|Better Farm's aquaponics tanks.|
With Better Farm’s aquaponics system, a bed of lettuce and tomato rests above a fish tank, and pea gravel is used in place of soil. A tube transports water from the fish tank to the bed, and because the bed tilts at an angle, excess water drains back into the tank. Essentially, aquaponics requires no soil, fertilizers, weeding, or direct watering to grow the plants—and the fish tank gets cleaned out, too. Pretty darn cool.
Here's our first aquaponic tomato:
We learned by trial-and-error that in an aquaponics setup, you need to be careful how much food you are feeding your fish. Too much, and you'll be dealing with a disastrously cloudy tank. We dealt with this last month by doing a thorough cleaning-out of the entire grow bed. Rinsing out the pea gravel and scrubbing the container (and scrubbing the walls of fish tank, and changing the tank's filters) gave us a pristine system in which to continue growing.
Yesterday, we did our annual maintenance of the hydroponic setup, which involves cleaning out the grow bed and water tank, scrubbing the gravel, and refilling the tank with fresh water.
The annual or semi-annual maintenance required for aquaponics and hydroponics makes these methods some of the easiest for growing fresh, organic produce.
Aquaponics at Better Farm