- Posted August 28, 2014 by
How To Build An Aquaponics System At Home Step By Step
You may be a newbie or a seasoned gardener. But no matter what level of gardening skills you are at, there is always something new for you to learn.
Read this article of insightful tips on how to build an aquaponics system at home step by step.
How To Build An Aquaponics System
1. Choose A Grow Bed
As a beginner, I highly recommend you using media grow bed instead of using nutrient film technique or deep water culture. This is because media beds perform 3 filtering functions: biofiltration, mechanical solids removal filter and breakdown of solid.
This means it can simply do everything as a suitable environment for the plant growth. It is not only cheap for you to apply media bed method, but also easy to take care for your plants.
2. Determine The Size Of The Grow Bed
Keep in mind that the grow bed size dictates amounts of plants you grow and affect the conditions of plants.
The common size of a standard grow bed is 30cm deep that allows plants to grow healthy and to provide the complete filtration.
According to aquaponics experts, a grow bed with 1 to 2 inches which are left dry can help prevent fungus and algae in plants.
There are 3 layers for your healthy grow bed. The surface grow bed layer is 2 inches deep. The root layer is about 8 inches deep and the solid layer is about 2 inches deep. If you apply these rules, your aquaponics system will be balanced and healthy.
3. Determine The Size Of The Fish Tank
On average, 1,000 litres create a good aquaponics system. Remember that when you increase the size of the fish tank, you also have to adjust the size of the grow bed. The right size of the grow bed provides the filtration and keeps fish tank system balanced. In general, you can design a 200-litre fish tank to raise fish in 30cm of length.
As a newbie, you can ask aquaponics system builders and get their guide to build your own aquaponics system that you want.
4. Determine The Right Ratio Of Your Grow Bed To The Fish Tank
As a basic rule, you should begin with the 1:1 ratio of your grow bed to fish tank volume. When your aquaponics system starts maturing within 4 to 6 months, it’s your choice to increase its ratio to 2:1.
Make sure that the foundation of your aquaponic system is sturdy enough. As a result, it can carry the weight of water, plan and media grow bed.
5. Determine How Many Fish To Raise
Depending on the ratio rule to determine how many fish you should raise in the fish tank of an aquaponic system. According to aquaponics system experts, you can use the ratio rule: 500g fish for 0.1 m² of the grow bed surface. Keep in mind that it is based on assumption of a 30cm-deep grow bed.
Then, figure out your fish tank volume basing on the ratio above to increase 1kg of fish per 40 to 80 litres of the fish tank volume.
Pay high attention to this ratio rule on how many fish to be raised to ensure that your aquaponics system is safe and healthy.
6. Get The Water Temperature Of Your Fish Tank Right
Get clear that different fishes suit different water temperatures. Depending on the type of fish you want to raise, set the water temperature system for heating and cooling up and down efficiently. You can buy a specific aquarium water heater or a black tank or darken your fish tank to adjust the water temporary in your aquaponics system.
7. Get The Water pH Levels Of Your Fish Tank Right
Beside the water temperature, you need to pay attention to the water pH levels to create good living environment for your fish and plants. The right pH level in the water also helps you grow healthy plants and increase the quantity of aquaponics system products. You should fix a pH about 6.8 to 7.0 in an aquaponics system.
If the pH drops under 6.6, raise it by using biocarbonate, potassium carbonate and hydrated lime (or calcium hydroxide). If the pH level goes over 7.6, bring the pH level down by using hydroponic acids like nitric and phosphoric. Remember to test pH levels in your aquaponics system every week around 3 to 4 times.
8. Choose The Right Fish
As I mentioned above, get the right fish that fit the water temperature. In concrete, choosing fish for an aquaponics system can be based on 3 factors as follow:
- Do you want to eat the fish or simply raise them for viewing?
- How about your climate and water temperature in your living place or your aquaponics system?
- What are types of fishes you want to raise: herbivores, carnivores or omnivores?
Once you can answer for these questions, you can find the right fish for your DIY aquaponics system.
I’ve introduced the simplest guidelines on how to build an aquaponics system at home step by step. I highly recommend you sharing the article to other aquaponics system enthusiasts. Also, I recommend you reading the bestselling guidebook for aquaponics - Easy DIY Aquaponics. Please check out more information about the review of the Easy DIY Aquaponics on VKool.