If you are looking for the best plants for small aquaponics, you need not worry. We will give you the information in this guide so read on to find out.
Aquaponics is an agricultural culture system that makes use of a complex ecosystem between fish and plants. The system can be used to cultivate various plants, vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowering plants.
Before we dive into the best plants for small aquaponics, let’s look at some basic information about aquaponics.
Basic Info on Aquaponics
Aquaponics involves the combination of two categories of food cultivation which are hydroponics and aquaculture. This two combining process (hydroponics and aquaculture) works together to contribute to each other’s growth.
Aquaponics is a balanced ecosystem between the fish and plants which also includes some beneficial bacteria. The waste from the fish is used as food for the plants, the plant, in turn, purifies the water for the fish.
The interesting thing is that aquaponics is not a new technique. It is a farming method that has been in existence since ancient times. But now it has started gaining popularity these past few years.
Best Plants for Small Aquaponics
The best plants for small aquaponics should be plants that demand lesser nutrients. Thus, the best plants for small aquaponics are greens and herbs, and they include:
1. Watercress: One of the best plants to grow in a small aquaponics stem is watercress. It requires a lesser concentration of nutrients and it is a hardy vegetable and it grows fast. Watercress will also blend and flourish with any type of fishes you may have.
2. Kale: This is another low nutritious plant that can be grown in small aquaponics. It will flourish with various types of fish. Another added benefit is that kale will not attract pests to your system. Thus giving your aquaponics system extra safety.
3. Lettuce: Is also a low demanding nutrient plant appropriate for small aquaponics. It will match and co-exists most especially with tilapia fish.
4. Swiss Chard: Swiss chord requires minimal nutrients and is great for small aquaponics systems. It is a hardy plant that mainly utilizes nitrate for its leaf growth. This plant grows perfectly in the water of pH range between 6.6 to 7.0 which is an appropriate range for this plant and various fish.
Other low nutrient plants we recommend for small aquaponics are:
- Radish sprout
- Pak choi
Best Plants for Small Aquaponics: What to Consider
Aquaponics system is quite easy to set up and if you plan on obtaining one, the main question on your mind should be: what plants can I grow? The straight-up answer is the “size of your aquaponics” will determine the type of plants to grow.
Small Aquaponics: a small aquaponics system will require lesser fish, lesser water, and a lesser concentration of nutrients.
Bigger Aquaponics: on the other hand, a bigger aquaponics system will require more fish, more water, and more nutrient concentration.
Therefore, the best plant for a small aquaponics system should be plants that require lesser nutrients and they include greens and herbs as listed above.
Even though almost all plants can be grown in an aquaponics system, we need to consider the fact that various plants have various needs. So let’s look at more on the needs or what to consider when choosing plants for your small aquaponics.
Other things to consider:
- Space: some plants need more space while others need lesser space. The space we are talking about is your aquaponics system space. Therefore, you should take into account for example the height and width of the plant that can fit into your aquaponics system.
- The Number of Fish: The presence of more fish will require more plants so they can absorb all the nutrients produced from fish waste and vice versa.
- Type of System Used: you could use a nutrient film technique, media-based, or raft aquaponics depending on the structure of the plant that will fit in. Floating raft systems favors plant with no root structure while grow beds favors root vegetables.
Aquaponics Plants Final Words
Aquaponics is an awesome technique that anyone would find interesting to learn and have.
When it comes to choosing the best plant for your small aquaponics system, one thing we suggest is for you to decide to grow what you will eat or use. Having a thought of what you plan on accomplishing will assist you in making a better judgment on what to grow in your small aquaponics system.
Also, note that growing low demanding nutrient plant is not only for small aquaponics. It is also advisable to start with growing minimal demanding nutrient plants for a new aquaponics system. They will serve as “starter plants” for your new aquaponics system.