A simple backyard aquaponics set-up is one of the easiest and fastest ways to grow organic food for you and your family.
Whether you intend to set up a small scale aquaponics system for your own consumption or to set up an urban commercial aquaponics farm in your backyard, the next question arises.
How do you choose the RIGHT location for your backyard aquaponics set-up?
Sufficient Sunlight for The Plants
As you know, plants need at least 4-6 hours of sunlight a day to grow well. For the plants to be healthy and robust, the backyard aquaponics should be at a sunny site.
Monitor the sunlight and shadows to make sure that the spot is not covered by shadows in the mornings or afternoons. Trim any overhanging trees or branches if needed.
However, it’s a different story for your fish.
Shade for The Fish
Fish prefer to be in the shades. Your fish tank should NEVER be under direct sunlight as that will lead to an algae bloom in your tanks. This in turn could lead to the death of your fish due to lack of oxygen.
You can consider using a cover on top of the fish tank or growing some floating plants on the surface of the fish tank to provide shelter and hiding places for the fish to make them feel protected.
Avoid placing your backyard aquaponics set-up under deciduous trees to prevent leaves or flowers dropping down from above. You will want to keep your system and waters as clean as possible.
Moreover, some plant species might even be toxic to your fish!
TIP: Since your homemade aquaponics setup is in the outdoors, it will be a good idea to have a protective cover or shelter to avoid contaminants and solid materials from getting into the waters. Bear in mind that clean water is vital for the well-being of your fish and plants!
Space Allowance and Accessibility
Avoid setting up your backyard aquaponics system too close to the fence or between grow beds as you need sufficient space for planting, harvesting and maintenance.
Even though it may be a small scale aquaponics set-up, do leave some allowance so that you can easily access the entire aquaponics system.
Bear in mind that when the grow beds are full of plants, it would be much more difficult to reach the back corners compared to an empty grow bed.
Moreover, plants often grow over the edge of the grow beds. As a rule of thumb, leave at least 70 cm space allowance between grow beds.
Access to the fish tank is also important as you will need to regularly check on the water, health of the fish and harvest. As fish tanks could be very heavy, it is often best to be left on the ground.
However, do not place them directly under your grow beds so that your access to the fish tank would not be blocked.
Access to Power
Your backyard aquaponics system also needs to be accessible to power as the pumping systems for water and oxygen will need electricity to run.
Heating and Insulation
Different fish species have their own optimal temperature range, but they all tend to prefer uniform water temperatures.
Depending on where you live and the type of fish you are rearing, you might need a submersible heater (which again requires electricity) to keep the water temperature optimal.
Heating is not required if you choose a fish type that has an optimal temperature range same as the ambient temperature of your backyard setup.
However, you can still choose to maintain a uniform water temperature to promote the growth of the fish and efficiency of the beneficial bacteria.
As a result, plant growth is also sped up due to increased availability of nutrient. Hence even though the cost of electricity is higher, the higher yields mean that you end up more profitable.
If the temperature and weather conditions fluctuates drastically, you MUST have insulation and submersible heaters to keep the water temperature constant and within optimal range. Else the growth of fish could be stunted or they may even die.
There are a lot of accessories, such as pipes, tubes and cables, fish supplies and gardening tools needed to keep the backyard aquaponics system running smoothly.
It would convenient if you allocate some storage spaces nearby for easy access.
Hopefully you have found the tips and information on how to choose the right location for your aquaponics setup to be useful.
It is important to select your site carefully while planning and designing your homemade aquaponics system. However, the success of your backyard aquaponics garden depends not only on its location.
Find out more…
What I suggest you to do now is to check out John Fay’s Aquaponics 4 You. You will be able to find out everything you need to successfully build your own backyard DIY aquaponics garden – one that is orderly and aesthetically pleasing.
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