Awhile ago a friend of mine (who is a real do-it-yourself kind of guy) asked me if I had heard of aquaponics. He knows I spend a lot of time at my computer doing extensive research for my websites and asked me if I wouldn’t mind doing a bit of research for him, specifically on aquaponics and do-it-yourself step-by-step aquaponic guides or tutorials.
So that is how I first became interested in aquaponics.
You see, my friend is a local organic farmer who started farming with a soil garden in his backyard. Since his time and space was limited he began looking for a better way to raise his crops. That’s when he discovered hydroponics which allowed him to automate much of the work and eliminate the time spent weeding and cultivating his soil garden.
Hydroponics basically remove the need for soil. The plants are fed by pumps that flood the plant tables with water containing the necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth.
But the problem with hydroponics was that the cost of nutrients kept going up and he also received some complaints from his customers that the produce didn’t have the same taste as before which he found was because of the manufactured chemical nutrients used to feed the plants.
So I agreed to research this system called “Aquaponics” for my friend.
Here is what I found:
Aquaponics is a more economical and nearly self sustaining version of it’s cousin Hydroponics with Additional Benefits.
So, let’s start at the beginning
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is all about using the symbiotic relationship of plants, animals and water to create a nearly self-sustaining environment that has been shown to be extremely beneficial to the plants grown in these natural conditions.
Take a look at the diagram at the top of this page, you can see the cyclical relationship inherent to aquaponic systems. By adding a fish tank to the ordinary hydroponic set-up you create a system that naturally produces nutrients for your plants – while the plants – filter the water which is then returned to the fish tank creating an organic cycle beneficial to both the plants and the fish.
It’s really that simple.
Aquaponics has been in development since the mid- 1970′s; researched and refined by Dr Rakocy at the University of the Virgin Islands and by Dr. McMurtry at the New Alchemy Institute and North Carolina State University. So it is a tried and tested method of growing 100% organic fruits, plants, and vegetables naturally.
Ok, so now we know that aquaponics is a really neat organic, virtually self-sufficient method of growing plants, fruits, vegetables, or whatever (and fish! which you also harvest periodically) that also produces it’s own nutrients eliminating the need to purchase, mix, or measure chemical nutrients associated with hydroponic gardens. We also know that soil borne disease and pests (requiring toxic pesticides) are no longer a problem and that we no longer need to till or weed our garden!
So far so good
But what else?
Well, you will save money on your water bill since the water is recycled and only uses a fraction of what traditional soil farming uses.
And, if the climate where you live is permissive, or if you are growing in a greenhouse or indoors, you can have a producing backyard aquaponics garden all year long
And, aquaponic plants can be grown closer together allowing increased overall yield.
But Best Of All – In My Opinion
Is The Fact That
Do It Yourself
Meaning that you can create your own Aquaponic Garden simply and efficiently. All you need is the right information.
Which brings me to the end of my story.
You see while doing the research for my friend I stumbled upon the greatest discovery of all.
I found an Aquaponics expert who has done it himself and took the time to document the information.
He even included video demonstrations to make the process of setting up your own aquaponic garden fast and easy.
My friend was stoked! Now he had everything he needed (and more) to begin his conversion from hydroponics to aquaponics.
I was so impressed with John Fay that I eagerly became an affiliate just to help get the word out to anyone considering assembling their own aquaponic system.
So if your serious about creating your own backyard aquaponic garden, please do yourself a favor and take a look at John’s guide before you begin.
Otherwise, it’s back to work for me. Always something new and interesting happening here.
Sign up for our periodic newsletter and blog updates featuring organic gardening tips, as well as, stories and photos from other aquaponic diy farmers and gardeners. If you would like your garden to be featured here at aquaponicsdiy.net send me an email: email@example.com