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Basic Introduction to Aquaponics


Interested in aquaponics? This type of creative project has been very much in demand around the world as innovative gardeners start figuring out that you can put fish in a hydroponic environment. That's essentially what aquaponics is -- it means integrating fish and vegetables into the same garden ecosystem. In most cases, it works on a simple and straightforward premise: that the fish live in the reservoir along with the nutrient-rich water that feeds plants. The idea is that the fish waste products are effectively fertilizer for the plant, it is a kind of biological synergy that makes things efficient.

So for those who are interested, there's a lot to be learned from the projects that are going on right now. For instance, what are the most common types of fish used in aquaponics environments? In many cases, growers use goldfish or koi, more as decorative fish than farmed fish. However, tilapia is another top choice, and this one is also popular on a dinner plate. Catfish is another one that has become trendy with aquaponics people -- you'll often hear organic growers talking about how they raise their vegetables and catfish in the same system. And many people enjoy a good filet of catfish!

Some of the practical aspects involve making sure there's enough room for fish in the reservoir. This might mean enlarging the reservoir -- but it doesn't have to be extremely expensive. Some growers actually use simple plastic containers -- the kind you would buy at your local big box store. Another big issue is the pump that is used -- it has to be strong enough to support irrigation for the plants, yet gentle enough not to disrupt the lifestyles of the fish or make them uncomfortable.

Then there's a lot of structural planning that goes into the average aquaponics project -- where is the reservoir going to sit? How will the water get from there up to plant roots and back down again? How will growers be able to access the area to do basic maintenance? There's also the often overlooked issue of what happens if fish are not in good health. Growers really should have a contingency plan for this, but many don't, because they just assume that everything is going to work out.

Apart from these basic tips, it's important to pursue a project on a trial and error basis and figure out what works for you. Over time, you can get good at predicting how plant cycles will do in your aquaponics garden.

For more on hydroponics keep an eye on the Dealzer website. We offer a wide spectrum of information to growers, and we help you to actually use the products that you buy to achieve great things with gardening.

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