Benefits of having your own Aquaponic garden at home

3년 전

In my previous posts I  explained how we can have a successful organic and healthy yield using many natural methods like  ash, epsom salt, banana skin, green leave , composting and also eggs and eggshells…  see post on Benefits of using Raw eggs or Eggshells for your plant here  subsequently I also posted on  Benefits of Using Fish & Fish waste as fertilizer, see post here and recently  on benefits of using Dirty Fish Tank or Aquarium water to fertilize your plants, see post here all these method helps us to have an organic farming experience. But in all these options, we do have certain issues related to controlling pests like rats and raccoons digging up our natural fertilizers like egg and or fish wastes, odor from rotten eggs and fish which is quite repulsive and can attract more pests and issues related to constant weeding, watering and ensuring soil pH etc. More so we have issues related to sustainability of maintaining those vegetable crops we need fresh especially those of us living in temperate regions as winter is approaching or those steemians living in tropical zones as dry season is also near. 

The big question is how do we keep up producing those fresh vegetables which provides a healthy organic food on our table and source of extra revenues for our pockets. 

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The answer lies in Aquaponics.

What then is Aquaponics

According to Wikipedia, Aquaponics is a system which combines conventional aquaculture that involves growing aquatic animals like fish, crayfish, prawns and snails with hydroponics which centers on cultivating plants in water in a symbiotic environment. More so, aquaponic system can be said to be a process of food production that combines traditional method of aquaculture with that of hydroponics. In this system, there is a symbiotic relationship between the animals and plants when it comes to aquaponics as effluents from aquatic animals are being utilized as foods by plants, subsequently, the plants purify water for the aquatic animal as plants and fish are grown in the same system without any soil. This method is one of the best ways to achieve sustainable farming because you can grow high amount of produce from a limited space.

Having an aquaponic garden

Most methods used in farming are very labor intensive and also low in productivity due to issues related to choice of fertilizers and pests control methods to be adopted, climatic problems etc, as such, sustainability is a problem. A method that can assure steady increase in yield in all seasons is by switching to Aquaponics as this system can be done in a compact space and requires little to no fertilizer and pest control as such the carbon footprint in this type of garden is very low.

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Using this system of farming, plants lie in a solution that is rich in nutrients as such are able to grow faster and better than plants that grow in soil which enables you to have a better harvest. Also you will not need any fertilizer as the wastes from the fish will provide the plants with the much needed nutrition.

Some benefits of having your own Aquaponics At Home

There are a number of benefits of setting up aquaponics system in your home which are;

• There is no soil pests in Aquaponics that may dig or eat up your crops.

• Aquaponics saves space as you can place plants closer to each other

• With Aquaponics there is no weeding as there is no soil 

• No watering in aquaponics as the system constantly re circulates water as such it conserves water

• In Aquaponics, plants grows faster since they have access to nutrients at all times

• Requires less energy because in aquaponics there is no weeding, pest control, fertilizing etc as such you use 70% less energy compared to traditional gardening.

• Aquaponics offers a good source of income. Since you can plant many vegetables at home all year round using very little space along with having fish, means more sales increasing your revenue.

• In Aquaponics you have less back straining since your plants usually grows around waist level unlike traditional gardening which makes you bend always as such straining your back, more so once you plant you wait for harvest than constantly weeding and pest control thereby straining your back at all times when it comes to traditional gardens.

• Aquaponics assures healthy eating. The number one reason most people resort in raising their own food is to avoid the generic food and vegetables found in stores which contains so many different chemicals harmful to our health. However, using aquaponics, we are assured of healthy foods as its one of the best means of producing your own food.

• Aquaponics assures sustainability. In Aquaponics, you can plant anytime of the year, in any weather and anywhere in the world. This assures sustainability. 

• No cheating. We cannot use chemical pesticides of any kind or we risk killing our fish as such in aquaponics, there is no cheating.

• Aquaponics produce tastes better than other forms of growing because the system mimics nature’s cycle.

• Aquaponics is environmentally friendly as it protects our rivers and lakes unlike conventional farms in an effort to ensure nutrient rich soil, uses a lot of fertilizers which may eventually make it to rivers through the water shed with a lot of harmful consequences.


Some common challenges with Aquaponics 

If you are a beginner with aquaponics, it is likely you may come across some of the more common issues with Aquaponics. If you make a mistake in your aquaponics, it may mean losing the fish and plant you have groomed for weeks which is discouraging to most people who experience such.

There are certain things to look out for which are;

Problems related to bugs

Aquaponics gardeners usually face harmful bugs which eat up the plants as such once you detect these bugs ensure you eliminate them before they spread and grow in numbers. You can get rid of them in several ways like 

A) Set a trap for bugs like caterpillars, slugs and other insect’s larvae and feed them to the fish as such you turn a problem into benefits. It can save you some money for fish food.

B) By spraying a stream of water on them you can control a large infestation of bugs. You can as well add organic solution to the spray which helps to repel insects as they will become less attracted to the plants.

C) You can set predators. A common predator that can be used for pest control is lady bird which feeds on aphids. More so, beetles, wasps, flies and spiders predates on bugs like aphids that harms your plants.


Ensuring the tank water gets hot. Some aquatic fish species can tolerate tropical temperatures while others may not. As such it’s vital to know the ideal temperatures for the species of fish you are going to raise. Tilapia is the most common fish for aquaponics gardeners which can tolerate very warm waters however be aware that if you expose the water to sun during hot climates, the waters might get too hot as such there will be lack of oxygen for the fishes.

• Issues with too many fishes in a tank. The size of your fish tank as well as the number of fishes in your aquaponic system may affect the efficiency of your system. Therefore, when there is a densely populated fish, it can lead to,

a) A lot of fish waste for the biofilter to effectively convert

b) The bigger fishes may sometimes feed on smaller fish  and or not allow them get enough food to grow

Forgetting to regularly test for Ammonia 

The fish’s respiratory system produces ammonia which is discharged through their gills. Ammonia is highly toxic to fishes as such a buildup of ammonia overtime in the fish tank may kill the fishes. It should be noted also that even the dead fishes can produce ammonia as well. Because of this problem, we must either convert, dilute or remove the ammonia contained in the fish tank. Use test kits to check the waters once a week to find out the concentration of ammonia in the fish tank

Access to the fish tank being restricted 

This has even been done by some experienced aquaponic gardeners which can lead to many problems. Even if constructing your aquaponics grow bed directly above fish tank will save space, this method will also limit access to the fish leading to some of the following problems

a) There will be difficulty in removing and changing waters if and when necessary

b) Catching fishes poses difficulties as they may move around the tank quickly

c) Restricted locations for other plumbing components and the fish tank

d) There is difficulty in seeing what’s happening in far corners of the fish tank

From the foregoing, it is necessary therefore to plan carefully on how to build your aquaponics system ensuring all is easily accessible so as to ensure a more efficient running aquaponics system

Building your own low cost aquaponics system at home

To set up an aquaponics garden is very easy as you just need to invest in basic equipments which are easy to obtain with little money. To start, you need a fish tank made of a material safe for a fish to live in; you need a proper filtration system plus a water pump. Then you have to get seeds or cuttings of plants that you want to cultivate. Lastly, you will have to get fish that will be an integral part of the system. Ensure the fishes are from trusted source with no diseases.

To learn how to build your own  low cost & simple Aquaponics at home, click here

Conclusion: in this article, we have learnt what aquaponics system is, what it entails to own an aquaponics system at home, benefits and challenges of aquaponics system and how to construct your own low cost aquaponics system. We are also aware that in using aquaponics, we can ( as they say) use one stone to kill two birds by growing our favorite vegetables and fish all seasons which includes winters and during drought and also avoid too much labor hours cultivating, weeding, fighting off pests and fertilizing plus watering our crops etc and the system is very easy to manage ensuring we get a healthy food source.     this means aquaponics system is a sustainable option for constant much needed organic food supply since adding chemical fertilizers to the system will lead to poisoning the fishes living in the tanks. So, for steemians who are worried on how to sustain their fresh food source this coming dry season ( end of raining seasons) and or coming winters ( end of summer) do not worry much as adopting this method of gardening assures sustainability.


Knowledge they say is power therefore, resteem this to help create awareness which benefits someone in need and remember to follow @kenhudoy for more. Support with your upvotes and send in your comments explaining the system of gardening you use with challenges you experience or your experiences using aquaponics.


Sources:

https://www.bomboraaquaponics.com/aquaponics-benefits

http://www.coolgarden.me/aquaponics-garden-growing-organic-vegetables-2901/

http://homeaquaponicssystem.com/basics/top-10-benefits-of-having-aquaponics-at-home/

http://homeaquaponicssystem.com/tips-and-techniques/top-5-most-common-problems-with-aquaponics/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics

Image sources: Google


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We had a small aquaponics system in our basement for about 2 years but were disappointed about two things. One the fish tank has to be pretty big for the talapia to get large enough to eat. And the second was that while our chard and lettuce and other leafy greens took off, we didn't have much luck with fruiting vegetables. The room is on to new uses now but was a fun experiment while it lasted.

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Sure ...all ventures has it's shortcoming but compared to others...the benefits supersedes the shortcoming however...the limitations you posted can be overcome ...try find and talk to an expert on aquaponics system for guides... Should you plan to invest once more...

Knowledge is indeed power and the informations shared in this article are very helpful especially to those who want to build their own aquaponic garden. The good thing is that you can sell the fish for good income incuding having a source of great protein for you and your family. Good post indeed and hope you get a lot of upvotes

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thanks as always @charles1 for your support and comment... regards

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welcome

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ok and do keep up the steem power... take care

An interesting way to grow your own food @kenhudoy great to know the food source is clean and untainted with chemicals.

I grow in the garden in soil, yes the bugs are a problem from time to time and home made recipes help to keep the bugs cleared out. Planting certain herbs also assists resisting bugs from coming in.

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thanks for the comment and support plus your own experience... keep it up...

This post has received a 10.10 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @kenhudoy.

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thanks bot

Thanks for your work as well! Followed @kenhudoy

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thanks and lets keep steeming hot!

Nice to meet you,
Wow, this is somehow a dream come true after all these years envisioning it coming to our everyday world.
I votes you post plase vote my post thank you
Thanks a lot for sharing, great job as always,
Follow me @jahidhasan
Thank you

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thanks for the comment and sure... lets keep steeming hot

great posting and inspiration with your posting ..Thanks and followed.

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thanks dear and keep following for many more...

We have been looking for a suitable place to start an aquaponic garden at the homestead. We are in a tropical country so heat may become an issue...

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using aquaponics as i reiterated heat may not be an issue as you can find some fishes that adapt in warm water which is even good against some pest bugs... you find all those addressed in this blog post... thanks for commenting and support as always

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Your welcome.

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good and keep steeming hot

@kenhudoy, I sometimes wonder how people are connected. I have been looking into aquaponics techniques myself for a long period of time and havd quite a lot of question. Your article is fantastic! Thank you for sharing with us. Be blessed

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very glad you fund this post of good value which is why steemit is more of a knowledge bank... keep it up and ensure you do the needful...

thanks for sharing keep it up

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welcome and follow for more... remembering that your health is your wealth as such healthy food source and living is a good choice...

Aquaponics is a great idea but is it practical in a home ?

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can be at home or out of home depends on space and location...
thanks and do you eat quail... check out my post on quail eggs

I will see to this soon. I love it

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Sure and keep us posted here...

as thorough as always @kenhudoy! upvoted indeed

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Tks...I updated last two posts...very vital info for us too...regards

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indeed. thanks for your work!

Very interesting post. Upvoted

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Thanks for your support

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Ok... @jeanpi1908
Any real benefit of using my post... ? If so it's ok as long as am properly cited and sent the link of the post

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thanks ...saw it ...
I do really appreciate... and think its a good option as i put a lot of effort on the post and most of the money there is even from booster and minnowsupport bot just to be seeing... thanks

Yes aquaponics are one of the most efficient food production methods on earth and can be done just about anywhere!

Very important information!

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Thanks sir...do you guys use the aquaponics system at Eden... What of quails... I updated on it...very useful for health...

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We have done aquaponics before but its more sustainable for us to use our land and fertile soil instead. Its very viable ESPECIALLY in bad growing climates or places with little space like urban environments.

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sure... always with a very good answer... you seem to be very aware of anything healthy living...am yet to box you to a corner and will hopefully find a topic i shall have upper hand..and will celebrate it like winning a boxing match!...you truly my man... what of quail eggs... i updated on it... take a look...thanks as always!

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Yes I have been researching, experimenting and living suitably for 12 years. I have traveled the world and read many books and met many smart people.
Thanks for your recognition and support.
Yes we had quail for some time, they are useful as a mass produced product but not very useful in a sustainable homestead because they must be caged up all the time. I will check the post and provide an answer

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sure ... they must be caged and not allowed to free forage like chickens do... but i guess because they may fly of...and for ths reason you do not like keeping them because you love freedom for all... nice one...

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Yes I love freedom for all. Though chickens also eat bugs, make compost, scratch and till the soil. There are many things they can do, quail must be fed, caged and maintained without doing those things.

Do you have a system? It's still on my list to experiment with. I have friends and neighbors who are very successful with it.

Great write-up, thanks for sharing!

Last year we did container gardening, and brought some of the containers in when it started getting cold. Didn't help, the tomatoes seemed "programmed" to die then, and we had aphids everywhere...

A couple months before the frost, we tried planting two varieties of lettuce, in two locations: half (of both seeds) outdoors, and half in a hydroponic setup. We didn't have fish, so it wasn't aquaponic. However, the indoor lettuce grew about twice as fast and lush as the outdoor!

So I can definitely see the benefit to it. Perhaps we'll add that to our outdoor garden, next year? We're already planning to add chickens, and having fresh fish might be good as well.

Can you use salt-water fish? Or does it have to be fresh-water? (We love salmon sushi! :) ) My guess is you can't as the salt probably wouldn't be good for the plants.

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Sure you answered it correctly...best Tilapia and or fresh water fishes... Keep it up😊

I am a big fan of aquaponics and have yet to get setup. I do have a small pond with fish in it and greens, duckweed, lotus, ect but have not made the leap over yet.

Exceptional post.

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thanks for the comment... give it a trial and keep us updated regularly on the outcome...
regards

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I shall, for some reason I am a bit intimidated by getting set up, I know that must sound funny but it's true. ha.

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Every start up is like that...but once you get over eat...be ready to accept mistakes which makes you human...then soon you be teaching others based on your own experience 😎