We’re putting a large Aquaponics system into the garden of the eco-house. Most people have never heard of these though – so here’s our basic guide to Aquaponics:

Aquaponics is the combination of Aquaculture (keeping fish in tanks) and Hydroponics (growing plants without soil). It aims to solve the problems of both of these methods, delivering a system requiring very little water or added fertilisers.

A working aquaponics system needs three things: fish, plants, and beneficial bacteria. Working together, in balance, these power a successful aquaponic system. In a typical setup, ammonia-rich water from the fish tank passes into gravel growbeds colonised by the bacteria; the bacteria convert the ammonia first to nitrites and then to nitrates, which are then the perfect fertiliser for plants to grow in the growbeds; the cleaned water then returns to happy fish in the fish tank.

Why bother? There are lots of reasons:

  • Plants in an established aquaponics system tend to grow up to 3 times faster than in a traditional garden.
  • Very little ongoing water is required – great in a drought.
  • The plants require no extra fertilisers.
  • You get delicious fish to accompany your fresh garden vegetables!
  • You can have an aquaponics system in your own back garden.

In a world where our food is becoming increasingly expensive, and with the effects of Peak Oil due to make food availability even more critical, an Aquaponic system in your back garden could make a real difference to your diet and expenses!

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6 Responses to “What is Aquaponics?”


  1. Interested to see you are setting up an aquaponics system. My tanks are ordered and due to be installed soon by my brother who has been running his for a year now. What fish are you planning on raising, will trout be Ok? What power consumtion do you think you will have for your water pump? Have you found a good solar pump? Looking forward to seeing your system grow :))

    1. lepotager Says:

      Hi there Rose,

      Good luck on your system. We’re planning on Trout, and our power consumption could be up to 1kWh/day so we’ve not gone for solar at this stage.

      Send us some pictures of your system – and your brother’s we’re always interested to see how other people are tackling it!

  2. Jane Dickson Says:

    Can we have pictures please?

    1. lepotager Says:

      Certainly Jane – the best thing to do is to look at Our Aquaponics Posts. That way you’ll see the latest pictures as they are uploaded.

      Thanks

      Andrew

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