Aquaponics is one of the most interesting systems used to grow plants. It is also one of the simplest. But is it a practical way to garden at home? The short answer is: “it can be.” By using an aquaponics kit, an aquarium is easily converted into a living ecosystem, where plants and fish co-exist in symbiotic bliss. Aquaponics kits are easy to use, educational, tidy, and are more than capable of producing quality plants. So let’s take a closer look at the best aquaponics kits on the market today!
What is Aquaponics?
When combining the aquaculture element of raising fish with the hydroponic element of growing plants in water instead of soil, the integrated system of aquaponics is born. And instead of relying on careful applications of expensive man-made nutrients, aquaponics eliminates this process entirely. Fish eat their own food (fish food), which is then digested to become waste, and then this waste is simply added to plants for their nutrition. And since plants naturally help to clean water in aquarium tanks, the symbiotic environment of aquaponics creates an easy system to maintain.
Ready to try aquaponics? You will need to choose an aquaponics kit, but first, here’s a quick video illustrating the basic concept of aquaponics.
Benefits of using an Aquaponics Kit
Aquaponics kits are a fantastic educational tool for the classroom. They also make attractive displays in the home and office and require very little maintenance when compared to most other systems. Besides being interesting, fun, attractive and easy to operate, did we also mention aquaponic kits grow wonderful plants?
Here are a few of the key benefits of using aquaponics kits:
- Extremely easy to set up and maintain – no weeding, no chemicals, less water and pests
- Space-saving, energy-efficient, sustainable, and fast plant growth
- The fish waste provides the only nutrients needed, thus only inexpensive fish food needs to be purchased
- An attractive addition to the home or office, and educational for the classroom
A Few Things to Consider When Purchasing an Aquaponics Kit
Aquaponics is not a good choice for growing potatoes, carrots, radish or other root vegetables. Since fish tanks use electricity to operate, there will be some cost associated with that. And don’t let any chemical touch the aquaponic ecosystem, as this will ensure your fish will die, rendering the system non-operational.
What types of Aquaponics Kits are available?
There are various aquaponics kits to choose from. Do you already have an aquarium tank? If so, there are aquaponics kits which retrofit on top of your aquarium, instantly creating an aquaponics system. If you do not already have an aquarium, you can buy one separately, and then add an aquaponics kit once your new aquarium is in place.
Another option is to buy an aquaponics kit with an aquarium already built-in to the system. These can be elaborate or very simplistic, depending on how big or small you want your aquaponic system to be. With that said, let’s that a look at some of the most popular aquaponics kits available. Here’s a quick reference table followed by detailed descriptions.
Keeping the plants bushy allows herbs to be more productive. Pinching off the tops when your plant reaches 6-12” tall will prevent them from becoming too leggy. Herbs do not require a lot of attention once your hydroponic routine is in place, and are a perfect choice for those who want to grow fresh produce all year long in a controlled indoor environment.