Aquaponics – Organic Hydroponics
Aquaponics – organic hydroponics. This technique is still regarded as relatively new although it’s actually been used for centuries now – this technique fuses aquiculture and hydroponics.
When growing in hydroponics it’s hard to use organic products for various reasons; excess nutrients, decomposition that can cause fungi that can infect the roots, they can block up the irrigation system and many other reasons. This means that when growing in hydroponics you need to use chelated chemical products – you can get some products that have organic ingredients but for hydroponics most of them tend to have chemicals or minerals.
With the aquaponics technique, you can use organic products on plants grown in hydroponics by using fish. There are many ways to grow like this – some people raise fish and use their water to water their plants in hydroponics, and then the water is cleaned and put back into the fish tank although it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Aquaponics can be done various ways; with floats and the fish tank underneath the plants or separated. The floats are used with enormous water tanks, almost like pools, with the floats keeping the plants up, floating, and the roots completely submerged; the tank beneath the plants is a system similar to the previous one that has one small issue; the fish need a higher pH thank the plants, with two whole points in difference – plants need around 5.5 and the fish need 7.5.
The best aquaponics system is that which has the two methods separate; a tank with the fish, a filter that filters out any solid parts, a biofilter that changes the ammonia from the fish into nitrates for your plants, and then the hydroponic system and after that, before the water goes back to the fish tank, a drain with a pump. This makes for a more hygienic situation for both the fish and the plants. You’ll need to keep those ammonia levels down low and control the oxygen levels.
When using preventive products for pests and fungi, make sure to use products that won’t contaminate neither the water nor the fish – we recommend using biological products which are effective and won’t contaminate the water. You can’t add fertilizers to these kinds of grows, all you need to do is keep the temperature of the water at around 25º. This is the only way to organically grow in hydroponics without blocking up the irrigation system and ruining the grow.
If you have any suggestions, questions, ideas or stories don’t hesitate to comment down below and our team of experts will get back to you as soon as possible. Happy growing!
Author: Fabio Inga
Translation: Ciara Murphy