For the nature lovers out there, owning an aquaponics fish tank is the ultimate way to combine two of your more favorite hobbies: growing and caring for plant life while simultaneously caring for animal life as well. Aquaponic fish tanks are an amazing example of how nature can seamlessly balance it’s self out and help each other thrive.
Before buying pet fish supplies and setting up an aquaponics fish tank it’s important that you understand what they are and the kind of upkeep that they require in order to be successful.
What is an Aquaponics Fish Tank?
Put simply, an aquaponics fish tank is an especially made tank that is built to house your pet fish while simultaneously growing plant life. Scientifically speaking, an aquaponics aquarium is a combination of aquaculture (growing and caring for fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without the use of soil and other growing mediums. Just water.) You can use a variety of fish to grow different plants or even vegetables in your aquaponics system.
Their sizes vary from small enough to keep in your home on a shelf, to large crops of plants and vegetables being grown using the byproducts from fish.
How Does an Aquaponics Fish Tank Work?
In an aquaponics tank, the plants depend on the fish just as much as the fish depend on the plants. This is nature balancing itself right within your home. The waste products made by the fish are used by the plant for nutrients and growth. In turn, the plants continuously clean the fish tank so that the fish have a clean home to live in.
The plants in your aquaponics system will still require a light source such as the sun. If you decide that you want to keep your system indoors all you would need to do is purchase a heat lamp that is made specifically for indoor plants.
Benefits of Using Aquaponics to Grow Your Own Food
There are a surprising number of benefits that come with using an aquaponics system to grow your own vegetables for you and your family. Aside from how nice a little fish tank with tomatoes growing on top might look there are also a handful of health, economic, and ecologic benefits to using aquaponics.
- Aquaponics gardening uses up to 90% less water than regular garden methods.
- Science tells us that aquaponic gardens are nearly 4-6x more prolific than your average soil-based garden.
- With aquaponic gardening, you don’t need to worry about daily garden hassles such as weeding, watering, and keeping the soil full of nutrients.
- Aquaponic gardening is completely organic, saving you and your family from ingesting harmful pesticides and other chemicals used in traditional gardening.
What Kind of Fish Can I Use and What Plants Can I Grow?
Depending on your intentions for the fish being used in your aquaponics garden, the fish you choose can range from large edible fish like Tilapia or Catfish, to aesthetically pleasing fish like goldfish or Koi fish.
As for plants and vegetables, you might be surprised by the variety that can be grown using an aquaponics system. Some of the more popular plants and vegetables include leafy lettuce plants, broccoli, carrots, and beets just to name a few.
An aquaponics garden can be created for home hobby purposes as well as commercial use. The only real difference between the two is the size of the system that you create in addition to certain limitations on what crops can be grown and what fish work best in a commercial setting.
Most often in a commercial setting aquaponic gardeners have had the best results when they use larger fish like Tilapia and Bluegill. Plants that can be grown are somewhat limited but still can be lucrative. Some of these plants include microgreens, swiss chard, and hemp.
Creating an aquaponics garden in your home is a fun and environmentally friendly way to take care of fish while also growing your own organic garden at home. The setup process if by far the most strenuous. After you have a good system running, it takes care of itself more or less. The fish will provide the essential nutrients your plants need while your plants help keep your fishes home nice and clean. Overall, an aquaponics system is a great addition to any home or garden.