Aquaponic gardens are becoming more popular for those who want to grow their own fresh organic food, but without the work and hassles of traditional gardening. Although these systems require very little care, they do need some attention to ensure they work properly and stay productive for a long time.
The main expense with reusing an fish aquaponics system is when you have to replace all of the growing medium. If you are using rockwool, for example, you have to throw out all of the old rockwool and replace it with new rockwool for each new crop. This can easily be a $100.00 expense (or more), even in a small system. Other systems use netted pots filled with expanded clay pellets, lava rocks, or other reusable grow medium.
The basic requirements for an commercial aquaponics system are fish, plants and water. Many kinds of fish have been used in these systems with success. These species include cod, trout, bass and perch. However, the fish that seems to thrive the best is tilapia. They are more tolerant of changes that can occur in the system. Combined with their high demand, this makes them an almost perfect choice for the system.
Fish. Many in the aquaponics community prefer Tilapia as their fish of choice because they are hearty, eat most anything, and you can breed and eat them at home. I chose goldfish to start because they are cheap.
With conventional aquaponic gardening organic gardening, the method is to work hard to till and condition the soil, plant your crops in the ground, and then regularly dump massive amounts of water and fertilizer into the ground. Much of the water ends up evaporating, while the majority of the rest, along with most of the nutrients, soaks into the ground and is lost. It’s only a small amount that is actually used by the plants, many of which may be weeds.
Unlike normal gardens you will need any fertilizers or plant foods to aid the growth of your crop. Plus there is no need for slug pellets and other repelants because your plants are not at ground level.
These are three of the best fish species to use if you want to market them as well as the produce (vegetables, fruits, etc.) you grow. You can also raise fish for aquariums such as koi, goldfish, or white bass and any other fish that has market value if that is what you prefer.