Aquaponics is a combination of indoor hydroponic systems (soil-less cultivation of plants) and aquaculture (for raising fish). It is a clean and green way to cultivate plants in a recirculating system efficiently.
In an aquaponic system, you can cultivate almost any plant from root crops to green leafy vegetables. Moreover, you can grow herbs, ornamentals like palms and ferns, and flowers.
5 Tips for Indoor Aquaponics
You probably have an idea about what plants require to grow. However, we have gathered some insightful tips to help you start off so that you can grow indoor aquaponic plants correctly. A fun way to grow hydroponically.
1. Broadcast Seeding
It is one of the easiest ways to grow plants in any environment. Broadcast seeding is a traditional way, and it is simple, fast, easy, and works best for growing several plants.
Broadcast seeding means that you have to scatter seeds evenly and thinly over the surface. When you apply this technique in the media-based Aquaponics system, these kernels will fall between several stones.
Due to this, several seeds will reach an appropriate depth to germinate. Furthermore, this technique will work effectively for radishes, carrots, and lettuce.
2. Use a Damp Paper Towel
Sometimes, planting larger seeds directly in the grow bed is not that effective because they are long-term plants. Their positioning within the media bed is essential to prevent overcrowding.
Large seeds like melon, cucumber, peas, and beans germinate quickly. Thus, it is good if you place the seeds in the damp paper towel first.
After putting them in the paper towel, seal these seeds in a ziplock bag, and regularly check for sprouting signs.
When the root reaches 25mm in size or more, place these seedlings in the grow bed in such a way that their tiny roots can frequently become damp through the water cycles.
3. Space the Plants
In aquaponics, a root will provide everything a plant needs because all the essential elements of plants, such as nutrients, oxygen, and water, are located near the root zone.
Aquaponics plants do not need much space as compared to the plants that grow in soil. Therefore, several aquaponics growers cultivate their plants close together.
However, while planting, you must provide ample space to your plants for proper light penetration and air circulation to prevent and control diseases and insects.
Furthermore, it is better to plant fast-growing vegetables like green leafy veggies between the long-term crops like eggplants. Growing tender vegetables between large plants will provide natural shade.
4. Ward Off Bugs
Pests are inevitable, and many insects at their non-mobile stage do the most harm. How? Aquatic non-mobile insects have low metabolic rates and require less oxygen, and they can easily survive underwater.
They feed on vegetation the same way as other insects and may damage your crops. Therefore, to ward off bugs, water spray them to control their population. It is an easy and useful method to prevent large infestation.
Moreover, you can spray organic solutions to your plant leaves to repel pests. These solutions will make your plants less attractive to the insects. However, while spraying, be careful not to spray directly into the fish tank.
Another way of killing insects is to use beneficial insects that are bigger than the prey. A very typical predator for controlling pests is the ladybird. These ladybirds love to feed on soft-bodied mites, insect eggs, and pests.
5. Water Quality & Aeration
Water - the essence of aquaponics - is the only medium that transports all the essential nutrients to the plants. Five water-quality markers are crucial to control and monitor.
- Dissolved oxygen (DO)
- Total nitrogen
- Water alkalinity
You can use test kits for the smooth and easy management of your plants. Furthermore, use air pumps to ensure that the water in the system has high dissolved oxygen levels to grow healthy plants.
Losing plants will cost you money and time. Therefore, you must take accurate measures when dealing with aquaponic plant issues.
Do not fret if you make a few mistakes along the way. It is part of the learning process. Once you follow the right steps, you will have large, tasty, and healthy plants.