Raft Aquaponics

Raft aquaponics (also know as deep water culture aquaponics) is a specially designed type of aquaponics system. Lots of gardeners are making the switch to aquaponics from traditional gardening. An aquaponics system, overall, uses less water, less energy, and less labor, making it the better choice in gardening. An aquaponics system consists of a hydroponics section where the plants grow and an aquaculture section where the fish are raised. We will be focusing on the hydroponics section of an aquaponics system with this article.

A simple raft aquaponics system consists of a deep tank where the fish will grow and a shallow tank where the plants will grow. The plants are gown in small baskets filled with pearlite. The baskets are suspended in Styrofoam which floats on top of the water in the shallow tank. This setup allows the maximum amount of water to flow past the roots. This in turn provides the densest amount of nutrients to the plant roots. The plants grow very fast in a raft aquaponics system.

Raft aquaponics is an easy aquaponics system for the beginning aquaponics gardener to setup and maintain. It also lends itself to the aspiring commercial aquaponics farmer because of its high plant growth rate and crop yield. The following are some pros and cons of a raft aquaponics system: Beneficial bacteria have a large surface area to grow and convert the fish waste to nutrients. This particular aquaponics system design yields a lot of plants. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce grow exceptionally well with raft aquaponics. This attribute is what makes this specific design so attractive for commercial farmers. The large amount of water contained in the system keeps the PH balance and temperature of the system at a more consistent level. The downside of a raft aquaponics system is that it is difficult to support vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Also and extra subsystem for solids filtration may be needed depending on the fish species that you grow in your system.

Raft aquaponics is the simplest type of aquaponics system to setup. A lot of commercial aquaponic farms utilize this type of aquaponic system because it allows the plants to grow the fastest and it yields the most crop per measured area. The design of a raft aquaponics system allows even a beginner to set up and successfully run an aquaponics garden. If you have any questions about building your own aquaponics garden don't hesitate to contact us.

Click here for more information on how to build your own aquponics system