Are you wondering how you can create your own DIY backyard aquaponics setup? Are you interested in growing organic fruit and vegetables? You know you can produce ten times the plants in half amount the time it would typically take. All this in a “garden” that never needs weeding, has no soil pests, and requires no fertilizer or compost!
A Short History of Aquaponics
Historians believe the Aztecs grew crops on elevated beds in shallow lakes. They would then dredge the surrounding canals and use the collected natural bio-waste to irrigate their crops. These historians also think that South China and Thailand experimented with aquaponics. These civilizations raised fish in their rice paddies hundreds of years ago.
And this is the secret of aquaponics; the system uses the natural creation of biological waste from fish and their environment to fertilize plants. This method is 100% organic and contributes to healthier and more robust plants. Aquaponics can create harvests ten times greater than an ordinary soil garden.
Why Backyard Aquaponics Works.
We can adapt the same principles used by the Aztecs so long ago to our own backyard gardens. This means we can share in the abundant 100% organic harvests produced by aquaponic gardens.
We do have to make some minor modifications to our normal soil backyard garden to implement aquaponics.
How Backyard Aquaponics Works.
First, we remove soil from the equation. Along with the soil, we remove many soil-borne pests, thus eliminating toxic pesticides).
Next, we create a simple hydroponic system with elevated beds or tables like the Aztecs did, to contain our garden. You grow the plants in a medium that is common to hydroponics but different than soil. This medium includes zero nutrients on its own.
By introducing fish to our setup, we create a symbiotic relationship between the plants and the fish. Therefore, this produces a nearly self-sustaining environment.
Basically, what we do is this:
- Use a tank or small man-made pond to contain the fish.
- Use the water from the fish tank to irrigate the plant tables periodically.
The plants filter out and use the nutrients in the water that are produced by the fish. The water now cleansed of the bio-waste nutrients. While good for the plants, high doses of these nutrients are harmful to the fish. We then return the clean water to the fish tank.
Now we have a simple cyclical organic system which we can use to efficiently grow plants, fruits, and vegetables. This can produce 10x the normal soil garden harvest, in our very own backyard aquaponics garden.