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Aquaponic System: The Best Way to Grow Your Vegetables Indoors

Nov 15th 2015 at 10:35 AM

What is Aquaponics System?

Aquaponic systems are a combination of aquaculture (raising fish, snails, prawns etc. in tanks) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water). The advantage of this system is that the waste water from the tanks is recirculated to the hydroponic system. Tanks have to be fed fresh water everyday and the water that is thrown away is rich in nutrients from the excreta of the animals. This nutrient rich water is used by the plants in the hydroponic system. This eliminates the need to buy additional nutrients for the plants to grow. The clean water in then recirculated back to the fish tank.

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Why is Aquaponics the best way to grow vegetables?

Using aquaponics system, it is possible to grow and consume fresh and organic fishes and vegetables at home.

Within 6 months, it is possible to get a yield of 50 kg of fish and hundreds of kg. of vegetables.

The system does not take up much space and is very easy to set up.

The aquaponics system works out to be much cheaper when compared to the traditional method of growing plants outdoors.

Aquaponic systems can be expanded and made bigger whenever we feel like having a bigger harvest.

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Growing vegetables in an Aquaponics System

The excreta from fish contains ammonia which is harmful for the fish. When this  water is passed to the hydroponics system, the surface of the grow bed contains Nitrosomonas bacteria which takes in this ammonia and gives out nitrate. The nitrite is further converted to nitrate by the 'nitro-bacteria'. This nitrate is one of the best nutrients that the plants need. The plants absorb these nitrates, and the water thus purified of ammonia and nitrites passes back to the fish tank. We are thus able to grow fresh and chemicals free fish and vegetables and fruits at home very economically. The grow beds in the hydroponic system are usually filled with gravel or clay pebbles for the water to flow continuously.

The fish and plants for the aquaponics system have to compliment each other. They should both be able to thrive on the same temperature and pH levels in water. The closer the match, the better will be the yield.  Some vegetables that do not grow well in the aquaponics system are root vegetables like the potatoes.  All vegetables which have the root inside water and grow well above water.

The general rule is that fresh water fish can be mixed well with leafy vegetables such as lettuces and herbs. When there  are a large number of fish in the tank, then tomatoes and pepper will grow well.

You may also want to read : Magic Herb Dryer Box Review – herb drying box

The vegetables that grow well in normal aquaponic systems include leafy lettuces, pak choi, kale, swiss chard, arugula, basil, mint, watercress, chives, and most common house plants.

As stated earlier in this article, vegetables that grow well in aquaponics that have a high population of fish are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, peas, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

In a few aquaponics systems, bananas, dwarf citrus trees, dwarf pomegranate tress, sweet corns, micro greens, beets, onions, radishes, carrots etc. have been grown successfully.

So aquaponics systems can be used to grow vegetables successfully. This way, it is possible to grow vegetables all through the year, even in winter. The vegetables are also organic and fresh adding to the health benefits.

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