Not only is it more cost effective, but this way you can decide upon which components work best for your needs. Plus, in many cases, it can be a fun bonding experience for the entire family.
Types of DIY Aquaponics System Designs
In theory, you can be as crafty and original as you want to be regarding your structure. You could use barrels, old gutters, or even recycle an antique bathtub for your garden and tank needs. There are many DIY systems such as; IBC, Micro, Indoor, commercial and Flood and Drain aquaponics systems and plans. However, for most practical purposes, there are three main types of systems: Media-Filled Bed, and Deep Water Culture (DWC), and Nutrient Film Technique (NFT).
Media-Filled Bed Design
These are the simplest and most common type of bed used. Simple porous media such as expandable clay pellets, lava rock, gravel, or river rocks are filled into your garden container. The nitrate-rich fish water is then pumped into or over the beds and the plants grow by sitting directly in the plant beds created from the chosen media.
Deep Water Culture Design
DWC is typically used in higher yield-based commercial forms of aquaponics. In this system, plants are either grown directly on the fish tank in long polystyrene rafts. Or more commonly, the nutrient-based fish water is pumped into a separate garden container in which the roots are fed through the rafts and sit directly in that water to absorb the nitrates.
Nutrient Film Technique Design
NFT is a hydroponics technique that works for aquaculture gardens as well, although it isn’t usually anywhere near as effective as media beds due to the limited good bacteria that’s able to affect plant growth. As such, an extra bio filter is often added to the container. In this type of system, plants are grown in long tubes or channels. The nutrient-rich fish water is then continuously pumped through those tubes, but only a thin film of water the plants’ roots. NFT is fine for certain plants like lettuce, but plants with heavier root systems won’t benefit from the technique. Therefore, NFT is the least common form of this type of gardening setup.
Once you’ve decided upon the best choice for your needs, you’ll need to obtain the basic components necessary to build your gardening structure. You’ll need a grow bed (click here for top aquaponics grow beds reviews) or container for your plants, plants, media if creating beds, plant pots, a holding tank for your fish, fish, some form of light – either natural or a grow light, pumps – a water pump to get the fish water to the plants and an air pump to aerate the fish tank, and standpipes or siphons (simple plumbing tubes) to flush the plant water back into the aquaponics fish tanks. Your system design can be as simple or complicated as you desire. But it will need to include these basic components.
With a clear understanding of the basic requirements, your DIY aquaponics system design can be completed within a free weekend. The system can be placed outside in your yard, taking up a fraction of the space of a traditional soil garden. Or it can be set up in a shed, garage, carport, or even inside the house if necessary. Or you may need to create a biofilter. A basement or free room can be the perfect fit for a family sized gardening system.
Inexpensive, year round sustainable organic gardening, free of political or big business involvement and harmful chemicals can easily be within your reach. After all, you and your loved ones deserve the very best. And on top of it all, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you helped create it for them. It just doesn’t get better than that. Review the Easy DIY Aquaponics video system and see if this type of gardening program is right for you and your family.
Image Credit: waleedalzuhair via Flickr | https://www.flickr.com/photos/waleedalzuhair