We are all great at giving excuses on why we cant have our garden, aren’t we?. We’ve heard them all. Be it space constraints, maintenance issues, attracts mosquitoes and even more flimsier excuses than that. Anything to convince ourselves it is too much work.
Well, then welcome to the world of Aquaponics!!
Aquaponics is an awesome and innovate technique to grow plants. And we experimented and got great results. We thought we’d share it with everyone. In the world of gardening, aquaponics and hydroponics is catching on like crazy. And, why wouldn’t it? You get to grow plants with just water. There is no soil involved. Wait, did you just read that right? Of course you did. That is the most highlighting aspect of these techniques.
To describe Aquaponics more specifically, it is a combination of aquacultutre ( i.e growing fishes and other aquatic animals in tanks) and hydroponics (raising plants in water) and by creating a symbiotic environment between them. So this comes in handy for those of you already owning a fish tank. This technique eliminates the need to clean out the tank at regular intervals.
Ideally the setup involves a fish tank and a grow tank above it and the water is circulated from the fish tank to the grow tank for the plants through a pump. Usually, the excretions from the aquatic medium in the tank could accumulate and increase the toxicity. But in aquaponics the water from the tank is fed into the hydroponic system and the by-products are broken down in to nitrites and nitrates by nitrogen fixing bacteria and these are in turn used by the plants as nutrients.And again the water is recirculated back into the aquaculture. [Source: Wikipedia]
So now that everyone’s up to speed having taken aquaponics 101. Time to move on to our experiment.
What we used:
Spinach stalks, a fish tank, a very basic, simple pump system, a growing tank for the plants and water.
Ideally, it’s better off, if briefly for like 6-7 days nothing is planted and a good amount of sea weed extract is added to the grow tray so that the growth medium becomes fertile enough for the plants to start growing.
So below are a series of pictures with the different stages of our Aquaponics system.
This is our setup. You can see the stalks of spinach immersed.
Another view from the top. We had some lovely golden fishes in the tank below.
A close up on the stalks of spinach. You can notice the small pump attached at the side.
New leaves growing just after a week.
And there we go .Viola! New vibrant green spinach leaves.
Other than the sea weed extract , there are no other extra nutrients that are added to the system. It’s truly a self-sustaining system. a great joy to watch the first few leaves come up. We’ll update more as it grows.Hopefully we’ve inspired you enough to indulge in it. Waiting to hear your thoughts and probably your experience with either aquaponics or hydroponics.
We have already started working on our next hydroponics project and we’re super excited about it..and probably soon there will be a post out there. Stay tuned until our next post!