DIY Aquaponics | Do It Yourself Aquaponics Systems | Starter Kit
Are you interested in learning about DIY aquaponics? ‘Do it yourself” projects are fun and exciting. Warm and cold water fish such as perch, trout, cod, bass and tilapia have adapted to flourish in DIY aquaponics systems. Tilapia typically thrives the most because they are more tolerant of changes in pH, oxygen and the temperature of the water. This makes them very much in demand. They don’t have much omega-3, but they are still very nutritious and tasty!
What type of plants will flourish in your “do it yourself” aquaponics kit? The types of plants that grow well are typically leafy greens and herbs. They thrive based on getting nitrogen rich fertilizer that comes from the fish waste. So the quality of the fish waste determines the types of plants that can be grown. Some specific plants that will typically do well for your DIY aquaponics are lettuce, spinach, basil, bok, watercress and herbs. Also vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers can be grown easily. The density of the fish tanks also factor into the decision on which plants will prosper in your system.
This video contains clips from “Episode 10 – Here Fishie…Fishie…Fishie…” by The Common Chef available under a creative commons attribution license that allows both commercial and derivative use.
It is harder to grow plants that produce fruit in a DIY aquaponics project. The system must run strong and be well stocked. These types of plans have much higher nutritional needs than leafy greens. Some plants do not grow well at all in aquaponics. These include root crops (like carrots) and you’ll want to steer clear of them if venturing into a DIY project. Click on the link above for a step by step kit to get started today!
The other important piece of an aquaponics is the water. Water quality is vital and your system will require routine checks of the pH levels, oxygen, amonia, carbon dioxide, chlorine and nitrate. This will ensure a healthy environment foe the plants and fish alike. A simple water testing kit will take care of all of this for you. The water quality can quickly change as fish grow so keep an eye on it. Typically the ratio of fish to plants is 4 to 1. So for 4 parts of plant/bed material you will have 1 part fish/water. This will also depend on many factors including the type of fish and plants.
Other tools used in aquaponics kits to naturally filter the water and convert fish waste are biofilters. Some kits will use gravel with a bioreactor in the grow beds. This can provide the chemical process of live organisms by allowing the nitrification of bacteria into nitrogen rich fertilizer for the plants. Gravel also helps by removing solids from the water.
Does this sound fun and exciting? Click the link above for a complete set of aquaponics instructions for your DIY project.