Category Archives: blog posts

The Bell Siphon explained… and why I don’t use them anymore

I don’t think there is any part of an aquaponics system that is more misunderstood than a bell siphon. Don’t get me wrong, they are cool, they work (most of the time) and relatively inexpensive to make. If you understand the physics of the bell siphon, how they work and why they’re needed, then you know there is no need for them at all.

Aquaponics Fish: Why you should use goldfish in your Aquaponics System

Aquaponics fish?

Aquaponics Goldfish

Aquaponics Goldfish Photo by bensonkua

I often get asked what kind of fish should be used in an Aquaponics system. Normally, my answer would depend on the climate the Aquaponics system is based. Lately, I’ve been modifying my answer because a common problem we all run into: cost.

When I say cost, I don’t just mean the actual dollar price for the fish or fry. We need to look at other factors such as food, energy costs, skill level etc. Jumping into a large Aquaponics system can put a nice dent in our wallets and the feeling of throwing away over one hundred dollars on fish because of a simple mistake can leave even an experienced Aquaponics gardener feeling low.

A (very) Brief Introduction to Aquaponics

Intro to aquaponics - HD Aquaponics

Aquaponics, simply, is the symbiotic cooperation of aquaculture and hydroponics. Traditionally in aquaculture, fish raised in holding tanks will require a routine water change as ammonia slowly builds and becomes toxic. Disposal of this water becomes necessary and if not handled in a responsible manner, can pollute the local environment.

Hydroponics is the art of raising plants in water, sometimes using a grow media like expanded clay pebbles for the roots to grasp. By providing (usually) commercial fertilizers to the water reservoir, plant growth can, in the right environment, exceed growing expectations.

Combining both aquaculture and hydroponics creates a (loosely) closed loop system where as the fish provide the nourishment for the plants by the nitrogen cycle and in return, plants clean and filter out the ammonia sending clean water back to the fish.

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