An aquaponics system can be developed not only in tropical regions but also in colder regions in the world where winter seasons can last up to several months. Today, there are many fully functioning small-scale and commercial aquaponics systems in different regions of the world. Setting up an aquaponics system anywhere can be easy, but for it to be successful, it requires a comprehensive plan and research.
Whether it is for a small-scale indoor, backyard, or commercial aquaponics systems, many important factors must be considered in setting up your own system. It is essential that careful thought and planning must be done to succeed. Many start-up aquaponics systems failed because of a lack of research and proper planning.
Here are the lists of essential considerations any aquaponics beginner must make in setting up their system.
Here are several essential personal considerations you must make before setting up your aquaponics system.
1. Choosing the type of aquaponics system that you want to set up: What type of aquaponics system do you want to implement? Are you interested in setting up a media-based system, raft system, NFT, or a combination of these systems? Any of these systems work well and can be successful if you do proper planning and research.
2. What is your purpose in setting up an aquaponics system?: Why do you want to have an aquaponics system? What are your goals? These questions should be given a thought so you can plan your system correctly and for you to know what system will meet your goals and purpose.
3. How will you set up your aquaponics system?: Are you going to buy a well-proven free-made design, or do you prefer to do-it-yourself your system? DIY aquaponics is a trial and error but can be a rewarding and fun learning experience. It may also take a long time to make as you are trying to figure things on your own. However, if you want a proven system that can run quickly and with technical support and you can choose to purchase a free-made aquaponics system.
Your location and the place where you put your aquaponics system are very important for the fish and plants’ healthy growth. To get the optimum results from your system, make sure that the plants and fish you want to grow are readily available in your location. Your location, climate, and other factors will play an essential role in setting up your own aquaponics system.
What is your environment like? The rain, climate, amount of sunlight, and water source is important to running and maintaining a healthy aquaponics system. To have a good harvest from your plants, you need to choose plants that grow well in your climate. You can build a greenhouse or artificial lighting, but you also need to find plants that are suitable to your environment.
The choice of plants you want to grow can influence the type of aquaponics system you end up purchasing or setting up. Most aquaponics beginners choose to set up a media-based system because media beds are versatile, easy to set up, and works well for longer-term fruiting crops like tomatoes and peppers. Understanding the types and needs of the plants you want to grow will also impact your choice of lighting systems, temperature, and other nutrient requirements of your aquaponics system.
An aquaponics system works well with almost as many fish, but some locations require permits to grow certain fish species. Generally, fish are classified by temperature, and each fish species has a particular temperature range that is ideal for its health and growth. Trout are cold-water fish, while tilapia are warm-water fish. The most commonly grown fish in aquaponics are tilapia, goldfish, and koi because they are hardy fish and require little maintenance.
Aquaponics Components Consideration
To get started in setting up your aquaponics system, you have to understand the components needed and carefully consider the design, location, and set up that will work best for your location and space. These aquaponics system components may vary in style and size, and each plays a vital role in the success of your system, so you must give some thought to your design before you get started.
The following components are important in building your aquaponics system. There are two types of components in an aquaponics system; The materials are the materials or equipment needed to build your system while the supplies are the supplies needed to manage or optimize your system.
- Fish Tank – Depends on the size you choose, but a round fish tank is the recommended fish tank shape in aquaponics.
- Grow Bed- Media bed, raft, PVC pipes.
- Grow Bed Support – The frame that will support the weight of your grow bed
- Sump Tank – (Optional) This will depend on the design of your system.
- Plumbing pipes and fittings – Depends on the type of your grow beds, system, and other factors.
- Water pump – The size depends on your desired tank exchange rate and several grow beds.
- Bell Siphon – This is required in a flood and drain or media-based system.
- Grow Lights – This is required in an indoor aquaponics setup.
- Heater – Optional. This depends on your location, fish species, and target water temperature.
- Grow Media – Required in a media-based system. You can use expanded shale, clay pebbles, gravel, lava rocks, and other inert media.
- Monitoring System – Optional. It depends on your situation and how you want to manage your system.
- Timers and Controllers -Optional, mostly used for lighting and pumping.
- Water Quality Test Kit – This is important in monitoring the water quality parameters of your system.
- Cycling Kit – A source of nitrifying bacteria or ammonia required to cycle your system and prepare your system for the fish.
- Fish Food – You need a supply of fish food for your fish. Choose fish food that is organic and meet the nutritional requirements of the fish.
- Fish Care Products – These are fishnet, thermometer, automatic feeder, etc.
- Gardening Supplies – Supplies you will need in gardening like gloves, pruning shears, sprayer, etc.
- Seeds and Seed Starting Supplies – Net pots, germination trays, or seed starting kit you will need to get your plants off to a good start.
These considerations are essential for the success of your aquaponics system. Proper planning and putting thoughts into the design of your system before you get started will make the entire process easier. Keep in mind that there are so many free resources to learn from on the internet and that having a successful aquaponics system requires patience. Setting up and maintaining a successful aquaponics system is a trial and error, so don’t be afraid of experimenting with your new system, because sometimes this is the best way to learn. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and feel free to leave your comment below.