The first and best thing to do would be to educate oneself in the fundamental principles that make up this unique type of farming.
Aquaponics is actually the integration of Aquaculture and hydroponics. In an aquaponics system the plants act as a biofilter for the water that the fish live in. The fish poo, which contains ammonia is broken down by bacteria and converted into nitrate’s. This would usually result in the water becoming toxic, but since the plants actually use the nitrates as nutrients, this process is natures way of filtering the water.
As you can see aquaponics is a very fantastic system as you can grow fish and plants at the same time. Growing fish if you have never done it before can be an intimidating prospect, but if you follow a few simple guidelines it can be a rather pain free and enjoyable process. Water quality is hands down the most important factor in keeping fish healthy and happy.Educating oneself on the finer point of water quality management is not only advisable but essential to your success as a home aquaponics farmer. Failure to look after the water in which your fish reside would be akin to not watering your pot plants in the summer months. The next thing an aspiring aquaponics farmer should look at is what species of fish to grow. This can depend on quite a number of factors including but not limited to geographic location and the laws and regulations in the country and or state in which you live. I’ll list a few of the fish species commonly used in aquaponics systems in case any of you out there are interested. It would be, for obvious reasons beneficial to use a fish species that was capable of breeding in captivity. Talapia and channel catfish fit this profile quite nicely, but as stated above it can depend on quite a few other factors.
The next question that seems to spring up commonly among beginning aquaponics farmers is- what plants can I grow? Aquaponics systems do quite well growing leafy crops such as but not limited to – lettuce, spinach and herbs. The reason for this is attributed to the generally high nitrogen content in the water.
Unfortunately, the education that is required to successful manage your own home aquaponics facility cannot be learnt or provided in any single article. It would seem obviously beneficial to increase one’s education in all the finer points before considering if a home aquaponics system is right for you.With that said, it can be a fantastic decision for your lifestyle and diet.