Here is what you will need…
- Fish tank or aquarium
- Under-gravel filter and pump
- Grow bed
- Submersible pump
- Expanded clay pebbles
- pH test kit
- Siphon cleaner
- pH adjuster
- Hydroponic bloom solution
What is Aquaponics?
This system combines the keeping of fish with hydroponics as well as growing vegetable with the help of water. It is a closed system as the nutrients for the plants is taken directly from the fish waste. Additionally, the plants tend to purify the water. All you will add to the system is deemed food for the fish and consequently, you will have an effective ecosystem. An aquaponics system is perfect for leafy greens but most vegetables should grow well in an aquaponics system.
Now here is what you need to do when building an indoor aquaponics herb garden:
- Setting up the tank
You can install the tank for an aquaponics system just like an aquarium. Now when you have gathered all what to use for aquaponic grow beds, you can begin by installing the undergravel filter in the tank, ensure that you have put the riser tubes before you add the gravel and water to the tank. Then connect the air stones to the tubing that runs along the air pump before the riser tubes are installed from the filler. Fill the tank and use the pH test kit to test the pH level of water. Make note that when it comes to aquaponics system, maintain a pH level of 6.8. You should allow at least 48 hours before you add fish to the tank to give the water time to de chlorinate.
Add 1 fish for each gallon of water to let them plenty of room. When you have a small home aquaponics system, go for koi or goldfish. Ensure to put in a Plecostomus cat to keep the fish tank clean.
- Grow bed
Then prepare for the grow bed by making 3/16 inch drain holes spaced 2 inches apart from the bed bottom. One hole should be larger in size to let in the pump tubing from the tank. The grow bed should be larger in size than the tank so that you don’t make holes closer to the edge. Then, attach the submersible pump to the fish tank on the tank’s side with the help of suction cups or a flat rock. Create some holes in the feed tube. The tube from the pump should lead up via the hole into the grow bed allowing the line to play out across the grow bed bottom. Secure the tube’s end with a clip to block it. Fill the grow bed with expanded clay. Leave it for a month.
Now, from here, you just have to maintain the system. Inspect the pH level on a weekly basis and adjust if needed. Use the de-chlorinated water provided by the hydroponic bloom solution to top up the tank. On a monthly basis, use a siphon cleaner to remove the excess waste out of the gravel then use the waste on your house plant.
Author Bio – Born in northern California, Sherpa John has 25 Years experience in the field of horticulture,gardening, building and servicing irrigation, landscape design and installation.