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⊰⊰ Give a Man a Fish and He will Eat for a Day ⊱⊱
⊰⊰ Teach a Man to Fish and He will Eat for a Lifetime ⊱⊱
⊰⊰ Enable a Man to Raise Fish and He will Feed a Village for an Eon ⊱⊱

ONE OF THE MOST ancient yet innovative farming concepts is Aquaponics.  Aquaponics can be aquaponic indoordone on a small scale on your desk or in your living room.  It can be done on a huge scale in a massive greenhouse or even outside in temperate climates. 

CONVENTIONAL farming generally utilizes massive quantities of Anhydrous Ammonia to fertilize their fields. For more information about Anhydrous Ammonia, a chemical made of nitrogen and hydrogen and stored in a gas form, click here.  

AS A NATURAL alternative, fish produce high levels of nitrogen and ammonia as waste.  Utilizing this very natural process, anyone with knowledge of fish culture and...

Read more: Aquaponics

How Aquaponics Works

The concept of Aquaponics is a system for farming fish and plants together in a mutually beneficial cycle. During the normal life cycle, fish produce waste thatAquaponics Process turns into Ammonium Nitrates.  Ammonium Nitrates are well known to be one of the best plant fertilizers.  The soil

Read more: How Aquaponics Works

Different Types of Aquaponics

There are multiple types of Aquaponics systems.  Floating Raft Systems take up a lot of space Circular Aquaponics for Domebut have a very high yield.  Stacked grow beds are very efficient by utilizing vertical farming and aquaponics systems both while also providing high yields.  Potted or container plants work well with Aquaponics systems.  Also a large bed with clay balls worka well for melons, squash, etc.  See below for many examples of the different types of systems.  Media based, NFT and Deep water culture are just three of the types - see the link below for a brief introduction on these 3 types.  There are also Dutch Bucket plant systems, and other more complex systems.  See below for more detailed information on each of the different types.

Click Here: Comparing Different Types of Aquaponics Systems

Aquaponics Raft (Deep Water Culture) System

Floating beds are grow beds with flotation with holes drilled in it.  The holes contain baskets Aquaponics growbedswith a grow media and a plant.  This allows the roots of the plant to be immersed in the water all the time.  Floating beds are best for cruciferous plants such as spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, mustard, collards, basil, mint and most herbs.  Raft systems can be the cheapest systems to build but take up a lot of space. Here is a PDF report from University of New Hampshire regarding establishing a Raft Aquaponics System and utilizing Hybrid Striped Bass for Plant Nutrient Uptake.

Building an Aquaponic Raft System

There are a few materials needed for an Aquaponics/Hydroponics Raft System.  First, inground aquaponics systemseither a raised or submerged grow bed needs to be created.  There are several different ways to do this. Either a preformed bed can be purchased or one can be constructed out of wood, plastic and/or concrete.  Also, IBC Totes are commonly used for both the grow bed and the fish tank.  Please see the link to the video below which provides information and ideas for setting up your own system.

Watch Here: Demonstrating an Aquaponics System

Watch Here: Building a Small Floating Raft Bed System

Sources for Building Materials

There are many sources for flotation material for use in floating raft systems however the general consensus seems to indicate that styrofoam or polystyrene provides the most stable and financially viable flotation material. Small plastic baskets  or small plastic pots work well in the flotation and can be filled with lava stone or clay growing pellets in which the seeds can be planted.  

Perlite Growing MediaPerlite Media

Net Pots 3 inch - 10 pack

black hydro crunch net pots d94001111 48pc 64 1000

Filter Media 

Filter Media Kits

Grow It Clay Pebble growing Media

Clay growing media

Raft - Aquaponics FlotationFoam Flotation 17x11x2

 Bell Siphon (Set of 2)Bell Siphons


Read more: Aquaponics/Hydropoponics Grow Media



Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Systems

One system that has proved to be very productive and combines aspects of the vertical 55148 1gardening technique is the NFT system.  With this system, you can utilize many different configurations in order to utilize your growing space.  The NFT systems can be built out of gutter or PVC pipe.  See below for multiple ideas for NFT configurations from multiple building materials.  

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Building an NFT Aquaponic/Hydroponic System

The first step is to determine the configuration and materials you will use for your NFT system.  You can see some configuration ideas below using different materials:

0d99966dddbab9831d0cbc64031aaaba NFT System2 pyramid NFT
NFTSystem NFT Strawberries wallgutter

NFT System1

Vertical Lettuce Towers tripleNFTsystem.jpeg
  NFT grow channels  

The document link below has very good information on building and maintaining a NFT System.

Setting up the Water System for your NFT System

Once your grow beds have been built, you need to design the water system.  Either aBasic Indoor Aquaponics System Hydroponic system or an Aquaponics system would work equally well with the NFT system.  The primary differences will be determining the best grow media for the plants.  Below you will find an video detailing basic NFT system setup.  In this smaller system setup, fish could be added to the tank below the grow bed for an Aquaponics system or add nutrients to the tank for a Hydroponics system.  

Click Here: Diagram of NFT System setup Video

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Amazon's Affiliate Program enables me to bring this content to you!  I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial or link to products or services on this website. NOTE: There is no additional cost to you. Your purchase helps support my work bringing you real information about farming, gardening and sustainable living.