When contemplating building a new Aquaponics System it can be difficult to know just what method of operation to adopt. There is an array of information out there and often conflicting.
In the next few newsletters we will deal with each one of the more commonly used methods and list the pros and cons of each. The terminologies used usually refer to the method used to deliver or apply the water from the fish tank to the grow bed and return the water to the fish tank.
Domestic or home based Aquaponics Systems usually consist of ,
1... A fish tank
2... Grow beds
3... Pump/s pipes and other assorted plumbing fittings.
How best to put the various components together to achieve a good harvest of both fish and plants.
Continuous flow systems deliver the water to the grow bed continuously and the water is most often distributed over the grow bed by some sort of distribution grid. (see photo below) This consists of pipe work with small holes drilled at regular intervals to facilitate the even distribution of nutrient rich water.
The water trickles down through the grow media and out of the bottom of the bed. The grid distribution system is important to ensure that all parts of the bed receive water. If a grid irrigation system is not employed, dry areas develop in the bed resulting in poor and / or irregular plant growth.
Continuous flow is very easy to set up and operate from a plumbing point to view, but it does not deliver optimum plant growth in a media based grow bed system.