4 Things To Consider When Planning Your First Aquaponics System
There are different aquaponics plans to choose from depending on your preferences but for beginners, knowing which plan to use can be quite a challenge in itself. You don’t really know which plan will work for you and which one you will be able to maintain. These are the basic components that you will need to consider:
1. Pick the location – Picking the right location is probably one of the most important steps in building your aquaponics system. Your location will determine so many things in the system, most especially how big the size of the tank can be. Putting it indoors will mean a smaller tank while putting it in your backyard will usually mean a larger tank.
Picking the right location does not only determine the size of the fish tank, it will also, at least in part, determine where you will put your grow beds. You will also have to consider whether the tank and the grow beds will be receiving adequate sunlight and whether your fish and plants will be safe from say, cats and other pests.
2. Prepare your fish tank – aquaponics hobbyists cannot say this enough: choose a fish tank that is food-grade only. Most likely you will be growing fish for food and whatever the fish come in contact with you will also be eating, so if the holding tank was previously used to hold something with chemicals, these chemicals will be released to the water and the fish will consume them.
In choosing a holding tank, choose a wider tank rather than a deeper one. This way, the fish will have more room to swim in because they swim around in circles in a certain depth so width is more important than depth.
3. Choose plants – in choosing the plants, you need to consider the amount of sunlight available, the water flow that you will be applying to the system and the time that you can spend tending them. For beginners, you will want to start with a plant that is hardy and not too sensitive to changes, the same applies to fish as well. Until you have gained experience in aquaponics, wait before you move on to plants that are more fragile.
Plants also depend on the water flow, which is an important component of the system that you will have to decide on. Plants will be getting the nutrients they need in the water which is why their lives depend on the water flow.
4. Choose fish – As mentioned in choosing plants, choose a hardy fish or else the mortality rate will be high. When starting out, you will still have to learn how to maintain the system and the water levels. Changes in the water can weaken and even kill fish that are sensitive to these changes, so you’ll want a hardy fish that can handle your “learning curve”. Fish feed is another thing that you will be learning about, namely, when to feed the fish and how often to do so, so that they will grow to their maximum size.
It may seem daunting, but Aquaponics is a very simple system to work with once you get over the learning curve. Start small, and keep at it, and you will soon have a very nice source of fish and produce for your enjoyment!
Adele Salina is an aquaponics expert. For more great tips on aquaponics plans [http://www.aquaponicslearningcenter.com/aquaponics-plans/], visit http://www.aquaponicslearningcenter.com [http://www.aquaponicslearningcenter.com/aquaponics-plans/].