13 Tips on DIY Manual Home IBC Aquaponics Systems
The thirteen steps outlined can help point any novice builder into the right direction. Follow along closely, to help make your home aquaponics building project easier to do!
Tip #1 – Know your Basics
First of all, you must be aware of the basics of aquaponics. This is a special type of gardening; with a history that traces back by four decades. IBC aquaponics systems are designed to reduce the need for chemicals, space and water.
It is a strategic combination of fish-based farming and water-based farming. Aquaponics synthesises the two to deliver efficient results.
Tip #2 – The Right Location
The DIY Aquaponics System is easier built than said! You can establish the system easily in your lawn, backyard or terrace. Moreover, aquaponics systems can be built in many ways.
If you are an average aquaponics enthusiast, you should take into consideration few tips and aspects. These strategies will help you build a perfect aquaponics system from scratch!
Tip #3 – The Right Technique
Do you know that a home aquaponics system can be made in three different ways? This en covers over the media based technique, deep raft technique and nutrient film technique. Each of these methods have a unique set of features, benefits and drawbacks. As a potential aquaponics gardener, you must decide on a technique that would fit within your budget and requirements.
Generally, homeowners tend to decide on media based techniques. Nevertheless, if you wish to grow different types of plants you can opt for the nutrient film or deep raft technique. These methods are meant for large scale cultivation.
Tip #4 – The Right amount of Water
Always remember that aquaponics systems require a consistent yet optimal amount of water. You should not fill the tank with excess or maintain very low water levels. Excess water should be drained from the aquaponics fish/plant tank regularly.
Tip #5 – Proper Insulation
If you have a DIY aquaponics system, remember to insulate the garden properly. Experienced homeowners with aquaponics gardens tend to build tanks with special bricks that are customized to keep the warmth inside! This way water would penetrate into the soil and stay at an optimal level for a very long time.
If you are not able to establish such an environment, try to make use of pre-made, second-hand aquaponics tanks. However, don’t select tanks that are oversized or small! The best possible ratio for an aquaponics system is 700-gallons.
Tip #6 – The Right amount of Sunlight
Moving on, the width and height of your IBC Aquaponics System will determine the overall growth rate of the plants and fishes. At any level, the plants must receive sufficient amounts of sunlight. There shouldn’t be too much or too low sunlight in the growing beds.
Tip #7 – Feed Your Fishes and Plants
As you set up a Home IBC Aquaponics System, remember to feed your fishes and plants daily! Any aquaponics system will fail when you don’t provide it with the right amount of food. The tank should remain nourished at all times.
Generally, the tank should be fed at least once or twice a day based on the kind of fishes you grow. Some individuals tend to make use of automatic feeders that can make sure the tank is nourished properly.
Tip #8 – The Right Temperature
Moving on, the aquaponics system should be maintained in the right temperature. This is an essential check, which has to be performed at least once in a while. As the tank’s temperature increases gradually, some fish species may die.
Every fish has an ideal temperature, at which the tank has to be maintained. As potential aquaponics system owners, you should be aware of the tank’s temperature! This can be treated as a small warming!
Tip #9 – The Right pH
Likewise, the aquaponics system should be maintained in the right pH level. The pH level will determine the rate at which plants absorb nutrients. Additionally, the pH will control the health & reproduction abilities of the aquaponics system. There is no such thing as a perfect pH. The value will depend on the kind of plants and fish species you grow.
Nonetheless, a well managed IBC Aquaponics system would have a pH between 6.8 and 7.1. If the pH goes below 6.5, you should add potash or hydrated lemons to increase the pH again. Luckily, the pH of aquaponics systems will decrease naturally and gradually.
Tip #10 – The Right Amount of Ammonia
Every week, you should make sure the aquaponics system has the right amount of ammonia. This is a check forgotten by many aquaponics owners! If the ammonia level goes beyond a predestined threshold, you will definitely see disastrous effects. Usually, the ammonia level should stay well below 0.5 ppm. A sudden increase will happen if a fish dies in the tank.
Tip #11 – Check for Insects
When you own an IBC Aquaponics system, make sure there are no harmful insects in the water. Insects and pests will become a problem after some time or the other. The check for insects should be made every week. As you harvest plants, verify if there are insects underneath the leaves.
Tip #12 – Nitrate Verification
Another important check, which should be performed every month would the verification of nitrate levels. Anything above 150 ppm is considered as risky for fishes. This is because nitrates can trigger the production of nitrifying bacteria, which in return would affect the health of your fishes and plants. To harvest more fishes and plants from your grow bed, you should maintain the nitrate levels strategically.
Tip #13 – The Plumbing Unit
Finally, keep an eye on the system’s plumbing unit. The pumps must be connected and nurtured properly for efficient circulation. Luckily, this is a check that can be performed every month.
If you are a novice user of Aquaponics DIY systems, remember to start small! Initial mistakes will help you learn more and understand why an aquaponics system would work well for you.