It is essential for you to understand the components that go into the making of Aquaponics before you go shopping for materials and equipment at a home depot.
Aquaponics is a combination of the best of the old and the new. It is a blend of best characteristics of a conventional aquaculture the contemporary technique of growing plants- Hydroponics. Several enthusiasts and specialist practitioners verify the fact that Aquaponics eradicates the drawbacks of the two older methods, because cleaning and maintain it is comparatively simpler.
A well-balanced system
Balance is an essential element of any biological system to ensure that it will sustain. This fact is also applicable to Aquaponics system.
Aquaponics system achieves and maintains its balance by the way of three major elements of the system viz. the fish, the plants, and the bacteria. It may sound strange but without the bacteria, the Aquaponics system will simply collapse. (Or it will require ten times more efforts to make it work!)
When you have an Aquaponics system in position, the following sequence of activities takes place repetitively.
The Aquaponics system consists of two major sections. In one section freshwater fish (for example- tilapia) spin around. When the fish are fed, it’s obvious that they will generate waste matter. Uneaten fish feed also constitute of waste in the water. The fish also lets out from its body ammonia, which is a chemical.
Subsequently the water in one section of the system, i.e. the fish section will get foul and polluted because the fish is endlessly throwing out waste materials and ammonia.
That’s where the bacteria come into the picture. The microorganisms that occur naturally in water begin to grow in number over a period of time. The nitrobacter bacteria are able to decompose ammonia being continuously produced by the fish.
When the bacteria break down the ammonia in the water, it forms nitrates. Nitrates can usually be found as a byproduct in any kind of aquatic systems, including aquariums. Higher amounts of nitrates in water give rise to a new problem altogether. They promote growth of unwanted plants in the water.
And now the plants assume the important role of restoring the balance of the system. Nitrates are a naturally occurring nutritious substance for plants. Plants absorb the nitrates present in the water.
Thus, in one section you have fish which excretes ammonia which ultimately gets broken down into nitrates by the bacteria. In another section there are plants that filter the water and take in all the nitrates present in the water. All the unwanted waste created by the fish is put to use by the plants which helps them grow. The dirty water of the fish section is passed through the plants section a number of times in a day, so that plants can cleanse and purify the water.
The best thing about Aquaponic system is that a natural and organic filter is in place throughout the day and every day. The fish will not experience any trouble while they thrive in a closed habitat since plants are constantly working on detoxification of water. Subsequently, the arrangement will help attain an intrinsic biological balance. The only thing you need to do is keep an eye on the level of water and make sure that your fish tank is not getting congested.