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Categorized | Aquaponic Tips, Featured

Deep Water Culture Aquaponics System

Image credit: Will Pittenger

Image credit: Will Pittenger

Are you planning to build your very own deep water culture aquaponics system? Do you consider the process of building an efficient aquaponics system tiring and difficult? If yes, you should think again! Since, there are nine aquaponics secrets that will make the entire process easy and less arduous. In this article, I will give you a basic guide to help make this setup process as easy as possible, even for those that are new to aquaponics. So let’s jump in and get you started!

Before you build a deep water culture aquaponics system, you must ask yourself three important questions.

• What kind of fruits and vegetables do you wish to grow?

• Do you wish to feed on fresh, organic produces throughout the entire year?

• Do you wish to save on your food bills? Or, are you worried about another food scare?

What are Deep Water Culture Aquaponics Systems?

Technically, deep water culture aquaponics systems are small eco-systems that can be built anywhere. It is a huge tank with two partitions to separate fishes and plants.

Fish poop from one partition is used as a fertilizer. Thus, the aquaponics system establishes a real harmony between fishes and plants. Moreover, the deep water culture produces organic substances throughout the entire year!

Decision #1 – The Right Kind of Plants

When you are ought to build a deep water culture aquaponics system, you should choose the right kind of plants. Though aquaponics will let you grow plants all year around, you must be very careful with your choices.

Plants that survive between a pH of 6.8 and 8.0 will grow amazingly in the aquaponics system. Don’t decide on huge plant varieties like a banana or apple tree! Also, shun away from plants that require a soil-based environment.

Decision #2 – The Right Kind of Fishes

Secondly, you should choose the right kind of fishes. Several factors must be taken into consideration while picking fishes. Initially, check if your aquaponics system is for ornamental or eating purposes.

Some fishes like Tilapia are meant for eating, while breeds like Koi are more ornamental. Similarly, check if the fishes would be affected by the environmental condition in which you live. And, do you have monetary limitations? Always remember that some fishes will be expensive than the rest.

Decision #3 – A Good Growing Bed

Thirdly, you should hand pick a good growing bed. This is a very important decision, which must be made with lots of care and concern.

The growing bed should be easy to build, maintain and expand. Good bedding systems will increase your yield and cut down costs in the longer run.

Decision #4 – A Perfect Tank

Before building a deep water culture Aquaponics system, you must hand pick a perfect tank size. This is an obvious decision you must make. If you are a novice builder, you should start with a 200 litres tank.

The 200 litres tank will let you grow fishes that are around 30 cm long. As time passes, you can expand the 200 litres tank to a 1000 litres one!

Decision #5 – Frequent Tank Maintenance

Next, you should understand the need for frequent water maintenance. If you want to amuse over optimal levels of fish and plant growth, you should engage in professional water maintenance strategies. The pH, temperature and purity level of water must be maintained properly.

Decision #6 – The Right Temperature

A very important parameter that should be taken into consideration would be the temperature of your deep water culture aquaponics system. A very interesting problem faced by many aquaponics system owners, would be temperature maintenance. For instance, an aquaponics system that makes use of the nutrient film technique should use a channel that supports the flow of water into the system!

The water must flow from one end to the other. As it crosses several channels, its temperature would increase gradually. Conversely, hot water would reach the plants after some period of time. This is when temperature maintenance becomes essential. For some plants like lettuces, the overall temperature should not exceed 22 degrees Celsius.

Decision #7 – The Number of Plants

Moving on, a clear threshold should be maintained in the number of plants you grow in the hydroponics system. This is a check that doesn’t have to be made in conventional aquaponics systems.

However, the number you choose will have an impact in the ultimate cost of your hydroponics system. Conversely, you should exert lots of effort to control the pH and temperature of the specialized system.

Decision #8 – A Good Budget

Before you start a deep water culture aquaponics system, you should get your budget right. Are you ought to build the system for fun or profit? This is a crucial question that will define the size of your aquaponics system.

If you have a very big budget, you can grow a massive number of fishes and plant varieties in your aquaponics system. On the other hand, if you are ought to build the system for fun, you can go for a smaller number. The ultimate budget for your aquaponics system will govern the overall number of species you nurture.

Decision #9 – Exerting Effort

In accordance with the very old adage, No pain No gain, you must exert lots of effort to build a successful aquaponics system. Physical labour is something that will define your overall harvest. Additionally, you should combine physical labour with the right kind of market strategies.

For example, if you are ought to grow 20+ types of fishes and 1000 plant varieties in your aquaponics system, you must work at least 4 hours every day. The effort you put-in will have an obvious effect in your outcome. Generally, you should exert at least 2.5 hours every day in your deep water culture aquaponics system.

The Ultimate Bottom Line

On the whole, the deep water culture aquaponics system will represent a prudent level of profit! There is a thin line between traditional aquaponics systems and deep water cultures. As potential aquaponics system owners, you must take into consideration many factors for a successful aquaponics system.

From the expenses to target market to the kind of species you cultivate, keep an eye on anything and everything. And, if you want to build a low cost deep water culture aquaponics system, it would be wise to take up a training program.

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