Aquaponics systems, the seamless integration of aquaculture and hydroponics has endeared to the hearts of many people who have gotten to know their benefits. Who wouldn't; considering advantages such as abundant food production, reduction of labor time and elimination of the need for soil, chemical fertilizers and pesticides just to mention a few. The good thing is that aquaponics systems can be purchased as prefab systems from reputed companies such as Eco Built, renowned for their extraordinary aquaponics systems. For those of you who prefer rolling up their sleeves and doing the construction on their own, here is a peek at the making of an aquaponics system.
You might want to try building a simple aquaponics system before trying out more complex models. In this case, we shall look at how to make a simple aquaponics system; an aquaponics garden. You will first need a recyclable plastic container of about 250 litres that will act as the pond bin or the rearing tank. Other materials that you will need include a 150 litres tub for the vegetables or flowers, a 1000L/ph pump, an extension cable to connect to power and a double outlet air pump.
Once you have most of these materials, you may hit the ground running quite literally. You should dig a hole that can house the 250 litre rearing tank where you will keep the fish. You should then proceed to place this tank in the hole, careful to have a mechanism of keeping the temperature in the tank steady. You can do this by placing insulating material such as magnesium oxide all around and below the rearing tank. After digging this hole, you plumbing skills will be brought to test. You are to drill a small hole at the bottom of the 150 litre tub where you will cultivate your vegetables or flowers depending on your preference.
You should then connect a hose from this 150 litre tub to the rearing tank below to allow for water to flow to and from the rearing tank in continuous motion. When you connect the powered pump to the 150 litre tub, you will have made a simple aquaponics garden. When you switch on the pump, water will be pumped in the system. A timer is a good way of regulating the intensity and intervals of pumping water.
You can explore various ways of making the aquaponics system even simpler. There are various models of aquaponics systems that even work indoors. The downside of these models is that they require a lot more plumbing than the simple garden aquaponics. The most important thing is to ensure that you are able to achieve continuous flow of water from the hydroponics part of the system to the aquaculture part of the system. This will call for using of an effective pumping system. Reducing the distance between the two parts can help in reducing the power needed to pump water to and from. Perhaps the other important thing is to make sure that the fish and vegetables get to flourish! Do not get boggled up with the mechanisms of the aquaponics system and forget to preserve life.