The Basic Components of Aquaponics

1. Fish

Fish plays a central role in the aquaponics system as they will be the source of natural fertilizer for the plants, so proper selection of fish to raise in your aquaponics system is critical. To ensure the success of your aquaponics system, it is essential to know what are the best fish for your system.

Key things to consider when selecting the fish for your system:

1. Purpose: Aside from providing food for your plants, what is the goal of raising your fish? The easiest way to start your aquaponics system is to grow a few fish for recreation like goldfish or trout. You can expand to a larger scale in the future after you have gained experience and skills. 

2. Temperature: Different fish have different water temperature requirements. Choosing a fish adaptable to your temperature and weather conditions is essential. Some fish, such as trout, like cold water, while some fish, such as goldfish, prefer slightly warmer water. 

3. What crops are to be grown: Fish should feed well at the same temperature at which the plants thrive. Make sure that both your fish and plants have the same temperature requirements.

4. Maintenance Difficulty: If you don't want to put much effort into maintaining your system, you can choose a sturdy fish that can live in dirty water and be immune to parasites and disease. Some fish are hardy and don't require much care, while others are sensitive and costly. 

Barramundi, Silver Perch, Trout, Golden Perch, Catfish, Murray Cod, Jade Perch, Australian Bass, Black Bream, Eels and Yabbies are suited to the climate in Australia, and are legal to own and grow in Aquaponics systems in Australia.

2. Plants

You can grow many plants in an aquaponics system, and picking plants to grow in your new aquaponics system can be a fun part.  Making the right choice in aquaponics plants is essential to the success of the system and the success of your harvest. 

The most common plant types in aquaponics systems are lettuce, tomatoes, basil, cauliflower, carrots and cucumbers. Don't limit your imagination to just these plant types. You can grow almost any plant variety in an aquaponics system.

3. Bacteria

An aquaponics system requires beneficial bacteria for the fish and plants to thrive. Bacteria plays an important role in the aquaponic cycle. It transforms fish waste into nutrients for the plants in the process known as nitrification.

Nitrification is a process in which organic compounds are converted into nitrites and then into nitrates. The Nitrosomonas do this by converting ammonia (resulting from fish waste) into nitrite. Once converted into nitrates, they can be absorbed by the plants. These bacteria will be present in the grow bed, grow media, fish tank, and biofilter.