Q:

How do you put together an aquaponics system?

A:

Quick Answer

Put together a simple aquaponics system using a fish tank, grow bed, timer and pump. Add fish to the tank to provide nutrients for the plants, fill the bed with growth media, and insert the plants. Set the timer to transfer doses of nutrient-rich water from the tank to the bed; the media filters the water before it returns to the fish tank.

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Full Answer

Construct a simple grow bed by building an open box and lining it with pool liner. Add growth media to support the plants and their roots. A growth medium is an inert material such as gravel or vermiculite that manufacturers make specifically for aquaponics. Some growers prefer a mixture of two or more of these materials for use in their beds.

The timer starts the pump, which transfers the nutrient solution from the fish tank to the grow bed. There are two options for returning the solution. Some growers use a simple siphon tube that slowly drains the water from the bed. Others prefer a standpipe, a drain system with a pipe that extends the drain up through the growth media and allows for rapid return of excess water to the nutrient tank. The standpipe has small holes at the bottom that allow slower draining of the filtered water from the grow bed.

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