5 TIPS on AQUAPONICS
Updated: Nov 30, 2017
Creating, building and having a fully functional Aquaponics System is going to be essential on your Homestead Off Grid property if you wish to get yourself off Store bought Vegetables and Fish.
When creating your Aquaponics System there are a list of tips that will allow you to ease the process and care of your system. Getting involved with an Aquaponics system in not that easy for people who have no knowledge or experience in farming, BUT if you know how to take care of a Garden as well as take care of a Fish Tank you are off to a very good start, because you are essentially combining the two together to create a a pretty much self-sustaining system that will produce you crops and fish all in one.
“ If you put together AQUACULTURE (farming of fish) and HYDROPONICS (farming of plants in a water based soilless system) you get AQUAPONICS which is the best of both worlds.”
Below is a great episode of GROWING YOUR GREENS on AQUAPONICS in HAWAII.
Below are a few GREAT TIPS on running your Aquaponics System in Hawaii...but once you do your own research you'll find a lot more tips on running your System efficiently.
TIP 1: How can I avoid this first tip...it's one of the first tips Aquaponic owners tell you...Start off small and slow with a Media-Based Design...However you won't hear me telling you to build the easiest system...I tend to push the DWC (deep-water culture) System where your crops are not actually in soil, but floating on top of water...Yes DWC is an advanced system, but if your intention is to get heavily involved in growing a lot of crop for you and your family to sustain you that would be the way to go...However if you are looking for a smaller easier system to maintain and your intention is to build a large Garden a Media-Based Design in soil is the best starting route.
TIP 2: Choose the location of your Aquaponics System wisely. Location is highly important for your system, because if it's a big system you're not going to want to move it. Think about the spots average temperature...will you be placing it in direct sunlight or partial sunlight for your plants...full or partial sun will determine the average temp of the site. Your BEST location would be reasonably close to your home, but in a full greenhouse and not out in the open, even in Hawaii. A greenhouse is going to give you full control of your system. This will allow you to control the Light and temperature of your system.
TIP 3: It's VERY important that you create a proper and adequate Oxygen and Water Circulation system...if you don't your system will fail. Using water and air pumps is essential in making sure that the water has high levels of dissolved oxygen and good water movement so that your fish and plants are healthy. Both fish and plants are going to need a well-oxygenated environment if they are to thrive in your Aquaponics system.
TIP 4: Plant placement is a very important part in creating a functional and efficient Aquaponics system. Make sure you know the cycle of your crops. Plant vegetables with short grow-out periods between plants with longer-term periods. Leafy greens do extremely well in aquaponics and these lettuce's will be your most popular and quickest growing item along with vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers. Be conscious of where you place all your plants so you don't create more work for yourself in the long run. Have easy access to removing and re-planting your crops. Lets remember to keep your system waist high so you won't need to be bending over all the time when doing daily maintenance and picking your yield.
TIP 5: Your system will more than likely require additional Water Additives... In some aquaponics systems, your fish will not be able to provide the complete nutrient requirements of your plants. You'll need to test your water weekly so that you can supply any missing elements by way of additives to the water. The 3 most common additives needed are potassium, calcium and iron.
Aquaponics is going to give you a huge lead over those with traditional gardens, but you just need to be aware that these types of systems are much more "HANDS ON" and you will need to do weekly maintenance on them and watch the water and PH balance etc.
Hopefully this Blog post gives you enough information to go head first into building your Aquaponics system...If you are looking for more in depth information downloading the OFF GRID IN HAWAII eBook is just a click away: https://www.livingoffgridinhawaii.com/shopebook