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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rhode Island Aquaponics A Home Aquaponics Experiment

We've been talking about Aquaponics on the show, and thought this would be a good model for you to look at and get familiar with what is going on in the new world--even home unit--of sustainable food production.

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 fishcrayfish 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
  1. Let your tank fully cycle (2 weeks should be perfect) before adding fish.
  2. Get your water fully tested both prior to adding fish and on an ongoing basis once the tank is stocked.
  3. Buy your fish from a reputable pet store .
  4. Choose a hardy breed (I am now using comet goldfish – good size and seem to be pretty strong.
  1. 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.
  2. Forget to account for heat loss from grow bed, for a 20 gallon tank you might need a 40 gallon heater.
  3. Buy “feeder fish” on the cheap – these fish are usually packed into tight confines and come with *FREE* diseases.
  4. Pick anything too frilly or pretty – your girlfriend might like them today but she will cry when you flush Nemo in a few days.

1 comment:

  1. A home aquaponics system will literally transform the way you think about gardening.