If you are interested by aquaponics you may wonder where to start. There are a number of steps to understand before starting anything. You will first need to understand the general principle of aquaponics.
As opposed to any other type of agriculture used in our society, Aquaponics produces food using natural principles. The crop is not produced in monoculture but in poly-culture. We don’t grow one species but a whole ecosystem…

The Cycle of life
The mass agriculture represented by Monsanto is consuming pesticides to kill all forms of life leaving around the crop… In aquaponics we use the opposite approach. We want to offer the best conditions to a very large variety of leaving creatures to grow together. The interactions between each species are complex but they follow some natural cycles. One of the most famous natural cycle is the nitrogen cycle also known as the cycle of life (every part of the setup is reuse and recycled by other parts of the system). Every leaving creature has a specific purpose and when you start aquaponics it is a good thing to understand the nitrogen cycle. We will not develop this point in this video but it is well explained into the free 6 STEP training offered.

Work with nature
You also need to understand that random actions on any part of the system can have consequences on other parts of the ecosystem. Please integrate this point as it is very important! Imagine starting aquaponics with a classic mindset. As soon as you will find “bugs” such as aphids on your lettuce, you will have the reflex to spray pesticide to get rid of the “pest” and protect your crop. Unfortunately with this type of mindset, not only your crop will not be healthy but also your bacteria will be killed by the pesticides and your water will become toxic. This will probably kill your fish… Your mindset must be completely different. In aquaponics we work with nature and not against nature. If insects are growing on your crop this is a good thing, they are biodiversity and help to the whole ecosystem balance. If you see aphids here and there don’t be afraid, soon or late a predator (such as ladybird larvae) will take care of them :).
Once you develop the adapted Aquaponics mindset you will then learn about the need of each category of species that you will grow.

Select adapted species

As developed above the diversity of species leaving in an aquaponics setup is very wide but you must know the basic requirements of the plants, the fish and the bacteria. Keep in mind that bacteria are able to grow everywhere but the specific type of bacteria that we will grow in aquaponics are “aerobic”. That mean that they need oxygen to grow.
We will then need to design your future aquaponics setup but in order to do it correctly you will have to understand the maximum ratio and design of an aquaponics setup. There are very specific ratio to respect between the different components of your aquaponics setup (I explain you all this in the 6 Step Training).

Learn how to cycle the setup
Once your setup created you will need to learn how to cycle your system. It corresponds to the growth of the bacteria into the growbed to allow a good transformation of the ammonia into plant nutrient.
Your setup is ready to go, you will now select your fish and vegetables. Make sure they are adapted to the environment you will offer them especially from a temperature point of view.

Test and monitor
You now need to be able to test and monitor your water in order to maintain a good environment to your ecosystem.
For more free information please follow the free 6 Step guide here:
http://melbourneaquaponics.com.au/magical-6-STEP

Welcome here! If you are new, you will probably be interested to discover Jonathan’s six steps to build and manage an Aquaponics system. Click here to access for free! Thanks and good reading 🙂