over the world, there has been an increase in community integration of
aquaponics, especially in many US states. Traditional farmers, gardeners and
ordinary people worldwide have made the transition to aquaponics in response to
the increasing amount of harmful substances put into our food supplies.
in the US, only 10 percent of the farmed fish we eat is produced domestically.
China produces 62 percent of the farm-raised fish in the world today.
aquaculture (the rearing of aquatic animals or the cultivation of aquatic
plants for food) and hydroponics (the process of growing plants in sand,
gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil) have some down sides.
Hydroponics requires expensive nutrients to feed the plants, and requires
periodic flushing of the systems which can lead to waste disposal.
Re-circulating aquaculture needs to have excess nutrients removed from the
system, normally this means that a percentage of the water is removed,
generally on a daily basis. When we look at combining the two, these negative
aspects are turned into positives. Which is called Aquaponics!
is a combination of traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as
fish, prawns, & crustacea’s in tanks) and hydroponics (cultivating plants
in water) in a symbiotic environment. Aquaponics is a system for farming fish
and plants together in a mutually beneficial cycle. Fish produce wastes that
turn into nitrates and ammonia. These aren't good for the fish if they build up
too much, but they're great fertilizer for plants. As the plants suck up these
nutrients, they purify the water, which is good for the fish. Along with the
fish and their waste, microbes play an important role to the nutrition of the
plants. These beneficial bacteria gather in the spaces between the roots of the
plant and converts the fish waste and the solids into substances the plants can
use to grow. The result is a perfect collaboration between aquaculture and
gardening. Another huge benefit of aquaponic growing is that it grows 100%
chemical free, all natural produce. If any chemical or synthetic pesticides,
herbicides, or fertilizers are used, the fish could die, effectively killing
your system generator! Even most approved organic pesticides would kill our
fish. Even traditional organic farms need to supplement their soil with
fertilizers. These fertilizers can be bad for the over health of the soil and
high stocking densities of fish can be grown in an aquaponic system, and
because of the recirculating nature of the systems very little water is used.
When choosing fish for an aquaponic system it helps to look at the environment
the system will operate in as well as what infrastructure will compensate for
temperature fluctuations. The environment is going to dictate, to a large
degree, the kinds of fish and/or crustaceans you are going to be able to raise.
Some aquaponics fish thrive in cold water, while others do well only in warm
water. Be sure you choose a species of fish that is hardy and adaptable for
your individual indoor or outdoor conditions (adding water heaters or chillers
to your tank is always an option). When it comes to mixing the variety of
species in your aquaponic system, be aware that some species of fish can
cohabitate while others prefer a monospecies environment. When cohabiting, be
sure to choose fish with the same requirements for temperature and water
conditions. With many types on aquaponic fish available you must put some
thought into the purpose of the fish. Some fish are raised in aquaponics for
the purpose of eating, and some simply just to correlate with the plants. Koi
and Goldfish are not considered a good fish for eating, so for those looking to
harvest not only plants, but fish as well from your aquaponics system might be
better off with a different fish such as Tilapia, Catfish, Bluegill, Bass or a
crustacean such as the RedClaw Crayfish or Prawns. You don’t have to
incorporate edible fish in your aquaponics systems. Vegetarians or those who
prefer not to harvest their own protein may want to consider Koi. In practice,
tilapia are the most popular fish for home and commercial projects that are
intended to raise edible fish because it is a warm water fish species that can
tolerate crowding and changing water conditions.
amount of sunlight, ambient temperature, rainfall and wind are all crucial
factors in producing a healthy plant. If you decide to grow outdoors, choose
varieties of vegetables that will grow best in your climate. In addition, most
areas will require the use of a greenhouse, or you can always grow indoors.
Growbeds filled with a media such as gravel or expanded clay pebbles are a
common method of growing plants in an aquaponic system, but there are many
different methods that can be used. Unlike traditional aquaculture and
gardening, aquaponics allows you to plant crops at any time of the year. The
types of food you can grow can vary just as much as any other farming method.
With an aquaponics system, your ability to grow edible plants is limited only
by your own desire to do so. The system does most of the labor that would be
required of you in an ordinary in-ground growing operation. When done
correctly, you should be able to maintain a constantly rotating supply of
organic, pesticide-free vegetables that can carry on indefinitely in a properly
maintained system. There is a huge list of successful plants tested in Aquaponics
that basically includes anything that grows well above soil and loves to have
their roots wet. Plants such as lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and leafy green
vegetables thrive really well in the aquaponics system. Aquaponics also can
grow more produce compared to produce grown conventionally in the ground.
Vegetables usually grow significantly faster, and at three to four times the
density, without ever depleting the nutrients.
survive in temperatures ranging from 35-85°F
temperatures range from 55-77°F
survive in temperatures ranging from just above freezing - 100
temperatures range from 75-86
survive in temperatures ranging from 39-90
temperatures range from 60-80
survive in temperatures ranging from 60-96
temperatures range from 65-75
survive in temperatures ranging from 55-100
temperatures range from 60-85
survive in temperatures ranging from 55-95
temperatures range from 77-90
survive in temperatures ranging from 57-105
temperatures range from 78-88
raise Red Claw Crayfish?
claw crayfish are the ultimate in local, sustainable, healthy, nutritious,
premium “seafood”. They are:
(and stunning on a plate)
no heavy metals (unlike ocean lobsters)
are organic, depending upon what you feed them!
our opinion, any aquaponic system running at a minimum of 70 degrees that does
not contain red claw crayfish is missing a huge opportunity.
only will the red claw produce a delicious additional crop alongside your fish
and vegetables, but the waste they produce during regular molting will enrich
the water with minerals that will send your crop production in to overdrive.
Please note that we do not recommend stocking red claw crayfish and aquaponics
fish in the same tank, unless they are separated by a grill or mesh as red claw
crayfish are very vulnerable when they moult. They will grow to table size in
around 9-12 months.
own trials have not only produced faster and larger plant growth, but the
plants have produced substantially more flowers leading to higher yields. We
like to call this “lobsterponics”.
claw do well in water temperatures from 55 – 95 (ideally 80), grow fast and
breed well in most circumstances. As long as the water is kept moving and
aerated then there should be no issues.
you have an aquarium then you should have a red claw crayfish! These
magnificent crustaceans make a great centerpiece for any aqauarium and will
provide hours of interesting viewing for aquarium enthusiasts.
will happily coexist with small aquarium minnow fish and pleco, but please do
not put them alongside predator type fish as they are vulnerable when molting.
Claw Crayfish juveniles, adults and breeding colonies can be sourced directly
from our website year round - www.liveaquaponics.com