nutrients that the plants need and in turn the plants filter out the water for the fish to live in.
So what are the benefits of at home aquaponics?
One of the most important benefits of home aquaponics is that it is cheap to set up and run the system. At home aquaponics use around 2% of the water that a normal organic garden would use and due to the low power pumps used in home aquaponics the energy bill is also very little.
You could also set up an alternative energy source for your system which means you could get free energy to run your system. Another important benefit that comes with aquaponics systems is the amount of work required to maintain the system.
The work required to maintain an aquaponics set up is very little compared to maintaining an organic garden where everything grows in soil. This is because you will not need to water or weed the system. All you need to do is test the pH of the water in your system to make sure it’s optimal and feed the fish. Of course you need to plant your plants and harvest them when they are ready.
But due to most aquaponics systems having risen grow beds you will be able to do this at waist height saving you having to bend your back. There will come a time when you will need to clean out parts of the system but if you set everything up correctly you will get large periods of time when the system will maintain itself.
As well as saving money and your back by having at home aquaponics, you will also find that your plants will grow much faster and the fruit and vegetables will taste amazing. This is simply because your plants are getting everything they need much easier than they would from soil. Some areas are unfertile and you would have to make the earth fertile before you can start an organic garden that isn’t the case with aquaponics. You will also not have to worry about common pests attacking your plants. The last benefit I am going to talk about today is the initial investment to get started in aquaponics. When you look at aquaponics systems that are all ready built the prices can scare you. But if you build your own system, you can save a lot of money. I know the thought of building your own aquaponics system may sound daunting but I can assure you it is not as hard as you would think.
If you would like to know how build your own home aquaponics system saving money and all the hard work please visit Home Aquaponics [http://www.homeaquaponics.org/]
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What Is Aquaponics and How To Set-Up Your Own System
Just imagine having a self-sustained food source right in your backyard. Wouldn’t it be amazing to grow your own organic vegetables and fish with no pesticide and little maintenance? It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, but it’s really something that anyone can do. The technique I’m talking about is called Aquaponics, and the process has been around for centuries. Read on to learn about the history, benefits and how to set-up your own system at home.
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the combination of two food production methods: Hydroponics and aquaculture, raising aquatic animals. In more basic terms, Aquaponics is growing fish and plants together. The fish produce the nutrients the plants need to grow and the plants clean the water for the fish. During this process, natural bacteria helps breakdown the fish waste and convert it into nutrients for the plants. This symbiotic process happens in every waterway on earth.
The History of Aquaponics
Long before the term “aquaponics” was coined, the Aztec Indians raised plants on rafts on the surface of a lake in approximately 1,000 AD. The area the Aztecs lived in was near a fresh water lake, surrounded by marshes and rising hills. They faced with the problem of trying to find a place to grow food. The solution the Aztecs came up with was this:
• They constructed large rafts out of reeds and rushes
• They floated these rafts in the water and covered them with soil
• They then planted their vegetable crops on these floating islands that they called chinampas
• When the plants matured, their roots grew through the soil and dangled in the water.
What are The Benefits?
Combining hydroponics and aquaculture has many potential benefits.
• The plants get rich, live and natural nutrients from the fish
• The fish are happier and healthier because their water is constantly filtered
• You get healthier plants that require NO PESTICIDE
• 100% organic food
Can I Grow Aquaponics At Home?
Don’t be intimidated by Aquaponics. There are easy methods designed for even beginners to have success! All you will need are a few simple tools and materials that can be purchased from your local hardware store.
How Do I Maintain My System?
Maintenance is one of the easiest things about Aquaponics. There are three easy steps for maintaining your Aquaponic system:
1. Keep your tank filled with water
2. Feed the fish
3. Plant your seedlings when your plants are ready to be recycled
Now that’s really simple, right? Once your ecosystem is established, 95% of the work is automated!
What Materials Do I Need To Set-Up My System?
All the materials you need to set-up your Aquaponic System at home can be purchased at your local hardware store.
• A tank for the fish: 3-20 gallon, glass or plastic container ($5 – $20)
• Gravel – 2.5 lbs./gravel for every 5 gallons of water in the fish tank ($2 – $5)
• Water pump – 3-4 watt pump capable of lifting 18″ – 54″ at 30 – 100/gal/hour (small circulation or fountain pump is ideal) ($19 – $40)
• 3 ft. of plastic tubing that fits the outlet on your water pump ($1 – $2)
• Aquarium air pump sized for the number of gallons in your fish tank ($8 – $16)
• Air stone (1″ – 3″) ($1 – $2)
• 3 ft. of air tubing to connect the air pump to the air stone (must fit the air pump outlet) ($ 1)
• Grow Bed – must sit on top of fish tank and be 3″ – 8″ deep ($ 5 – $20)
• Growing Medium – enough pea gravel, perlite, coconut coir, expanded clay pebbles or peat moss to fill the grow bed ($2 – $5)
• pH test kit and, depending on the pH of your water, pH down or pH up ($5 – $15)
• Fish and plants
It really is easy and sustainable to set-up your own Aquaponic system at home!
Did you find this article educational? Would you like to learn more about Aquaponics and how to set-up your own system? Visit our website Organic Sunshine to learn more: http://www.organicsunshine.net
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