The fundamentals of aquaponics are based on the natural cycling processes that we see mimicked in nature. In other words, fish consume the food provided and excrete waste. This waste is converted by beneficial bacteria into nutrients and nitrates. The plants then use these nutrients to grow and therefore, clean water is returned to the fish completing the cycle. Learn more in our blog post: What is Aquaponics?
Hydroponics is a horticultural method of growing plants in nutrient-rich water and Aquaponics is Hydroponics with the added component of Aquaculture. We compared the similarities and differences in our blog post: Hydroponics vs Aquaponics, take a look to learn more!
The Aquaponics process is a marriage between a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) and a Hydroponic system. Like any natural ecosystem, aquaponics relies on codependency as well as the mutualistic relationship between the living organisms. In this case, the plants and the fish. There is, however, also a third party that plays a vital role in the functioning of this ecosystem: the nitrifying bacteria. Take a look at our blog posts: The Chemistry Behind Aquaponics and How does Aquaponics work? to find out more.
With many years of experience, trials and errors here at Ichthys, we have experimented and tested out all kinds of plants. Take a look at our blog post: What can you grow in an Aquaponics system? to see our compiled list of plants that work best in an aquaponic system. However, if you are looking for more specific advice then book a 15min consultation with us.
Once you have set up your system and you are ready to start growing it’s important to make sure you have established bacterial colonies in your Biofilter before any fish are introduced into your system. This can be achieved through a process called fishless cycling. Read our blog post on Fishless Cycling to find out more about it and how to apply it to your system.
The concentrated sludge that is collected in the mechanical filter contains valuable nutrients that could be beneficial to the system. The latest studies have shown that treating the sludge on-site is a great way to minimize the environmental impact as well as increase the nutrient cycle potential of an aquaponics system. Read more about mineralisation in our blog post: Mineralisation Explained.
A biofilter is an important component in the filtration process in an aquaponics system. Here is where beneficial bacteria carry out the most important conversion of ammonia to nitrites and ultimately nitrates in order to carry out the nutrient cycle within a system. Take a look at our blog posts: The Chemistry Behind Aquaponics and How does Aquaponics work? to find out more.