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.