Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why And How of Aquaponics

I'm still learning about aquaponics, but I've become vested in this and want to learn everything I can to be successful.  In the beginning I ignored the problems others were having, and looked only at the positive results.  It's human nature to approach a new interest with optimism and look only at the positive results.

But I want to say right up front, this is not a hobby you can afford to make too many mistakes with.  You may watch Murray Hallam's videos and think it's as easy as plopping a few fish in a tank and growing some veggies in the water.  I don't wish to discourage anyone, but aquaponics is a carefully controlled environment that requires a lot more than meets the eye. 

A knowledge of aquaculture is a big plus.  Preferably you have experience with aquariums, and gardening before getting in too deep.  A well designed and maintained system will tend to run smoothly, but attention  to maintaining your system is important.   Water tests and careful monitoring of temperature, light, and nutrient levels is a must.

As I come across excellent studies pertaining to the design and operation of aquaponic systems I will include the links here with some commentary.  This will be an ever evolving post

To begin - Heather Oaks has made a short video of the a well engineered aquaponics system. - Heather Oaks Aquaponics.  It's very impressive and inspiring!  But remember this system is maintained on a professional level.  It does not just happen without a lot of expert knowledge, well defined procedures, and a fair amount of work.  This is dedication on a very high level, but smaller backyard systems still require the same attention.

I am not attempting to discourage anyone.   I simply wish to bring reality to the table.  Small systems tend to be more difficult to balance, but it's a good way to gain the basic knowledge of aquaponics and find out if this is for you.

This article by Keith Connolly addresses the reasons why aquaponics is superior to other methods of farming.   He also explores the requirements of sustaining a healthy and productive system with facts and scientific research.  - Optimization Of A Backyard Aquaponic Food Production System.

My blog is about my aquaponic experience.  I present it so that others can learn from my failures as well as my triumphs.  Aquaponics is something anyone can learn to do.  It's very rewarding and as the world transcends further and further from self reliance this cutting edge paradigm shift is providing a much needed alternative to our food resources.  I hope you too will find aquaponics rewarding and fun.

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