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An aquaponics fish tank does more than just house fish. In fact, it could be the foundation for producing some of the best herbs and vegetables you have eaten.
If you have limited outdoor space or you live in a cooler climate, an aquaponics fish tank is going to save you plenty of hassle.
Are you living in an apartment or townhome and don’t have access to land to start your own garden?
There’s no need to despair and give up on your plans.
The good news is, with aquaponics, you can still grow your own food no matter where you live.
Read on for a quick guide to aquaponics and how you can use it to start your own garden anywhere.
An Aquaponics Fish Tank – What Is It?
Aquaponics combines the methods of aquaculture and hydroponics to grow plants (aqua + ponics).
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a water solvent without soil. Aquaculture is a method of growing living fish, such as tilapia in a controlled environment.
When you combine a water solvent, aquaponic plants and aquaponic fish, you can create a self-sustaining environment.
The fish provide vital nutrients that keep the plants alive. The plants provide water-purifying elements that keep the fish’s environment healthy.
Aquaponics is a symbiotic system of growing food that benefits the plants as well as the fish.
It’s a way of growing plants that can be done virtually anywhere.
Aquaponics Fish Tank Equipment
When starting an aquaponic garden, you can purchase ready-to-use equipment for your aquaponic rig.
There are three main types of aquaponics. Depending on the type of aquaponics you want to pursue, your equipment will differ.
Generally, you’ll need a fish tank, grow bed, grow media, and lighting.
Media Filled Beds – This is the simplest aquaponics setup for smaller spaces. You’ll need containers, rock medium (expanded clay or a similar medium), and a fish tank.
Nutrient Film Technique – This method is meant for leafy green plants with a smaller root system. You’ll need a reservoir, a submersible fountain or pond pump, growing tubes for the plants and starter cubes with growing medium to start your seeds.
Deep Water Culture – This aquaponics rig is common for more commercial growing. You’ll use a fish tank, a pump, a filtration system and floating rafts for the plants to sit and absorb nutrients.
Do You Need Fish?
Regardless of the aquaponic rig you use, you’ll need to acquire aquaponic fish.
You can use many types of fish in your aquaponic rig. Some common types are koi, sunfish, carp and tilapia. If you plan to farm the fish for eating, tilapia is an excellent choice.
Tilapia are hardy, low maintenance fish that rarely spread disease and are good to eat.
What Plants Can You Grow With An Aquaponics Fish Tank?
Some plants are simply better suited for aquaponics than other plants. Leafy green vegetables and herbs tend to thrive in aquaponics setups.
Vining plants do well, too. Consider growing tomatoes, beans, peas or cucumbers. Peppers and strawberries also do well. You can even plant fruit trees successfully using an aquaponics setup.
Plants that aren’t recommended for aquaponics are those with very heavy root systems like root vegetables.
Are There Benefits?
Aquaponics is a self-sustaining system that provides many benefits. It’s a great way to garden organically without harmful pesticides or chemicals.
Fish and plants in an aquaponics setup are easy to grow; the system is not easily susceptible to pests or diseases and the setup requires little to no chemical usage.
Since the plants and fish feed one another, an aquaponics setup is very environmentally friendly.
Aquaponics Fish Tank Gardening
Whether you’re short on outdoor space or you live in a colder climate, you can still garden.
Aquaponics Fish Tank setups are accessible and relatively easy to maintain for homegrown food all year long.
Maintenance is no issue and once set up, you’ll enjoy stress-free home gardening.