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Building a Basic Aquaponics System. Step By Step Aquaponics.
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The simplest aquaponic system requires only one tank that will act as both the grow bed and holding tank. Holding tanks contain the water and the fish, while the grow beds contain the soil-less media and the plants.
The solar pond is the best example of a simple yet efficient backyard aquaponic system. A large barrel or plastic vessel is filled with de-chlorinated water and fish. The top part of the barrel is covered with a specially designed grow bed. Seedlings and seeds are transplanted into the grow bed.
Slowly, the maturing root systems of the seedlings will reach the surface of the water. The fish, on the other hand, will continue to feed and excrete waste into the water. Beneficial bacteria will break down the feces and the excess fish feed in the water.
The nutrient soup that will result after the bacteria are done with the waste in the water will then nourish the growing plants on top. In this setup, the roots of the plants are continually in contact with the water.
This setup does not require a water pump, because the roots of the plants are always in contact with the source of the nutrients -- the water. In a slightly larger setup, an elevated holding tank transfers water to the grow beds through a flooding mechanism. Excess water from the grow bed will then move to a sump pit. A motorized pump will then return the water to the holding tank to begin the cycle once again.
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