Aquaponics has brought a new side to aquaculture. It has shown how waste products of farmed aquatic creatures and fishes can be utilized for the betterment of plants. In fact, more and more people are getting involved in aquaponics after realizing the benefits. You may also be intrigued with this system, but for that you will need proper aquaponics equipment. It is not something that can be done with mere fishing nets. Most importantly, you will have to be careful about the equipment you buy. Here is a complete guide to aquaponics equipment and what factors you need to keep in mind while buying them.
Think about the aquaponics design
This is the first thing that needs to be done. Your design will determine the equipment that you will need for your aquaponics. That will in return decide the support system that the design will require.
Types of fishes
This is another factor that you need to keep in mind while choosing the equipment for your aquaponics system. Fishes play a crucial role in the system and you will have to choose the fishes according to the design you have chosen for the aquaponics. If you discuss your options for aquaponics farmers, they will suggest you go for Tilapia. This is very common for aquaponics and is like the go-to fish for this system. Tilapia has the ability to be in poor water conditions. If you are considering other fishes, then you must make sure that the water is fresh. Otherwise, the fishes may not be able to survive. But, Tilapia on the other hand, can survive both in fresh water and also in relatively dirty water.
Those who are doing aquaponics for the first time should start with this fish because it will have lesser demands. Most importantly, this fish has a high growth rate and the taste is also quite good. In fact, the growth is so high that you will be able to stock these fishes for the whole year.
Once you are done with the design and types of fishes, you will have to gather the appropriate equipment for the aqauponics system. Following are some of the items that you will need:
1. Clay pellets media
One of the most popular designs in aqauponics is food and drain system. For this, you will need to decide on growing media for this design. Good thing is, there are plenty of media available and the most tried and tested one is clay pellets. These media are part of the equipment supply that you need to build your aquaponics system. One of the reasons why clay pellets are popular is because they work well in flood and drain systems and they are very porous and super light.
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2. The lava rock media
Another growing media that you can opt for is lava rock. They are porous, lightweight and are cheaper compared to clay pellets. However, there are few chemicals that may circulate in the fish tank. This comes naturally from the rock and it is impossible to filter them. You need to use the media as a whole in the fish tank.
3. Plumbing kit
One of the most important aquaponics equipment of the entire structure, you should have a sturdy hosing that will be connected to the tank. Also, you need to focus on the quality of the tube that you will be using with the hose. It can be of PVC or any other material. The plumbing kit will also contain a hose clamp that you will have to connect to the hose. Additionally, there should also be a PVC tee. This will help split water to another requirement.
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4. Water testing kit
In order to understand the pH balance of the aquaponics system, you will need a water testing kit. It will allow quick sampling the pH of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates in the tank water. One of the reasons why this kit is so important is because it can monitor the tank water constantly. If anything goes wrong, you will be able to add buffers to maintain the pH balance.
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Aquaponics is a combination of the right design and the appropriate equipment for that design. Few aquaponics equipment may be different, but overall the equipments that are mentioned above are common for almost all the designs that you choose. Have a good experience with aquaponics!
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