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What's Newer than New Aquaponics? - Study Results and Best Practices

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Aquaponics is the symbiotic relationship between fish and plants. Fish provide fertilization for the plants and the plants provide nutrients for the fish - Aquaponics represents a very efficient system to grow plants and fish.

Although aquaponics systems and technologies have been around for a while, it is only recently getting the attention it deserves. The "New Aquaponics" represent the "Best Practices" - a tried and true set of methodologies - that gets the most out of any Aquapoinics system in the most efficient manner. It is also a more efficient way to create a fish farm or fish hatchery than traditional breeding approaches.

So, what's New with New Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is quickly gaining worldwide attention and experimentation has created new best practices.

Versatility - Aquaponics is very scalable from small to big, outside to indoors with grow lighting. This is the first truly movable farm. You can take it apart and go anywhere you want. One great idea is to set up in an empty paved parking lot. Rent is cheap and you can be in the middle of town with lots of traffic and attention. You can't do that with traditional dirt farming.

Fish food - A lot of testing has been done with duck weed as a fish food source and the consensus from those who have done the work is it's not the best choice. The nutritional value is low and it turns out fish don't really like it. They will eat it if they are starving. You would too. Another fish food losing favor is Black soldier Fly Larva. The current best food source is 1/8" diameter floating catfish food, or other commercially available high-protein fish food.  Smaller amounts can be found at an aquarium store.            

Be very careful what you introduce to your system. Pre testing anything new in an isolated small system is a really good idea.  

Growing beds - The best results are coming from 6ft to 9ft deep those with floating rafts in a continues circulation flow. From the fish tank at the top its gravity until the last trough. Then a pump brings the water home to the fish. Rafts can be picked up and but on saw horses to work on at waist height. That will save your back. To us gravel beds are a loser, even in the net pots. Gravel is a source of problems, expensive and unnecessary.

Balance - The secret to creating a symbiotic aquaponics system is balance. Once you have established this balance, the fish and plants will live in harmony with each other. To get your system to work flawlessly, you have to keep an eye on it.

  • Keep your Dissolved Oxygen (DO) above 4.0 for healthy plants and fish:
  • Ammonia and Nitrites should stay between 0.25 and 3 ppm.
  • Optimal pH balance for plants and fish is 7.0.
  • If your plants are looking yellow you may need to add some Iron.
  • There are a number of inexpensive Test Kits that use test strips. Electric digital read out meters are great, but more costly in the short term.

We are in the process of merging our research with the not-for-profit group Life's Gift. If you would like to learn more, click the link below.

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