Aquaponic gardening has nothing to do with modifying plants or giving them hormones or special substances to speed their growth. What the system does is gives the plants all the water, and natural nutrients they need to to maximise their growth. Instead of plant roots searching for these nutrients in the soil, they are delivered directly to the roots by the water. But the plants still grow naturally and go through all the normal stages that a plant would go through if it was planted in soil.
an aquaponics is a great hobby for retired seniors. It is an activity that is rewarding but doesn’t require much effort. There is always something that could be done, making improvements, expanding, etc. But there is not much work that HAS TO be done, or work that takes much physical exertion. Gardening is a common hobby with a lot of seniors, but eventually working with the soil becomes too much work. With aquaponics, none of that is needed. Grow beds can be placed at comfortable levels to minimize bending over. It can also be a great hobby to get the grand kids involved with.
You will need a location that gets plenty of light. Either a sunny location or with artificial light. If your system is indoors, a large sunny window, or even better, a sun room makes a great place. When outdoors, the shady side of a building or trees might inhibit growth. Full sun is best, unless you live in an area with extreme heat, then afternoon shading may be welcome. Choose a place where you can maintain proper temperatures. This is where indoors or in a greenhouse has its advantages. Avoid areas where chemical substance may be present. And if outdoors, think about protection from wildlife that could be a problem, like raccoons.
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Vegetables are essential for a good nutrition, yet you can not always find fresh, organic veggies in the market. With an aquaponic garden in your house you will have fish and veggies for your family without depending on the market. Also, you will save some money without investing too much of your precious time.
You can try some planting earlier and it may be a good idea to put some plants in after a couple weeks, but don’t expect them to be vigorous and healthy. You can use them for a gauge to monitor the progress of the nutrients in the water. Once the plants start to look healthy, then you know it may be time to start getting serious about planting.
Grow beds, these are best placed higher than the fish tank so that gravity can take the water back into the tank. A shelving unit is ideal for this and use netted pots so the water can pass through.
The design and the size of the fish tank will determine the types of species that will be most suitable for the aquaponics system. A general rule of thumb is that one pound of fish needs five gallons of water in the fish tank.