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Farming With Aquaponics
What species or types of fish can be used in the aquaponic system? What fruits, vegetables, and plants can be grown with this system? It is said that farming with aquaponics can be done in the home; is this true?
The most popular fish being used are tilapia, trout, and catfish. However, bass, crappies and others may be used. A good rule of thumb is to raise fresh water fish which can tolerate crowding and any additional use of potassium which helps to supplement plant growth.
The tilapia is a warm water fish and popularly used in the southern states. They tolerate temperature changes and any other shifts which may occur in the water when changes or adjustments are being made. Under ideal conditions they will be ready for your dinner plate in approximately six to nine months.
The northern states or colder regions prefer this species as they like colder water. They are more sensitive to any changes or adjustments which are made in the water tank. They do have a tendency to eat smaller fish. Depending on the size of your aquarium; this may or may not be a good thing. They take an additional 3 or 4 months more than tilapia to be ready for your dinner plate.
The channel catfish is very popular for use in aquaponics. The blue catfish may be used; but channel cat seems to be preferred by the home farmer. It is fast growing and appears to be preferred over tilapia. These fish can grow up to 40 pounds. It will be your choice which size will be placed on the grill or fried with your favorite recipe.
Farming with aquaponics allows for other edible varieties of marine life which you may want to add to your menu. These include mussel, fresh water prawns, and fresh water crayfish.
Vegetables which are popular are tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, beans, corn, and cucumbers. As a matter of fact, grow any of your favorite vegetables. There are also some tubal vegetables which do very well in this growth media. Enjoy experimenting growing different varieties.
Do you enjoy fresh herbs? Grow any herb, there are no limitations.
Popular fruits include strawberries, cantaloupes, and watermelons. Sorry, it would be rather difficult to plant large fruit trees with this method.
The aquaponics system of growing foods is unique in that you may work with a system in the basement of your home, your garage, your backyard, and even your living room. The size of the equipment is the only limitation.
If you decide you wish to become a commercial farmer then you will need a larger space. But, it is unlike land farming in that it will be unnecessary to have hundreds of acres to produce organic crops.
I reside in the state of Florida and the Department of Florida Fish and Wildlife allows the home owner to use any local fish. However, they do not permit any fish used by the homeowner to be thrown into local waters.
Licensing is required for commercial use and there are rules and regulations for the types of fish to be used and there are inspections for fish and plant growth. In either situation check with your local authorities just in case there are rules and regulations which need to be followed.
Farming with Aquaponics systems does not harm the environment because it is self- contained.
The waste of the fish feed the plants and the plants use the organic chemicals for their food consumption. The water returning to the fish is clean. There is no worry for being concerned that you would be placing environmental contaminants onto the land. These systems are self-contained within an infinity circle to provide life to both fish and plants.
Plants survive because they are constantly provided water and nutrients which enables them to grow without struggling. The energy used to search for food is used to grow. There is no competition with weeds trying to take their food or water.
The most important step is to keep the fish fed and healthy. Feed them daily, check their oxygen and water temperature. Have the correct volume of water to support the number of fish to be raised. One fish needs approximately 2 ½ gallons of water. This is a variable as the size of the fish needs to be considered.
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