In the early days of Aquaponics and hydroponics, there was great skepticism on the quality of the fish--thinking they, too, would suffer, as does cattle, from a lack of space and exercise. However, the current data suggest the quality is excellent with no deprivation due to smaller spaces.
You will see and hear a lot more--pros and cons--right here as we follow the story and the technology:
Wikipedia defines aquaponics as: Aquaponics (pronounced: /ˈækwəˈpɒnɨks/) is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In the aquaculture, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as vital nutrients, after which the cleansed water is recirculated back to the animals. The term aquaponics is a portmanteau of the terms aquaculture and hydroponic.
Do’s and Don’ts of choosing fish for Home Aquaponics
- Let your tank fully cycle (2 weeks should be perfect) before adding fish.
- Get your water fully tested both prior to adding fish and on an ongoing basis once the tank is stocked.
- Buy your fish from a reputable pet store .
- Choose a hardy breed (I am now using comet goldfish – good size and seem to be pretty strong.
- Forget to rinse your Hydroton prior to adding to grow bed – failure to do so will hurt your fish and make your tank VERY cloudy.
- Forget to account for heat loss from grow bed, for a 20 gallon tank you might need a 40 gallon heater.
- Buy “feeder fish” on the cheap – these fish are usually packed into tight confines and come with *FREE* diseases.
- Pick anything too frilly or pretty – your girlfriend might like them today but she will cry when you flush Nemo in a few days.