Getting Started in Aquaponics

There seems to be a fine balance in aquaponics between those who hear of the concept and go out and throw a bunch of fish in a tank and then ask about how to hook up the plants and then on the other side there are people who will study and research and drive them selves to distraction before they ever even get a piece of pipe or a tank to hook up.

While I believe one should do some reading and research to understand the basic concepts of aquaponics (like knowing what a bio-filter is and does for the fish and plants in an aquaponics system) before getting the fish since this understanding will help keep the fish alive, I don’t want anyone paralyzed into never getting started in aquaponics because they can’t fine the absolute perfect system or fish or feed.

Aquaponics is a great hobby that can help you reconnect with nature so don’t let it tie you to a computer screen forever more trying to pry every last tidbit of information out of others. Get out there and try a few things so you can learn/see for yourself first had. Especially since every situation is different. What work well for one guy might be a complete disaster for some one else so don’t spend the rest of your life trying to search out perfect on the internet (because that at best can only be virtually perfect even if you find it.)

So, by all means do some searching, ask some questions, then make a decision and go for it! What’s the worst that can happen? It turns out not to have been the best choice, so you will make a modification or try something else. Heck even if your first choice is great, this hobby is addicting so you probably will still get to keep researching and trying new things. It’s all about learning and enjoying yourself, trying new things and then coming up with something even better.

I recommend learning a bit about basic system design and reading about cycling up a system (Fishless cycling) and using the test kits before you go putting fish in a tank.

Then it’s time to try out some ideas. For some people it can help to share their idea on a forum where they can outline the basic idea and perhaps post pictures or diagrams and get help or suggestions from others who may have already tried things. By doing this you can sometimes avoid mistakes that people might point out to you and suggest modifications that can save money or time/trouble. Then go ahead and build something. Test it out, cycle it up, get some fish and plants going.

Remember part of the fun should be the activity and doing, otherwise you might just want to buy a pre-designed kit and follow the instructions.

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