Friday, February 11, 2011

Aquaponics

So I've been doing a lot of research on aquaponics lately. Basically, when you set up an aquaponics system you're setting up a miniature eco-system. Everything works together. Ideally, you'll end up with a system that requires very little maintenance and it produces a lot of food. At first glance, it sounds like pie in the sky voodoo. From what I've seen it's pretty impressive when implemented correctly. The cool thing is that you can implement it correctly on a very small scale. So what the hell is it?

Basically it mixes hydroponics with aquaculture. You raise fish and vegetables at the same time. The fish create ammonia. The bacteria in the medium that the plants are planted in convert it to nitrites. The plants convert the nitrites to nitrates and that water is pumped back to the fish. The cycle continues.

I want to try the idea but it's kind of hard to do here in the middle of winter. Once I get an indoor setup set up I'll let you all know. From what I can tell on Craigslist people are VERY proud of their fish tanks so I'll be hitting some pet stores this weekend. My goal right now is to get a small scale aquaponics system going. I'll probably plant a small bed with some herbs or easily cultivated baby greens. Hopefully, by this spring I'll know a thing or two and I'll be able to get something going that produces something meaningful. Stay tuned.

3 comments:

Stone Age Drifter said...

That sounds remarkably interesting. I hope you update when you try it out.

http://thesuburbancaveman.blogspot.com/

Mike said...

I love aquaponics! I've been reading about it for something like 4 years and not quite a year ago took the plunge and built an indoor system.

I was eating fresh lettuce during the Chicago Blizzard of '11! How's that for incentive to start now?

I do mine in some aquariums, but you don't even need one of those. A pair of plastic storage totes is all you really need to get started. Aquariums do look much nicer! You should be able to find an aquarium with all the parts if you ask around amongst friends of friends, or try Freecycle.

If you've questions about small aquarium based systems indoors in the winter, feel free to hunt me up and ask!

xdeckie said...

Hi there,
Get in to sprouting,heck with the garden...Sooo easy and healthy!
xdeckie