How to DIY Aquaponics Fish Fank? Aquaponics is a sustainable food system that combines aquaculture, or fish farming, with hydroponics. This method of farming can provide you with fresh and healthy produce year-round! In this blog post we’ll tell you how to get started on your own DIY Aquaponics Fish Fank at home.
What is Aquaponics
Aquaponics is a plant-growing system that recirculates and filters all the water needed for the plants life cycle. The aquaponic fish tank houses goldfish, koi or other pond fish. In order to keep the fish alive you must feed them so you need to be sure there are enough fish in the tank to not only keep themselves alive, but also eliminate the ammonia that is created as a result of their waste. The water you return to the system can either be used directly for irrigation or it can go through a filtration unit and then be returned to the aquaponic fish tank.
Benefits of Aquaponics
Because the aquaponic system is recirculating and filtering the water, you will have only good quality water. Because of this there are very few plants that cannot survive in an aquaponics fish tank. You do not need expensive fertilizers to grow your plants and can even add worms into your fish tank to increase their population; which will help process the food that you will be feeding your fish. Not only does aquaponics allow plants to grow in high concentrations, but it also allows you to have more than one crop at a time; another benefit of aquaponics is that it can produce up to ten times the amount of food as a traditional garden
This system even has a high success rate with organic vegetables that have difficulty growing in soil.
How to DIY Aquaponics Fish Tank
First you need a fish tank and then some gravel, tubing, air pumps, air stones and plants. You can make your own filtration system by using barrels, buckets or other containers. To setup the tube to deliver the water to your plants you can attach it to a siphon and then put that in the fish tank. Some people even use PVC pipe and connect it directly to their greenhouse or build an aquaponics fish tank system inside their house. The more recycling of the water, the healthier the fish are. The plants can be watered with either the water directly from the fish tank or you can run it through a filtration system.
Supplies Needed for your own Aquaponic Fish Tank
1. A tank to house the fish and plants
2. Air Pump
3. Air Stones
6. Water[Note: You will need a pump if you are using a tank that is not already filtered.]
Steps to creating your own aquaponic fish tank
1. Get a tank and put up the back against something stable.
2. Fill it about half way with water
3. Add air pump, air stones, gravel and plants
4. Feed the fish (You can use feeder fish and they will be fine in the tank as long as you do not overstock it)
Why you should DIY an Aquaponic Fish Tank and not buy one already made (pros and cons)
1. You can build a system that fits your needs exactly
2. You can make it in any size to fit the space you have
3. With enough work and experimenting, you could come up with a system that will outperform Aquaponics done commercially. This could even lead to you selling your product or getting a job building commercial aquaponic fish tanks for people.
4. Once someone has created a successful DIY Aquaponic fish tank, many people buy it and use it for themselves. This gives that person profit he/she could not receive by just making the one commercial tank.
5. The whole concept of DIY is independence from outside sources.
1. You have to put in the time and effort to learn how to do it properly.
2. The materials you will need may be troublesome to find, depending on where you live.
3. You could spend all that time and work only for your fish tank not work right the first time.
Aquaponics is a symbiotic system of aquaculture and hydroponics which recirculates water through various biological systems. Aquaponics can be used to cultivate any kind of plant as well as fish, crustaceans, mollusks, etc. The system is closed and ecosystem based. This means that the waste produced from the aquatic animals provides nutrients for plants in the system. In aquatic systems water is generally considered a waste product. With aquaponics, however, the effluents created by fish and other aquatic animals are part of a natural cycle which provides nutrients and oxygen for plant growth.
The aquaculture component of an aquaponic system refers to the raising of finfish such as carp, trout, catfish, or tilapia. The hydroponic component consists of cultivating plants such as lettuce, herbs, tomatoes and other vegetable crops using mineral nutrient solution, with absolutely no soil used in the system.
The aquaponic system is cyclical because water flows through plant growth beds where roots are placed in the nutrient-rich water, which is cleaned by the plants as it passes through. The water then flows back to fish tanks where they receive clean oxygenated water.
The principal behind aquaponics is that plant roots need dissolved nutrients and fish waste provides many of these nutrients. As the waste decomposes in an aerobic environment, nitrifying bacteria convert the ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate.
Fish waste provides nutrients to the plants and fish are able to utilize some of these as their food source, but it is not a good idea to feed them too much (unlike goldfish). As a general rule, you should only feed your fish as much food as they can eat in three minutes.
Other advantages of aquaponics include:
Aquaponic growing doesn’t require much space. A tank about 7 feet long, 4 feet wide and 20 inches deep can accommodate 50 tilapia or five to six thousand lettuce plants year-round in a greenhouse environment. One harvest from the same system every two weeks can produce up to 2,500 pounds of produce and 518 pounds of fish per year. This is without considering any revenue generated from selling excess fish and/or plants grown in your aquaponic system. For vegetable crops you will be able to grow almost anything except corn, root crops (such as carrots) or starchy vegetables (like potatoes). Leafy greens such as spinach thrive best; fruits like bell peppers, tomatoes and strawberries are also excellent aquaponic crops.
The fish waste provides nutrients for the plants while the plants filter out toxins from the water which keep algae blooms at bay. A natural ecosystem is created where all components depend on each other to survive. Aquaponics uses a fraction of the water required by soil-based agriculture and there is no need for tilling (a good thing). The plant roots grow in oxygenated water with precise amounts of mineral nutrients. The result is a steady production of organic vegetables throughout the year in any climate and without pesticides, weeding or watering as in regular gardening. Even people living in very isolated places can be self-sufficient by using an Aquaponic system to grow their own food.
Aquaponics in small scale is an excellent way to grow fish and plants at home. Aquaponic systems can be built inexpensively using materials like PVC piping, wooden pallets or even plastic containers with no complicated electrical wiring or plumbing involved. It does not require much space and you will have fresh organic vegetables grown using waste water from your own fish tank. You will also get high quality protein from fish that are raised naturally without the use of antibiotics and animal by-products, all while reducing pollution and increasing sustainability in our environment.