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FAQ

If you have any question relating to aquaponics, please contact me on my contact page or by clicking here. Be sure to include your name, email and your specific question. I will promptly issue you a response and copy the question and answer to this page. By doing this, we can all learn from each other and be more successful in all of our aquaponic endeavors. 

Question: What kind of plants can I grow in an aquaponic system?

Answer: You can grow almost any plant that you want in an aquaponic system. Aquaponic systems provide an optimal amount of water, nutrients, beneficial microorganisms and oxygen to the root zone of the plants. This creates an ideal root zone environment which allows plants to thrive. 

 

Question: Does an aquaponic system use less water than a normal soil garden?

Answer: Yes, aquaponic systems use a fraction of the water that traditional soil based agriculture uses. In an aquaponic system, the only water loss is through transpiration and evaporation. In a properly designed system, there should be nominal exposure of the water, keeping evaporation to a minimum. 

 

Question: What is the best species of fish to grow in an aquaponic system?

Answer: There is no single best fish to grow in an aquaponic system. Any fresh water fish species will serve the same purpose in an aquaponic system; to provide your plants with essential nutrients for growing. The things you should consider when determining what type of fish to use are: Are you raising fish for consumption or ornamental purposes? What fish species is best suited for growing in your climate? (It wouldn't make sense to get a cool water fish if you live in a tropical climate. This is because it would be very energy intensive and expensive to keep the water chilled in a naturally warm environment) What fish species are available and legal in your area? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself to help you determine what type of fish will be best for your system. To provide a starting point for your quest for the perfect fish species to use in your system, the following is a list of some the most commonly used fish in aquaponics: Tilapia, Catfish, goldfish, Carp, Koi, Bluegill, trout, Bass, Sturgeon, Jade Perch, Barramundi.

 

Question: Do aquaponic systems use a lot of power?

Answer: For the vast majority of people, the answer is no. If you're operating a large scale commercial aquaponic system, it will take a significant amount of energy. But for an average back yard system, the power requirement is very small. For example, my GS-12 Turn-Key system only uses 41 watts. 

 

Question: Do aquaponic systems require a lot of maintenance? 

Answer: If an aquaponic system is designed and built properly, it requires very little maintenance once it's up and running. The only requirement of the operator is to make sure there is water in the fish tank, food in the fish's belly and plants are harvested when they're ready. If you wish to eliminate some of those tasks, you could add an auto top off valve to the fish tank and an automatic fish feeder.  

 

Question: Is aquaponics organic?

Answer: It absolutely is. Aquaponics is about as organic as you can possibly get. Aquaponic systems are essentially micro-eccosystems. The plants are dependent on the fish to produce waste and on the beneficial bacteria to convert that waste into nutrients that the plants can use to grow. The fish are dependent on the beneficial bacteria to convert their waste into a form that is not toxic to them and on the plants to remove the waste from the water. The beneficial bacteria are dependent on the fish to produce these waste products which they need to live and the plants to remove what's left over from the system. Like all ecosystems in nature, if you remove or damage one piece of the puzzle, the whole thing collapses. It is for this reason that aquaponic systems must be organic. If you use certain pesticides or chemical fertilizers on the plants, the fish and bacteria can be harmed as a result. If you use antibiotics, hormones or other aquatic chemicals on the fish, the plants and beneficial bacteria can be harmed. If you want to be successful in aquaponics, growing organically is your only choice!

 

Question: Is it possible to have an aquaponic system indoors?

Answer:  Yes it is, and for people who live in locations that experience extreme weather, it might be your safest option. Aquaponic systems can be setup outside, in a green house or even in your spare bedroom. The aquaponic system provides everything the plants need except for light. Outside, this is, of course, provided for free by the sun. But if you choose to place your system inside, you will need to provide your plants with an appropriate grow light. Other factors to consider when growing indoors would be, temperature, humidity and air movement.