Simply put, aquaponics involves you cultivating fish and plants in the same tank.
In an aquaponics fish tank, fish and plants benefit one another. The waste produced by the fish provides nutrients for the plants. The plants in turn purify the tank water to keep the aquatic creatures alive and healthy. But not every plant is suitable for aquaponics fish tanks. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the best plants for aquaponics fish tank.
Before putting a plant in your fish tank, you want to know whether it can survive inside water. Also, you don’t want to have a toxic plant in your aquaponics or it may spell doom for your fish. Read on to learn everything you need to know about planting in an aquaponics fish tank.
While it makes sense to grow your favorite plants in your regular garden, it makes even more sense to grow them in an aquaponics system if they can survive in water. With an aquaponics fish tank, you can grow your fish and plants together while they benefit themselves. Talk about killing two birds with a stone! Next, we’ll discuss what you need for an aquaponics system and what plants fit.
Without the right equipment, you can’t plant in aquaponics and get satisfactory results. Below, we’ll talk about the equipment you need for an effective and efficient aquaponics system:
Fish tank – The first equipment you need to set up an aquaponics system is a fish tank. Ideally, the amount of space you have as well as the number of fish you want will determine the tank’s size. There are various fish tanks on the market for aquaponics.
According to most reviews, the Back to the Roots Indoor Garden boasts a high-quality and compact design that makes it ideal for aquaponics. Plus, the indoor garden kit comes with things you need to get started, including a growing medium for your seeds to take root, radish and wheatgrass seeds, a water conditioner, fish food, and a water dechlorinator.
Another reliable alternative is the AquaSprouts Garden which sports a matte black design and a submersible 160-gallon per hour pump and mechanical timer.
Water pump – You need a high-quality water pump to ensure good water circulation.
Filter – Choose the best nano canister filter on the market to keep your tank clean and healthy.
Heater – Opt for a high-quality aquarium heater to make precise temperature adjustments. Choose the heater based on your tank’s size. If you have a 20-gallon tank, then you should choose the best heater for 20-gallon tank.
Thermometer – Go for the best aquarium thermometer to ensure you keep the right water temperature.
As we noted before, not every plant can be grown in the water alongside fish. So, what can you grow with aquaponics? Certain plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers can be produced using the aquaponics system.
Aquaponics can also grow vegetables such as okra, cabbage, red onions, lettuce, spinach, melons, and more. Additionally, the system can grow herbs and flowers.
Likewise, house plants can be grown in aquaponics fish tanks (we’ll elaborate on them later). Moreover, the success of growing plants in aquaponics fish tanks often depends on the density of the fish in the tank. For example, plants like cabbage, herbs, chives, spinach, etc., that have low to medium nutrient needs can grow well in tanks with less fish.
On the other hand, plants that have higher nutrition requirements will need a denser concentration of fish to perform well. Such plants include cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes. Overall, the most important requirements to grow plants in aquaponics fish tanks are; plants must be able to grow inside water and they must not be toxic to fish.
As promised, we’ll discuss the best house plants for aquaponics fish tank below:
Chamomile is a fragrant herb and a member of the sunflower family. It flourishes in water and grows alongside fish without trouble. While you can buy this plant at your local supermarket, it’s more convenient and rewarding to grow it in your aquaponics garden.
There are several advantages to growing chamomile in your fish tank. Apart from being a relaxing tea, it can also bring an aromatic charm and fragrance to your garden. Chamomile’s health benefits include easing the effects of menstrual cramps according to a study Trusted Source Chamomile tea for relief of primary dysmenorrhea Primary dysmenorrhea is a common disorder occurs in 60-93% of women in menstrual age. www.researchgate.net and healing minor skin conditions according to another research Trusted Source Effect of chamomile on wound healing--a clinical double-blind study In a double-blind trial, the therapeutic efficacy of chamomile extract was tested on 14 patients. As objective parameters served the epithelial and drying effect on weeping wound area after dermabrasion of tattoos. The period of the healing and drying process was judged by the doctor. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov .
The Chinese money plant is another plant that grows in aquaponics fish tanks. The plant is fancy-looking with beautiful big leaves that can enhance your fish tank’s beauty. Not only is it easy to propagate, but it’s also a rampant grower. You may need to prune the roots often to keep the plant under control.
Although the Chinese money plant is a flowering plant, it rarely blooms. The flowers are often white and tiny. We must note that money plant leaves should not be submerged underwater. You’ll need to keep the leaves above the water level. Submerging the leaves in water will kill the money plant. Only the roots should be below the water.
The devil’s ivy, also known as pothos, can grow and survive in a fish tank. In fact, it provides your tank with oxygenation. The plant provides more oxygen and absorbs more nitrates than several other plants.
Furthermore, the devil’s ivy is quite hardy and has a reputation for withstanding a bit of neglect but you shouldn’t expose it to such a situation. Besides, some countries consider this plant to be invasive but don’t fret, there’s no danger of the plant taking over your home!
Like the devil’s ivy, the English ivy grows in aquaponics fish tanks. It is also effective in absorbing and removing nitrates from the tank water column. Even though the English ivy doesn’t clean the water as well as the devil’s ivy, it’s a beneficial addition to any aquarium.
Ferns love themselves some water. They grow big in water and can be propagated and managed frequently. You can easily grow these plants as long as they absorb moderate daily light. Besides, ferns don’t have high-density nutritional needs. Therefore, you don’t need a big number of fish to keep the plants alive and flourishing.
Lavender does quite well in the aquaponics system. Its nutrient requirements are low, so it doesn’t need a big number of fish around it to grow and survive. Moreover, you stand to benefit a lot from growing lavender in your aquaponics fish tank. Not only is it a perennial aromatic herb that provides a simple elegance, but it also has cosmetic and medicinal uses.
Lavender boasts antifungal properties Trusted Source Lavender oil has potent antifungal effect Lavender oil could be used to combat the increasing incidence of antifungal-resistant infections, according to a new study. The essential oil shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections. www.sciencedaily.com that help to prevent eczema. It also helps to alleviate pain triggered by headaches, sprains, and toothaches.
Marigold provides you with the luxury of a beautiful flowering plant. Apart from giving out a blast of sweet scent, this plant also looks stunning. Not only is the smell attractive, but it also keeps bugs away. Thankfully, you can grow marigolds in an aquaponics fish tank. With these plants, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a first-timer or a pro; they grow just fine.
Finally, ensure that the marigolds are planted in a place where they can receive up to 6 hours of sun daily.
The peace lily is easily recognizable, thanks to its beautiful white flowers and deep green leaves. Although this plant is naturally a terrarium plant, it thrives in humid conditions, making it suitable for cultivation in aquaponics fish tanks. For it to survive in water, only the roots will have to be submerged and the leaves must stay above the water.
Moreover, you must keep in mind that peace lily is mildly toxic to mammals due to its sap containing calcium oxide. However, there’s no evidence of Calcium oxalate being poisonous for fish. Notwithstanding, it’s safer to keep plant-eater fish away from this plant.
The philodendron is another house plant is that thrives in aquaponics fish tanks but the water must be nutrient-dense. You may even notice that they grow brighter and larger when they’re grown in aquaponics instead of outside where they have to compete for nutrients.
The snake plant is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in an aquaponics system. With this plant’s long green leaves, it looks stunning. It is known for its ability to get rid of toxic pollutants from the air, benefitting you and your fish in the process. Some also see the snake plant as a symbol of good luck. So, you can trust this plant to fill your environment with positive vibes.
Spider plants love moist soils, making them befitting candidates for aquaponics. They’re quite easy to propagate. However, ensure that only the roots are submerged. Also ensure that all space, environmental, light, and water-related conditions are met for best results.
Water hyacinth is an excellent addition to your aquaponics aquarium because it helps to purify and clean the water for your fish. It’s also great for fish that are sensitive to frequent water changes. And you should know that this plant is fast-growing, so you’ll need to manage its growth and prevent it from obstructing the light for your fish.
Now that you know the best house plants you can grow in an aquaponics garden, let’s discuss how to set up the system.
When it comes to setting up an aquaponics aquarium, there’s no specific price to execute it. The cost varies sharply depending on your preferred type of system. Building your garden yourself can save you hundreds of dollars. If you’re opting for a ready-made setup, you could pay anywhere between $2,000 – $15,000. The bigger your project, the more you will spend.
Another important consideration when setting up an aquaponics garden is water. Since water is necessary for the survival of both plants and fish, you must look after it properly. The water inside the fish tank should be nutrient-rich to keep your fish and plants healthy.
Also, the water must be safe. For example, chlorine is toxic to fish, so experts advise Trusted Source HS1252/HS1252: A Practical Guide for Aquaponics as an Alternative Enterprise University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension outreach is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. The University of Florida (UF), together with Florida A&M University (FAMU), administers the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. edis.ifas.ufl.edu that you test your water for the presence of chlorine before it is allowed to touch the fish.
Finding the right place for your aquaponics system to stand is very important. Firstly, ensure that the place you picked out for the system is secluded and has enough space to accommodate it. If you’re keeping plants that need sunlight to grow, you will need to go with an outdoor aquaponics system. If sunlight is not a requirement, an indoor garden works just fine.
Ultimately, ensure that the place you put your aquarium system has the right climatic conditions for your plants and fish.
There are three main techniques for building an aquaponics system; floating raft system, media bed, and nutrient film technique (NFT). The raft system is known as the most effective technique. In this system, plants are grown on a raft board made of foam or polystyrene and they’re supported within holes by mesh pots.
Another system is the media bed technique that involves plants being placed in grow beds with enlarged clay pebbles and other materials. The grow bed helps to clean out impurities in the water. Finally, the NFT utilizes horizontal pipes with small streams of water flowing through them to grow your plants on top.
Aquaponics is always a good idea when you grow the right plants. Growing the wrong plants can have very disappointing consequences. That’s why we’ve worked hard to find out what the right plants for aquaponics are and the right conditions to grow them. Even if you grow the right plants, you need to grow them properly to have any chance of success.
Thanks to our comprehensive guide, you now know the best plants for aquaponics fish tank. We advise that you grow them in the ideal conditions. Also, ensure that you use all the necessary equipment, including a thermometer, water pump, heater, etc., to get the best results.