Aquaponics Grow Media
How to find the Best Grow Media for your Aquaponics System
As we have discussed in other pages, aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, snails, crayfish, and prawns) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil) into one integrated system. Ammonia in fish waste is broken down by bacteria and converted into nitrites – and then nitrates – to be used as fertilizer for the plants. It is clear that the main components of a recirculating aquaponics system are the fish tank, fish, grow beds, plants, and pump. But did you realize that the aquaponics grow media you choose is also an important consideration? Since not all hydroponics grow media is suited for aquaponics, it’s important to choose a media that will work well in your aquaponics system. With that said, let’s review some key things you should consider before selecting the best aquaponics grow media for your system. After that, we will list the top 5 mediums for aquaponics.
Why do we need grow media in Aquaponics?
Grow media serves as a support structure for the plants in an aquaponics system. Not only does the media keep plants in a stationary and upright position, but it also provides as a surface area for bacteria to thrive inside your grow beds, and a acts as a mechanical trap for the solid waste as it is expelled out of the fish tank and into the grow beds. Furthermore, aquaponics grow media serves as an exchange for oxygen and moisture, and gives worms a comfortable habitat to live in.