Learning how to run a successful aquaponics garden is important in today's green economy. As technology in aquaponic gardening is rapidly becoming available, keeping yourself educated on the new advances will help you keep your garden growing in an efficient, self-sustaining, and earth friendly way.
- Choosing the appropriate location for your aquaponic system is the most important key to successful aquaponic gardening. Whether real or artificial sunlight is used, your system needs to be fully exposed to it. If your aquaponic garden will be outdoors, you need to think about the temperatures of your climate. The fish and plants in your system will do best around 70 degrees year around. You may consider using a greenhouse if your system will be outdoors. This will also help protect your equipment and plants from animals and adverse weather conditions.
- Ensuring your water supply has plenty of oxygen will ensure the proper growth and health of your plants and aquaculture. This can be achieved with an air pump or a simple design in your tubing. In terms of oxygen, it's better to have too much than too little.
- Your location can mandate which types of fish you're using in your aquaponics system. Tilapia is a common breed of fish used in aquaculture, but some areas have banned the use of them. It's best to check your local regulations to ensure your type of fish are legal. Keeping in mind the temperatures of your climate, you will need to research your fish choice to ensure they will be able to survive. If you're heating the water or using an indoor system, this can help with the variety of fish you can use.
- Purchasing books and browse the Internet on keeping your aquaponics garden healthy is critical to keep your system successful. The use of additives may sometimes be necessary if your plants look like they are suffering from a deficiency. In a newer system, it may be required to add calcium, iron, or potassium (or a combination of the three) to get your aquaponics system started healthily.
- Regularly checking the pH levels of your water is very important. The pH measures how acid or alkaline your water is. Each living thing lives in a different optimal level. With humans, the hair, eyes, face, skin and other parts of the body each have a different optimal level. This is also the same with plants and fish. Fish have an optimal pH level of around 6.5 to 8.5, while plants survive better with a lower level of pH … Try to keep your pH level for an aquaponic system around 7.0 for the optimum results.
- The most successful aquaponics garden will consist of the proper growing medium. Instead of soil, aquaponic systems typically use gravel or rocks. Using dusty or clay based rocks, if not properly cleaned before, can clog your tubing system and allow ammonia to grow. Some rocks contain chemicals that are not safe for your aquaculture or your aquaponics , so it is best to research your decision carefully. Washed river rock or gravel will provide you with the perfect aquaponics medium to grow your garden.
By doing your due diligence when making choices for your aquaponics system, you will avoid making costly mistakes. It is also advisable to find someone locally that can mentor you and answer any questions that might arise.
Successful aquaponic gardening is not that difficult with a little planning in advance!