So you’ve got a your hydroponics system running well but you’ve got an itch to take things to the next level.
You might have heard about aquaponics and wonder how you can get started with your own system.
In this post, we take a look at going from hydroponics to aquaponics and consider some of the steps you’ll need to follow to make the transition.
It involves growing plants in a water solution containing nutrients completely without soil. You place the roots in an inert medium like gravel or perlite for plant support, or else, you may place the plant in a mineral solution. You then feed your plants with liquid organic fertilizers, plus compost tea.
Aqua from aquaculture means raising fish in a controlled condition, phonics, a Latin name meaning “to work” or growing plants in soil-less media. In short, aquaponics involves having hydroponics and aquaculture (fish, prawns, or snails) under the same system. It may work like this: as a closed system, the fish will produce wastes, the plants feed on the waste, and finally, the plants purify the water to be used by the next age of the aquatics.
In simple terms, aquaponics puts fish into work, feeding and producing wastes, and the waste is used as plant nutrients.
Going From Hydroponics to Aquaponics
For multiple benefits, you can simply shift from hydroponics to aquaponics evangelist in three ways:
Method 1: Entire System Switch-Over
The basic steps:
- First, drain your entire system, then replace all the water.
- Plant seedlings and hang your system towers.
- Cycle for 6 weeks.
- Add your fish.
The drawback with this system shift method is that it has to be regular. You will have to replace all the water after every shift. It will not only be tiresome but affects your production.
The production is significantly reduced during your construction and cycling period. You should therefore invest in better ways of shifting your system as you will see as you read.
Method 2: Temporal Dual Systems
The step entails:
- Build some tower of aquaponics system which will typically be inoculated.
- Cycle your aquaponics system (4-6 weeks); it depends on whether it was inoculated.
- Now shift to aquaponics system (from hydroponic towers).
- Deconstruct your hydroponic system.
Here, you will not stop the hydroponic production. Thus, you are only making shifting from the hydroponics system to aquaponics. Also, ensure you maintain the correct ratio of plants to fishes.
If you hate maths as most do? We can then help you balance the system, for if you fail to do so, either the fishes will have a low supply of oxygen or nutrients, causing death to most of them. To save the fish and plants’ life, you, therefore, have to maintain an ecological balance.
Note: plant and fish don’t mix well as the substances used in plants might harm the fish, or even kill them. There is likely to be a space or equipment.
Method 3: Permanent Dual System
Unlike in the dual temporal system, the last step differs as seen below:
- Build some tower of the aquatic system on sides; it will depend if it was inoculated.
- Cycle your aquaponics system (4-6 weeks; it depends on whether it was inoculated.
- Shift your components from hydroponic towers to an aquaponics system.
- Use a hydroponics system as your management system.
You will have to keep both systems and let them grow specifically on the aquaponics system to help you keep your species from dying. On the other hand, use a hydroponic system as your “treatment system, of which you will need to maintain space in every system to serve crops that need treatment. You will retain your production levels despite having unused space.
For a successful shift in either of the above methods, you have to consider some factors like:
Do thorough research first, but to avoid pressure and disappointments, let’s help you do it confidently, and see your dreams come true. It will save you not only time but also money and your energy. From the nutrients you use to avoid killing the fish to chemical compounds used on the plants, all need advice from experts, and that’s us in action.
The Bottom LineSo there you have it, hopefully the guide above has show you how straight forward going from hydroponics to aquaponics can be!
Hi I'm Miles and I'm one of the team behind Gardeem.com.
Besides being a passionate grower and writer, I'm a husband, father and a grandfather to three! I started Gardeem in 2017 with the single goal of providing simple and reliable gardening advice to everyone no matter their ability levels.
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