Our Focus

The website, aquaponicsforaquarists.com has been developed with the specific focus to bring the power of aquaponics to the aquarists of the world.  While many fish keepers are content with the way things are with the technology and state of the hobby, others are willing to push the boundaries as far as possible.  This site is dedicated to those pioneers who are looking for better ways to keep their fish.  It doesn’t hurt to gain an alternate safe food source for their families in the process.  Aquaponics for aquarists offers a very viable method of improving fish health and water quality.

Image by hardworkinghippy on Flickr, used under the Creative Commons license.Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a new trend in farming produce and crops without the use of large areas of land or harmful chemicals.  These systems can produce safe and organic food which we require to live.  The results are often a more healthy choice than store bought food.  Aquaponic gardens can be successfully installed even in the middle of a city where other forms of food production are impossible.  The growing area is a container with an inert growing media such as expanded clay aggregate that supports the roots.  Unlike hydroponics, the nutrient source for the plants is not man-made or hard chemicals.  The food used by the plants comes from the natural wastes of fish.

A New Style Nitrate Filter

By connecting a fish tank with the plant growing bed and pumping the aquarium water through the grow bed a natural symbiosis occurs.  The fish and other inhabitants in the fish tank produce ammonia.  This is rapidly processed into nitrate, which concentrates into the water.  The water is pumped through the grow beds and used by plants to grow and thrive.

The fish water is purified of nitrate by the plants, which are well fertilized simultaneously.  All this with very little extra resources needed for the installation over and above the original aquarium installation.  Aquaponics for aquarists is an outgrowth of the fish keeping hobby using nature as a safe and reliable purification filter.  Although all standard filters can continue to be employed, a change to less expensive and re-usable media is quite possible.

The focus for filtration needs to be on biological breakdown – powerful ammonia and organic waste reduction is the primary filtration required in these systems.  Plants are grown in crowded conditions with no problem or stress  Space requirements are minimized.  At the same time, the usage of clean water resource3s is tremendously reduced – Commercial aquaponic installations generally only a tenth of the water required for similar production from classic land farming where a large part is wasted in evaporation or movement into the aquifer.   Even pure hydroponics uses more water in the growing process since the chemicals and inorganic nutrients needs to be flushed and refreshed regularly.  Effluent from hydroponics is often contaminated, this does not happen when using an aquaponics system.  Any flushed water is safe for most uses.

Our Focus – Nitrate Removal for Aquarists

While the science and implementation of aquaponic gardening has the potential to economically feed the world, our focus is not on the plants.  It is on the decorative beauty of an aquarium in the home.  Aquaponics for aquarists shifts the focus onto the benefits of feeding live plants for the fish creating the wastes.  Historically, the main reason for doing regular water changes is because nitrate is a toxin that concentrates in the water and will harm the fish over time.

aquaponics for aquarists - set-upPreviously, nitrate could not be removed by any means other than dilution and was considered a bad thing.  By moving the nitrate rich water over a plant bed, the plants do what engineers have never been able to do before, purify the water of nitrate and even some solid wastes naturally.  Many of the exotic resins and expensive filter materials become redundant with this system.  They are not required for the improved health of the fish.

We have all heard the dire predictions of sudden food shortages and total system breakdown. If you keep tropical fish, you have half of the technology to start a small sustainable food source. Aquaponics for aquarists does not attempt to replace your present food supply, the focus is on the nitrate filter a growing bed of vegetables will create – if you add food to the table – either produce or fish, consider that an added benefit.  Who knows what other benefits knowing how to grow food independent of factory farms might provide to the fish keeper.

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