Your Aquaponics Plans
A lot of consideration goes into making your Aquaponics Plans. As you start up this very rewarding venture you need to think about your purpose. You need to decide if you want to do this so that you can have a supply of fresh vegetables and fish for use in your home.
Maybe you want to get into the business of supplying supermarkets or restaurants with fish and fresh vegetables. Which way you want to go will determine the kind of aquaponic system you use, as well as the fish and plants you will grow.
To set up an aquaponics system you may require a large area. It depends on your purpose for setting it up. You could have a small unit on your patio or in your backyard, or you could have a large commercial unit on your farm.
The three main Aquaponics Systems to consider when making your aquaponics plans are listed as follows:
1. Gravity Feed Aquaponics System
The fish tank is constructed in such a way that there is a drain at the bottom. Fish waste is able to collect at the bottom of the tank. The water is periodically pumped to the grow beds, together with the waste that has settled. One end of the grow beds will be slightly elevated so the water will flow to the lower end, like it would on a hill. The water, less waste, is now purified and drains back into the fish tank.
You can use a sump waste collector. A well-illustrated aquaponics diagram would show a pipe directing the water to the grow beds and another leading the waste away in a different direction. You can remove the waste separately to avoid the possibility of it collecting and blocking the water holes. The water would be pumped to the grow beds separately.
2. Constant Flow Aquaponics System
In this system, water is allowed into the grow beds to a certain depth (mostly 12 inches). The roots of the plants extend directly into the water. Water is then pumped continuously to and from the fish tank. In this system the plants will have to be secured to withstand the moving water.
3. Drip Feed Aquaponics System
This works almost the same way that irrigation does in gardening or farming. Water from the fish tanks is pumped to manifolds that are right next to the plants. Small holes are drilled into the manifolds. You can insert small tubes into these holes if you choose to and put the ends of these tubes into the growth medium. Some aquaponics kits come complete, saving you the need to do any drilling. They also come with aquaponics how to guides detailing how you should set them up.
Each of these systems must be cleaned regularly. Clogged or dirty filters could hamper the efficient running of your aquaponics system. Blocked pipes can stop the flow of water, which is essential for your system.
Getting into commercial aquaponics is very profitable. It allows you to get fresh produce for your customers. The beauty of the system is that no fertilizers are used. You control what goes into the water, which can be as strict or diverse a diet as you think is necessary. You will be able to provide organic produce, something a lot of customers are leaning towards.
Aquaponic system plans give you the added advantage of making the most use of your land. Most commercial aquaponics systems include a greenhouse. The greenhouse allows you to control the environment that you grow your produce in. You can heat it up during winter or cool it down when temperatures get too high outside. This means your output is independent of seasons; you can harvest as often as is demanded.
You could choose to have an automated system. It is possible to get auto-feeders that release food at particular times. Adding this to your aquaponics plans could help you cut down on labor costs and increase your bottom line. You will however need to hire help to help you with the harvesting.
Where To Get Supplies
Most agricultural stores stock fish food and most stock aquaponics supplies alongside all other livestock supplies. Look for a supplier near you.
What Kind Of Fish To Grow
There are a number of aquaponics fish, which you can grow. You can grow edible fish as well as ornamental fish. The following are known to do well when reared in aquaponic systems:
1. Tilapia: They are hardy fish and can adjust to almost all kinds of conditions but only prefer warm water. They grow quickly and can get quite large. Are tasty as well.
2. Yellow Perch: They eat almost anything, prefer cooler water and are a favorite with chefs. Their meat is flaky and delicious.
3. Large mouth bass.
4. Yellow perch
The kind of fish you grow also determines the plants you grow. If you have aquaponics fish that survive in warm waters, you will need to grow plants that do well in warm temperatures. The system needs to be favorable to both the fish and the plants.
Aquaponics, sometimes written as aqua ponics, is the newest development in the agricultural industry. You can choose to do it in your own backyard or go commercial. There are various kinds of aquaponics systems at your disposal, as well as a variety of fish and plants that you can choose to grow. Just remember to do thorough research before you make your aquaponics plans.