Aquaponic systems are very versatile. You can easily adjust the system so that it suits your needs. If you do not have an outdoor space to grow your plants, do not worry. It is possible to grow them inside your house in an aquaponic system. The best place would be in a garage, basement, or spare room. Still, you can place your system in the corner of a room.
Below are some of the best plants to grow in an aquaponic system:
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Spinach can be grown all year round, although they produce maximum yields in spring and fall. To yield sweet-tasting spinach in your system, you need to keep the temperatures low. If the temperatures are too high, the spinach will start bolting, which results in a bitter taste. Bluegill fish are the most preferable for your system as they tend to adapt to a wide temperature ranges. Harvest the vegetables before they reach full maturity.
Basil is one of the popular herbs that do well when grown in a soilless environment. The herb is used in garnishing, salad dressing, and various cuisines all over the world. The plant has a very high growth rate and requires regular trimming and chopping. After planting, basil will be ready for harvest within 25 days. You can also grow the plant together with other herbs in the same system
Cauliflower is one of the most popular vegetables worldwide. They are hardy; they do not require high levels of maintenance. They are also resistant to pests and diseases. These characteristics make them a suitable choice for beginners. They are ready for harvest 12 weeks after planting.
When grown in optimum temperatures, they will take 4-7 days to germinate. The vegetables require to be kept in an area with optimum humidity and sunlight. Cauliflower can tolerate cold temperatures. However, winter frost will damage their heads. Only harvest when the heads are fully compact, white, and completely firm.
Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable. It does well when grown in winter. If the temperatures are too warm, the growth rate of the plants will be slow, and the plants could even die.
After transplantation, broccoli will take around 100 days to grow fully. You can plant marigold flowers near your broccoli. They will attract pests and worms, protecting your vegetables. Still, frequent misting will keep the pests at bay.
Watercress usually has a spicy taste and is suitable for making soups. The vegetables grow very quickly. One single plant will develop into many other plants. To fulfill its lighting needs, use fluorescent lights.
When planting them, do not overcrowd as it will result in lower yields. The best fish to use in your system will be tilapia, catfish, trout, and carp. The species are readily available and have been proven to provide good results in aquaponic units.
Trout are the most suitable le fish for a tomato aquaponic unit. However, you will need to adjust the temperatures since the fish species cannot survive in warm temperatures. This means that your tomatoes will take longer to grow. On average, tomatoes will be ready for harvest within 80 days.
Oregano comes in different varieties. You can grow oregano from seeds, transplants or cuttings. Place the unit near a window, where it will receive full sunlight.
Oregano tolerates frost. Space the plants adequately to allow sufficient airflow and space for spreading.
With their crisp and mild tastes, cucumbers are great for making salads. The vegetables are low in fats, calories, and cholesterol. Cucumbers tend to have extensive root systems.it is always good to ensure that they do not invade and block your pipes.
They do well in LED grow lights. Within 2-3 weeks, the plants will produce 10-15 fruits. Avoid growing them together with other plants. They will starve them of nutrients as they are nutrient hungry. To prevent various diseases in your plants, provide proper aeration.
Growing pepper in an aquaponic system will enable you to monitor the temperature and ensure that the nutrient levels are optimized. You will need to have a support framework for the plants. It will prevent the plants from falling on top of each other, which may result in stunted growth.
How to grow vegetables in an aquaponic garden
Below are some tips for growing your plants in an aquaponic system
- Ensure your plants are spaced properly. The plants will use their root systems to get everything they require to grow. Allow adequate space for air circulation. This will help prevent attacks by pests and diseases. Still, proper spacing allows the light to penetrate well throughout the plants.
- Supplement natural light when growing your plants indoors. You can make use of the following:
- Mist the plants to get rid of bugs on your plants. Misting the plants will control the infestation of pests in your plants. Inorganic pesticides are not an option, as they may have adverse effects on the fish.
- Avoid overfeeding the fish. Waste or uneaten food may rot inside the system and cause adverse effects to the fish. They may cause diseases or use all the available oxygen. Feed the fish daily and get rid of uneaten food after around 30 minutes.
- Maintain a good water quality. Remember, water is the primary medium for transporting nutrients to the plants. It is also the home of the fish. Always monitor the temperature, amount of dissolved oxygen and nitrogen, and the alkalinity of the water.
- Choose a good tank for the system. Any fish tank will work. However, round tanks are the most suitable as they are easy to clean. Inert plastic and fiberglass tanks are a good option, as they tend to be durable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most suitable fish for an aquaponic include carp, fancy goldfish, tilapia, catfish, bluegill, and pacu. The fish grow fast and are not prone to diseases.
Yes. You can plant the crops much closer than in a regular garden. Still, the plants grow faster.
No. Any pesticides will kill the fish.
Yes. You can use solar panels or batteries in case you don’t have electricity.
In colder climates, you can use tank heaters. If the temperatures are too warm, keep the unit shaded and open the lid.
Growing your vegetables in an aquaponic unit is an economical and practical way of producing sufficient food for you and your family. The system does much of the labor, unlike in a regular soil garden. When correctly done, you should be able to easily maintain a constant supply of organically grown produce all year round.