using Backyard Ponds As Aquaponics Systems
Creating a pond-style aquaponics system in your backyard can come with an extensive list of benefits. Growing fish and plants together harmoniously is not only financially and energy efficient but it can add beauty and health elements to your daily routine. With a backyard aquaponics system, you’ll be able to use fish to produce natural fertilizer for your plants.
Simultaneously, your plants will work to filter and clean the water in your pond as they provide oxygen for your fish and absorb trace minerals and nutrients resulting in optimal growth. If you choose to grow edible plants, you’ll have access to organic consumables around the clock. Edible fish add a viable and renewable food source while ornamental fish help your plants and create a peaceful and aesthetically pleasing ambiance.
If you are considering installing an aquaponics fish pond in your backyard, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Installing your own aquaponics fish pond is easier than you may think. You’ll simply need to ensure that you have a few key elements prepared before you begin, and then it’s just a matter of tending and maintaining your system. Many gardeners use a pond as holding tank for fish using a Hydroponics system. This works pretty much like it does in an Aquaponic setup. To start an aquaponics pond in your backyard, you’ll need:
Space – Adequate space is important. For fish that can be consumed, your pond will have to hold at the very minimum, 60 gallons of water. For beauty and the ability to have thriving plants and fish, you’ll want to go with a pond that can hold around 250 gallons or more. Space wise, this means you’ll need an area of at least 36″ x 36″ x 36″ to provide adequate cubic space for water and fish. This is the minimum. In general, ponds will be around 86″ x 144″ x 48″. The size and shape of your pond aren’t as important as your plant and filter system configuration, so you can get creative with the size of your pond. Even small yards can accommodate many types of aquaponics systems. For more on space home ponds.
Plants – Assuming that your backyard pond will be uncovered and not in a greenhouse or shed, you’ll want to choose hardy water plants that will grow year-round. The best plants to grow in shallow water are Lebanese Cress, Watercress, Water Spinach (Kang Kang), and Aquatic Parsley. These are all edible plants that thrive in an aquaponic environment. Other plants will grow well if placed on a raft mechanism. If you choose to use a raft, you’ll have access to pretty much any kind of plant that can be grown in an aquaponics environment.
Fish – If you have a vessel of 250 gallons or more, you can raise all sorts of fish in your pond. Remember, for backyard ponds, you’ll need to consider possible temperature fluctuations and seasonal lighting changes. If you live in an area where the seasons tend to change dramatically, you may have to add a heating element or tailor your fish selection accordingly. Stocking density is also a big factor, some fish are messier than others. The best fish for an outdoor aquaponics system are usually species of catfish, trout, tilapia, goldfish, and perch. For ornamental purposes, koi do well, though they aren’t quite as hardy as the aforementioned species. For more on fish species, stocking density, and temperature requirements, check out this link.
Component Configuration – This will include all of the technical aspects of your pond. You’ll likely need a pump and a raft system of some kind if you’re going to grow vegetables. Gravel, pots, and lighting sources may also be needed. If you don’t already know what kind of pond to use, there are many impressive ready-made ponds and pond liners that can be utilized for aquaponics use. Feel free to check out this link for aquaponics pond accessories or come up with your own master plans. The sky is really the limit. You just need to ensure proper nutrient circulation, light exposure, and temperature regulation.
So there you have it. The basic essentials needed to create your own thriving aquaponics pond system. It really is that simple. You can adjust the elements of your aquaponics system to your specifications and environment as needed. Custom aquaponics systems are a great way to improve your lifestyle and gain access to sustainable farming on your own property. For more questions or to read more on aquaponics pons systems, you can also check out the following links. Thanks for reading, and happy gardening!