Demistifying Floating Raft Aquaponics

Floating raft aquaponics is also referred as deep water culture (DWC) the system is mostly suitable to commercial based aquaponics operators to enable them produce certain vegetables called the lettuce. This is done by putting the lettuce seedlings on a floating raft through the holes. The raft is made of polystyrene sheets with holes cut out to allow the positioning of the lettuce.

The floating raft aquaponics success is in the removal of the solids from the fish.

The floating raft aquaponics process

swirl filter and floating raft aquaponics

Swirl filter with a floating raft

This system aims at producing enough oxygen for the lettuce roots. The roots are immersed in water and dirt accumulation on the roots should be eliminated quickly to enhance oxygen absorption and other minerals, which are vital to the plants growth.

To minimize dirt accumulation the system requires a filtration process, after the fish solid leaves the big fish tank, the water is then pumped to pass through a swirl filter slowly, this allows the waste to settle on the bottom of the tank. The waste is pumped out and used as high fertilizer.

Are you ready to take on the challenge of aquaponics by yourself? It’s a good practice to educate yourself first with lessons and mistakes people already made before you. Go to this online training course to learn more. 

After the water passing through the swirl filter it passes to particulate filter where mineralization of the water takes place. Also when water is getting into the particulate filter it is screen off any waste, and is heavily oxygenated. At this stage the aeration is provided into the system, which facilitates bacteria action on the fish waste and converts them into the essential nutrients required by the plant.

The nutrients fully dissolve in water and are taken to the plants roots, the water is finally passed through a drop out zone to pacify water removing any waste and water is then pumped to the floating rafts.

The process uses air stones at planned intervals to oxygenate the lettuce plant roots. The water entering below the floating raft is completely clean to ensure the roots have maximum surface area exposed to allow absorption of oxygen and all essential nutrients, which the system seeks to provide.

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Flood And Drain Design for Aquaponics

The Flood and Drain Aquaponics design is the most used system in the world amongst all the Aquaponics systems. This system consists of the flood and drain grows beds, the fish tank and the pond pump that has a great role to it. The design gives you the detailed steps to follow to get an appropriate flood and drain design.

flood-and-drain-AquaponicsThe flood and drain grow beds are placed exactly to where it can directly drain water into the fish tank. The process of flooding and draining of water is being controlled by a certain timer. The pond pump that is placed in the fish tank carries the water into the grow beds. The pond pump will automatically stop carrying water into the grow beds if the certain pre- determined level of water has already been reached. And by then, the grow beds will drain back the water into the fish tank.

The flood and drain Aquaponics design is being used by many because of its simplicity and it is cost effective. These are the very reason why most people use it. There are also disadvantages of using it but most people ignore those disadvantages simply because they do see the benefits of using the flood and drain Aquaponics design.

Flood and Drain Aquaponics– Specific Details

In creating this flood and drain Aquaponics design, you have to dig a few centimeters of soil so that you can put your fish tanks right under your grow beds. In that way you can then do the cycle of flooding and draining. You should also put into consideration that the flooding and draining system will cause lack of water in your fish tanks for a couple of seconds. Putting up this flood and drain Aquaponics design is quite hard but of course if you will only follow the procedures well then perhaps you can do it properly.

Also make sure that you will plant your plants in clay pebbles because soil is not recommended. You do not want soil to be present in the fish tank. Soil can be easily washed away by water. That is purely the reason why you have to use clay pebbles. And you also have to make sure that you do place the tubing in the right position. That should be very well observed in putting up the flood and drain quaponics design. This is simply because your tubing is the one having the key role in making this flood and drain cycle to be a successful one. For when the tubing is not properly placed, there is a great possibility that the fish will die due to lack of water. These things should be put to mind so that your flood and drain Aquaponics will work just fine.

Are you ready to take on the challenge of aquaponics by yourself? It’s a good practice to educate yourself first with lessons and mistakes people already made before you.

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The Essence Of Indoor Aquaponics

Indoor plant growing is known to have a positive effect on people. Generally plants produce oxygen as their by-product of photosynthesis that people inhales for their normal functioning of their body. There is no question why house plants have become so popular in most homes today. People are discovering that some food crops do very well indoor.

indoor aquaponicsIt makes sense that if you’re going to grow plants then grow those plants that will create other benefits as well. Those that can produce fresh food and at the same time, help to decorate your house. Indoor aquaponics allows you to do this very effectively and without the hassles of fertilizing, potting soil and watering.

Indoor aquaponics involves growing of plants and rearing of fish indoors. The two live in a symbiotic relationship with each other. Fish produces a lot of wastes. Fish waste is full of the nutrient that plants love. In a typical fish tank, water is circulated through a filter that removes these materials from the water tank. Failure to this will make this waste accumulate to levels that can be toxic to the fish. In aquaponics, plants uses this wastes from fishes hence no need for its removal. For more information about the aquaponics cycle click here.

Are you ready to take on the challenge of aquaponics by yourself? It’s a good practice to educate yourself first with lessons and mistakes people already made before you. Go to this online training course to learn more. 

Plants filters the water and makes it clean again for the fish. So with Indoor aquaponics, water can be recycled over and over. Fish continually produces wastes with nutrients that the plants uses hence water in the tank remains clean all through.
Plants don’t really need soil to grow, they just uses soil to get nutrients and water out of it. If you give plants nutrients and water directly in a closed setup like in a room with sufficient lighting, then you can by-pass the importance of soil in plants growth. You will be in a position to avoid those tiresome activities like digging, soil conditioning and getting your hand dirty hence be in a position to produce food crops and fresh fishes indoors which are naturally made and free from any toxic substances.

indoor-aquaponics-2Aquaponic system is very common in closed system like in a greenhouse, or outside if the climate allows. It also works great indoors. An advantage of indoor aquaponics system is the ability to control the climate to meet your system needs. When outside, the weather will determine what you and when to can grow. But in an indoor setup, you can control the surrounding temperature and eliminate common garden pests. No more snails, gophers, weeds,slugs,or any of those pests commonly found in gardening system

 

With aquaponic systems, you can grow more food in a smaller space. You can alternate crops and make a nice contrast that is quite decorative in your home. And imagine being able to pick fresh organic produce right out of your living room.
In conclusion, Indoor aquaponics heavily depends at fish (they are the ones supplying the foodstuff for your plant life), you’ll need to take proper caution of them to make certain that the system can provide suitable results. What this means is that you’ll must ensure that the water provides the ideal temperature, PH stages, light in addition to your required amount of oxygen to help your fish inside a healthy environment. Just, overseeing the liquid and feeding a fish is all you’ll need to do to be prepared to grow vegetation from your aquaponic system.

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Build A Vertical Aquaponics System

Vertical aquaponics can be built at any size. The smallest size could be small enough to fit indoors or even large and made for outdoor use only. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to construct a vertical aquaponics system.

Step 1
First identify two similar sized plastic tanks as the size and shape of these will depend on your frame. They will need to be in the region of about 50 gallons in size. Be mindful that the plastic is not toxic and nor were any former contents. They need to be dark in colour to reduce build up of algae. One of these tanks will form the Fish Tank and the other the grow bed. The ratio of the size between tanks is important to ensure the correct balance in the nutrient cycles. More information about making an aquaponics fish tank.

Step 2
You will need to erect a frame onto which your tanks sit. The exact nature of this frame will be dependent on the size and shape of the tanks.

vertical aquaponics diy

Example of vertical aquaponics

Step 3
Create a Bell Syphon to the aquaponics. A bell siphon should be made of two open vertical pipes to allow water drain into them. The outer pipe is called the siphon pipe and sits over the standpipe by use of gravity. Ensure the siphon pipe cap is not sealed at the top. It is better to have too tall of a siphon pipe a than one that is short.

Step 4
The grow bed will need to have a drainage outlet which will connect to the bell siphon. We also advise that you add an overflow outlet in case of a malfunction with the bell siphon. Cut a small hole at the tank base and insert the bell siphon. Then connect a quarter inch pipe from the base of the grow bed. This pipe will feed into your fish tank when the system is set up. Ensure you use appropriate plumbing fittings in order that there are no leaks.

Step 5
Place the grow tank onto the frame and then position the fish tank below the grow bed. Ensure that the outlet from the base of the grow bed feeds into the fish tank. Also, fit the overflow pipe in place, and that too should feed into the fish tank. You should be in a position that the Grow Bed tank sits over the Fish-tank. A pipe feeds from the grow bed (base of the Bell Syphon) into the fish tank. Your overflow pipes also need to feed into the fish tank. It’s always a good thing to maximize the oxygen levels in the water so the more the water can be aerated when returning into the tank the better so keep this in mind.

Are you ready to take on the challenge of aquaponics by yourself? It’s a good practice to educate yourself first with lessons and mistakes people already made before you. Go to this online training course to learn more. 

Step 6
Add the grow bed media to the grow bed. Setup grow beds so the maximum water flood level is at least 25mm (1 inch) below the top of the grow bed media. This helps prevent algae as most algae needs water and light to grow. Your bell siphon will need to be adjusted to the correct height.

Step 7
Add the pump into the fish tank and, using a flexible hose connect up so that the pump feeds the grow bed. You will need to ensure that the pump has an ability to pump the volume of water in the fish-tank at least once every hour. Also ensure that the pump has sufficient power to lift the water to the height of the grow bed.

Conclusion

Different plants grow well in Vertical aquaponics, you can use this system indoor too. These include leafy varieties such as lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, okra, various peppers and even certain spices. But you’re not only limited to the green leaf products you can also grow many other plants like beans, strawberries, peas, melons and sweet potatoes. With its roots dipped in the water, almost all plant can obtain the mineral salts it needs to grow quickly and well using this type of gardening style.

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