Setting Up “Aquaponics” in Your Backyard

Portable Fish Farm
charlie vinz, portable fish farm

What is “aquaponics”? No, isn’t the name of a pop band from Norway. Aquaponics is an important agricultural area that can produce an excellent sustainable system of food production. The word comes from “aqua” (water) and “ponics” (work), and is to do with farming aquatic plants and animals.

Create Your Own Aquaponics

It isn’t too difficult to setup your own aquaponics system on your property, our in your backyard. They can be done small-scale or large and it makes for an interesting project to get your hands dirty on. They add a bit of interest to your property and are also very low maintainence.

There are several parts of the system required. First creating a small pond, will require some digging, water proofing the bottom, some people use an old bathtub, poly trough or concrete. Then add some sand and smalls or rocks, water and plant life. Fish release ammonia in their waste, which plants naturally soak of along with other nutrients.

Plants naturally clean the water and release oxygen. This water then circulates back into the system. Its a near-perfect system where the plants and animals help each other to survive. So before you add in fish, you’ll need to first start growing some plants.

Lots of plants do very in aquaponics, some you might want to consider include:

  • any leafy lettuce
  • pak choi
  • kale
  • swiss chard
  • arugula
  • basil
  • mint
  • watercress

So what about water? You will need to keep your pond and aquaponics system topped up with water. Rain fall will help, but also investing in a rainwater tank will easily sustain your gardening needs as well as help with a self-sustaining water solution.

Poly water tanks are a popular solution, and you can buy a simple trough at the same time to help get your aquaponics started. An Australian business I recommend are Tank Shop who sell tanks from high quality brands in South-East Queensland.

How Gardens Help to Sustain the Environment

Garden Lizard
Garden Lizard

Gardening, the practice of growing and cultivating plants for foods or decoration, is as old as modern humanity itself. You might be thinking, how on earth can gardens help to sustain the environment?

Well, as a quick response, consider what gardens (containing plants as they do) need to soak up in order grow – water. Often what accompanies a public garden display such as a botanical garden, or even a more modest home garden, are rainwater tanks. Water tanks play an important role for conserving our precious river and dam water supplies.

Here are four other ways gardening helps to sustain the environment:

  1. Gardening help to control extreme temperatures
    The growing and cultivation of plants like shrubs and trees may help to combat the effect of extremities of the weather. Consider, the more hard surface areas that are had like roads, pavements, roofs and the like, that greater the heat that is built up in that given area. Vegetation is an important part of sustaining surface temperatures.
  2. Gardening helps to improve human health
    In gardens, most people will use them as suitable places to get relaxed and play around. By doing this, they are saved from physical and mental stress. This is one reason many visit public parks and gardens. Most of the gardens serve as perfect ground to carry out exercises. If people feel good and more positive, then studies show they will generally have a more positive influence on the world around them.
  3. Gardening helps to prevent flooding
    In many areas affected by frequent and heavy rain falls, stormwater can cause heavy flooding. Gardens can be used to help properties mitigate stormwater runoff, helping to prevent flood in their area. That is, gardens can be used to absorb excess water that could have otherwise overloaded the drainage system. Planting trees and vegetation also recommend help to provent erosion in in areas prone to flooding.
  4. Gardening helps to sustain wildlife
    When gardens are planted, many creatures are sustained. The nectar from the flowers is attractions to butterflies, bees and other insects. Most so, bigger creatures like birds and mammals are sustained in bigger parks and gardens. By sustaining wildlife and creatures, nature is preserved.

So, here are four ways in which gardening can help to sustain the environment. There are lots of other great ways but the ways described above can give you an idea of how the immediate environment has richly benefited from gardening.