The idea of growing your own vegetables and herbs in a sustainable manner using water cycles and aquaculture has been around for decades, but true Aquaponics is still relatively new. The founder of True Aquaponics, Chip Heath, began the business in a bid to supply healthy fresh food safely, environmentally and economically to local consumers. Since its inception, The Aquaponics Company has grown into an international company offering a full range of indoor gardening systems and accessories. It has also developed a number of industry-leading gardening tools and accessories. These have proven to be extremely popular with gardeners everywhere, providing them with the convenience of a self-sustaining home garden that produces top quality produce year round.
True Aquaponics combines the best of indoor and outdoor gardening and hydroponics technology. Aquaponics is a two-stage system that combines the advantages of both aquaculture and hydroponics. With the first stage, fish are placed within the tank which contains the nutrients needed to nourish the plants and grow strong and healthy roots. The next step in the setup is the use of a water filter to remove the waste and other impurities from the water used to feed the plants.
Once the fish have grown, they are harvested and sent to be eaten. The life cycle for this set-up is quite efficient and produces high quality vegetables. Typically a one gallon fish tank will hold between five and eight fish. Grow beds can be constructed using materials such as wood or metal. Alternatively you may opt for a raised bed based system, which allows for greater density and root growth, producing larger and more nutritious fish.
To ensure that the system produces the highest quality crops, it’s essential to start off with good quality fish. This can be achieved through selecting species that have a natural breeding process, so the fish grow in their own environment. Some examples of this would be goldfish and koi. The best way to source out the fish is by looking in pet shops and through online sources. Once the fish have been added, it’s crucial that the grow beds are always kept clear of debris and food.
The second stage in the system is where all the work begins. To sustain a consistent yield, you need to continually add new fish into the grow beds. It’s also beneficial to fertilise the plants regularly to give them the nutrients they need. Once your plants have grown past a certain point, then you need to begin harvesting the produce. If you’re going to sell the vegetables you should do so after the produce has reached a potency level of around three quarters of an inch per pound. This makes the product suitable for consumption.
There are a number of advantages to aquaponics over traditional farming. Not only is the produce fresh and nutrient rich, it also saves you money since you aren’t paying a lot of labour costs for the fish or plants. The fish also live in the system under a controlled environment which mimics a natural environment. This is beneficial because when diseases and bugs are present in traditional farming methods, they can be difficult to control.
A key advantage of aquaponics is that the fish can reproduce at an incredible rate. This means that you will never run out of plants or fish. Additionally, you don’t need to wait for the weather to get conducive to grow your produce as the cycle goes on constantly. Since fish wastes are the main concern when converting the waste to vegetable matter, you will always have plenty of plants and fish to help support the operation.
In conclusion, the first stage of the system is where the fish produce the produce, and the next stage is where the vegetables are produced. This process is continuous and only needs to be turned off and on. It’s important to constantly monitor the condition of the system and adjust as needed. True aquaponics is a fantastic way to grow a vegetable garden without the use of soil and other resources.