When you're starting an aquaponic system, you'll need to buy some materials to get your system off of the ground. The items that you’ll need depend on how large you want your system to be, along with the amount of space that you have available, but there are some parts that you’ll need no matter the size of your system. For your system, you’ll need a pump. The pump will be used to transfer the water from the fish tank over to your plants. You’re also going to need a fish tank that is the size needed for the fish that you are raising. In order to grow your plants, you’re going to need a grow bed. In order to transfer the water to and from the fish, you’re going to need PVC tubing. You’re also going to need a heater to make sure that the fish tank water stays at the temperature your fish will need. Your grow bed will need something for the plants to rest on, so you should either use gravel or clay pebbles. To make sure that you pH is at the level that it should be, you’ll need a testing kit to test your water.
Now that you've gotten the items required for your system, you’re going to need to decide what type of fish you’d like to use. Certain types of fish are able to adapt better to a frequently changing system. These fish include perch, bass, trout, cod, and tilapia. Tilapia is a great choice for an aquaponic system as they adapt very well to changes in their water. When making your fish choice, you’ll need to take into account the fish that you prefer to eat. Many people prefer tilapia when eating fish as it is a very mild fish.
Once you've decided on the type of fish you’re going to use, you’ll need to decide on the plants you’d like to grow. Typically, most plants do well in an aquaponic system. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Most rooted plants, such as potatoes, don’t do too well in this system. Since the system doesn't use soil, the plants won’t grow properly. Instead of trying to grow root plants, you could try to plant fruits, herbs, or leafy greens. Fruits tend to do well in an established system so you may want to hold off on those until you’re system is more established.
Having an aquaponic system is a great way to save money and provide you with more than one source of food. As long as you take the time to understand the workings of an aquaponic system, you’ll be well on your way to a great harvest of fish and plants. Now that you know what you need to get started, go out there are start your garden today!
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