The position of your aquaponics system is very important. Several factors are to take in consideration in order to offer the most adapted environment to your aquaponics ecosystem.
The main factors are the sun and the wind exposition. In aquaponics the crop is growing twice as fast as in a classic garden. In a classic garden the pants need to develop a strong roots system to access the nutrients and moisture into the soil. Moisture and nutrients are often a limiting factor. In a well-managed Aquaponics ecosystem, the plants have constant access to moisture and nutrients. The aquaponics crop growth limiting factors are linked to the environment. We can’t control the climate but can take advantage of microclimate and position our setup where the sun and the wind will provide the best conditions for our ecosystem.
Generally speaking the plants optimum growth can be reached in warm conditions, low wind and a high sunlight exposition (it can’t be applied to all plants, it’s just a general statement). If you live in a very warm country, a full sun exposition may not be the best for your plants and you will either have to place your aquaponics system in a half sun exposition or full sun with a mesh roof to decrease the sun strength. If you leave in a moderate to cold country a full sun position will probably be the most adapted and improve your system production.
Watch out the fish temperature requirements!
All fish species have an acceptable range of temperature to respect. Some species are tropical and others prefer cold temperature. If you grow cold temperature fish such as trout, make sure that the position of your aquaponics setup will not lead to a water temperature above the range of your fish otherwise you may lose your fish during summer.
Some beginners think that having the fish in the shade and the growbed exposed full sun is a solution to keep the fish tank water cold.
The reality is that the water of your system circulate through the growbed and goes back to the fish tank so the temperature of the water is sensibly the same everywhere in the system. If the growbed is exposed full sun it will act as a solar eater and warm the water of the whole setup which is generally a good thing but not if you have sensitive cold water fish. Note that a growbed full of plants will warm the water less than a growbed with the plants visible.
Hide from the wind!
Wind it is a natural element, a little wind can be beneficial as it improves the auto-pollination of some plants such as tomatoes. On the other hand the wind can have a terrible impact on your crop. First it increase the leaves evaporation and therefore increase the water consumption of the system. Secondly it very often decrease the temperature of the system. A strong wind can also have a negative physical impact on your crop and break your plants. For those reasons I would recommend to avoid windy expositions and to place your setup against a North wall if you are into the northern hemisphere or a South wall if you are into the southern hemisphere.
If you can afford, positioning your aquaponics system into a greenhouse is one of the best ways to maximize your food production in a very productive way. The wind and temperature can be more or less oriented and the light is defused from different angles so the growth is better.
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 🙂