Aquaponics | DIY / How-To | An Efficient Backyard 'Go Green' System
Author C. Sanders. Published on June 18, 2011 - 3:20 am (1383 views — 1659 words
Aquaponics is a sustainable farming system that combines hydroponics and aquaculture. The system is highly efficient and eco-friendly because it only uses 10% of what a normal farm would use. It can also be aesthetically pleasing especially when you use flowering plants or ornamentals together with a tank of gold fish.
If you are concerned about the quality of food you are eating, you can take control by using backyard Aquaponics to produce your own food. Today, most people are concerned of the chemicals that are present in many types of produce that are harvested in tons. You may be able to break that dangerous chain and become self-sufficient with your own home-grown produce if you have an efficient backyard Aquaponics system.
Backyard Aquaponics efficiently utilizes and recycles water, which is one of the crucial components of the entire system. The dirty water from the fish tank is pumped into the plant grow-beds to allow the roots to absorb the nutrients from the fish waste. The plants act as filters and the remaining water is cleaned and pumped back into the fish tank. Generally, water loss may only be caused by some evaporation.
To be able to create a completely organic backyard Aquaponics system, you only need minimal inputs of water since you are recycling it, sunlight which is a free source, and fish food. You don't need to have acres of farm land for this system and you can put the fish tanks at ground level and the grow beds on the top level. You may contain the garden inside a greenhouse to allow extended growing season so you can harvest fresh produce all year-round.
Many people are now interested in going green and protecting the environment. However, not everyone is informed about the simplest methods that can be applied at home in order to contribute.
The reality is that not every household can afford solar panel or windmills to generate their own energy at home. Not everyone can maintain those complicated systems either. But there is a simple way - a system which can help you have your own fish and vegetable farm without spending too much. Aquaponics backyard systems have become a household projects for many families these days due to their advantages. This is a method where you can contribute without spending too much and minus the complications.
Sustainability is one of the many reasons why regular folks look into Aquaponics backyard systems. On a smaller scale, it looks easy to produce your own food by relying only on the simplest structures and approach to farm for fish and vegetation. For a large-scale version, the principles are basically the same, only several times bigger.
So just think of the possibilities if all households on earth had an Aquaponics backyard - each family would be healthy and self-sufficient at the same time. And this can possibly eradicate world hunger especially when everyone could cultivate and feed themselves and their communities. Another advantage of Aquaponics backyard systems, especially when done on a world-wide scale, is that the scarcity for potable water could be reduced. The system uses only 10% of the regular water consumption of a typical farm. This system also encourages and shows a great example of recycling water with very minimal losses.
Aquaponics backyard systems are very practical for everyone. You need the basic supplies such as grow beds and pots, a fish tank, fish and vegetation, and a piping system. You need sunlight for your greenery as well, so it's best to find an ideal spot where your vegetables can get enough sunlight during the day.
DIY Aquaponics Tips
DIY Aquaponics is a great project that you can start at home. Aquaponics is a combination of hydroponics vegetable gardening and fish farming. This system is very eco-friendly and efficient since it does not need soil and chemical-based fertilizers to thrive. It is also a great way to save water since the system filters and recycles its water supply.
If DIY Aquaponics is your planned project but you are worried about the supplies and steps you need to take, you can start researching the net for resources. You need to look for the best guidelines from people who have tried do-it-yourself projects at home. Because of the simplicity of Aquaponics, many people are drawn to try and set up their own systems at home with only the help of guidelines from the internet.
You need to dedicate an area for your DIY Aquaponics system at home. It is best to put it outdoors where there is enough sunlight for the vegetation. Setting up Aquaponics systems indoors is also possible, as long as there is ample amount of sunlight that can penetrate the room.
You don't need a huge backyard if you are planning to set up a DIY Aquaponics system at home, and the best way to do it is to start on a small-scale in order for you to see how your own system will work over time. The seeding period is the most crucial, especially if you're using a DIY guide for your own system. This is the first phase wherein your system takes action. So it's important that you choose healthy fish varieties that are not high-maintenance because they play a huge role in your DIY Aquaponics system.
You may come across those DIY Aquaponics kits on the net while browsing for information. However, an Aquaponics kit may have good and bad sides. So it is imperative that you check what those kits are offering, specifically the supplies that are included. There are some kits that may not be ideal for your area since they usually provide larger fish tanks and grow beds. So you need to be selective if you want to consider Aquaponics kits if there are certain constraints that worry you.
Setting Up Your Own Indoor Aquaponics
Aquaponics has stirred the interest of many folks these days due to its many benefits. One of the main considerations why people are interested in setting up indoor Aquaponics is preserving the environment. Indoor Aquaponics can survive and thrive if you have the know-how and right materials in place - whether you place it inside your home or in a green house.
Another important factor about indoor Aquaponics is that you don't need to spend thousands of dollars. Unless you are planning to set up a large-scale system that can supply food to your community. But first, you must identify the location of your Aquaponics system. You can definitely have an Aquaponics system in your living room and as long as there's a good light source for the plants. For serious home Aquaponics enthusiasts, setting up their systems on a larger scale will certainly require a much bigger space, and budget.
It's possible to set up an Aquaponics system in one vacant room in your house. The supplies you'll need are the same, but you'll need stable lighting if the room is closed without accessible sunlight. You can set up an Aquaponics system inside your house even with only a few hundred bucks and a good lighting source.
People who have tried indoor Aquaponics may advise you to use low-power and efficient lights to save on electricity. Metal halides are highly recommended by most folks due to their efficiency in producing 80-120 lumens per watt. It is low-power even while generating more light. You may also use CFs or compact fluorescent lights since they are also energy efficient, and inexpensive and ideal for small-scale indoor Aquaponics. You can find them in various shapes, sizes and wattage.
You may browse the net for info about indoor Aquaponics. You will stumble upon DIY information particularly from blogs that may also present them in video format. You can also look for step-by-step guides to assist you once you start up with your own system. It is important that you learn the how-to's prior to starting up your system. Since there are numerous resources on the net, you'll never run out of information that can help you succeed at setting up your own Aquaponics system.
Tips In Searching For Aquaponics Supplies
Starting with Aquaponics on a small-scale is the best practice for newbie enthusiasts. You need to understand that it's best to start gradually on a small-scale basis with less Aquaponics supplies even though you will learn a whole lot more if you have other resources at hand.
First consideration is the newbie's list of Aquaponics supplies. You will find beginners' kits and supplies that only have the basic elements that you need for your start-up Aquaponics system. Your basic Aquaponics supplies should be composed of the following: fish tank, garden box or plant grow beds, pipes, water and water regulator. You can purchase other items later on as your needs grow, and these may include fish food, crates and other useful materials that can help improve your system.
Next is to search for a store that offers all of the Aquaponics supplies that you need. You can search the internet for this and you'll find many online supply stores that specialize in Aquaponics and other gardening and aquaculture products. If by chance these online stores have actual physical locations, you should visit them to see their actual products.
Now you need to be mindful of the functions and main purposes of those supplies before you buy any of them. It's okay if you wish to research for supplies as early as now; however, you should have the means of setting them up as well. While you're browsing the internet, it is advisable to look for step-by-step guidelines and other resources that pertain to Aquaponics. It is still best to get some guidelines to back up whatever you have learned and gained from understanding the entire system. But for a total newbie, you need to learn from scratch the basic things that you'll need to help you set up an Aquaponics system that will work efficiently.