Hydroponic Systems + Aquaculture = Magic! Backyard Aquaponics
You’re most likely interested in knowing what exactly your food goes through. What better way to control that, than growing it in your backyard?
Usually, this would require tons of hair pulling – fertilizer, weed whackers, tilling, cultivation and a lot of other headaches that would probably cause you to give up 3 weeks into the process.
Thankfully there’s an easier way out. Aquaponics!
By using an aquaponics system, you don’t need to pay ridiculous prices for organic vegetables or seasonal vegetables at unseasonable times! You can instead grow your own greens right in your backyard, or wherever you want, and they’re exactly the way you want them to be: 100% pure, fresh, unadulterated delicious organic veggies.
For the uninitiated: Aquaponics is an extension of hydroponics – growing stuff in water. In hydroponics, the plant “floats” in a bed of water – and you need to manually add nutrition into the water to feed the plants.
Aquaculture is the rearing of fish for food. But if you’ve ever kept large fish, you know what you deal with every week – ammonia, algae and the rest of the crud fish are fond of leaving behind. Then comes our least favorite part – temporarily home shifting the fish while you scrub out the tank.
Psst. Want to know what absolutely adores ammonia, algae and the other various minerals that fish put out?
That’s right. Somewhere in the world, a genius put two and two together and aquaponics was born.
Fish excrete ammonia and minerals. Plants chomp on said substances. It’s a happy world. The fish get fat. The plants get fat. You get healthy.
So – next question – what kind of plants can you grow using aquaponics? Literally anything. Although if you’re a beginner, we suggest starting small and planting vegetables that require minimum maintenance. We suggest growing spinach, lettuce, kale, tomatoes – anything that packs a delicious healthy punch. Try it.
Bonus fact – yes, if you choose the right fish – like catfish or tilapia – you can eat them! Personally, my kids have an active hand in raising the fish – so they’ve formed an emotional connection to the fish – so we choose not to eat them. But then – that’s your decision.Now – about setting up a backyard aquaponics system – is it expensive? Well, if you buy a readymade kit – then – yes.
However, if you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty and to set one up at a fraction of the price - I strongly recommend you get a good help book. The raw materials required for a DIY Aquaponics system are readily available, can be easily assembled, and a good guide should show you step by step instructions to doing so. Your initial costs will be more than compensated once you’ve started saving hundreds of dollars on monthly grocery bills, or decided to sell your excess produce (yes, it will happen – aquaponics reared plants grow like crazy).
If you are serious about setting up your own indoor aquaponics garden, you should look into a decent DIY guide to help you put together your system. For more information, please checkout my post here where I thoroughly review the system I used for my own designs.