What Does Aquaponic System Mean?
An aquaponic system allows a person to grow plants and raise fish using aquaponics, an organic gardening method. There are many variations of aquaponic systems people use, from advanced to beginner.
Aquaponics can be accomplished using five main types of systems: constant height one pump (CHOP), deep water culture (DWC), vertical growing, hybrid, and alternating flood and drain (AFD). All five systems have their advantages and disadvantages.
Each type of aquaponic system involves the use of a fish tank/aquarium, a pump, grow beds, fish, plants, and a growing medium. The systems all rely on a symbiotic relationship between the fish and the plants. However, each system does vary to some degree.
Maximum Yield Explains Aquaponic System
The aquaponic system referred to as CHOP relies on a tank, sump pump, and grow beds. It can be as large or as small as the grower desires depending on the size of the tank. The pump runs non-stop to pull the water from the fish tank and across the grow beds. The water then irrigates and provides nutrients to the plants. A bell siphon only allows the water to rise so deeply in the grow beds. The plants filter out the waste and the water drips back into the tank to start the entire cycle over again.
DWC is an aquaponics system that is generally used by large commercial growers. The water is pump to the plants and then the water drains from the grow trays where it is filtered through a series of filters. The filter system prevents air from being trapped, which prevents heat loss and is ideal for cold winter use.
Big city rooftop gardens are usually vertical growing aquaponic systems to conserve space. Multiple rows of gardening trays are used in a vertical pattern.
An AFD aquaponic system usually consists of four to eight grow beds. The pump relies on a valve to flood the grow beds and a timer to determine for how long. After a set amount of time, the water drains back into the fish tank.
A hybrid aquaponic approach incorporates the best of all systems into one to create a unique hybrid that fits the grower’s individual needs.