marijuana aquaponic grow system

Aquaponic Cannabis Growing and 3 common Issues

February 17, 2019

One common marijuana grow technique is called aquaponics. Studying the basics of the aquaponic system will surely result in increased yield. It is a must to know how the system works to have a successful marijuana grow using the aquaponics process.  This is especially true when producing the right level of nutrients that are required to grow a healthy marijuana plant.

Understanding Aquaponics

Aquaponics is always used in conjunction with aquaculture in a hydroponic system. With that being said, fish are cultured in a tank and all the nutrients that are created are transformed into nutrients for plants with the help of bacteria. The roots of the plants then help clean the water before it flows back to the tank for the fish thus completing the cycle. This is an overview of the aquaponic system.

Aquaponics creates its own ecosystem. The fish make nutrients for the marijuana plant and in return, the plant cleans the water for the fish. It is important that the fish you choose are tough and can tolerate crowded spaces. Fish like tilapia can easily adapt to aquaponics and at the same time can be eaten. Another type are koi and goldfish which are also ideal for aquaponics. They are good ornamental fish and nice for decoration. They can survive in sub-optimal environments.

If you are the type of person who loves cultivating fish and plants, then aquaponics is the best system for you and combining them decreases the expenses of each system. If you wanted to grow marijuana through hydroponics, aquaponics should be considered since both systems can support each other. In major commercial operations, aquaponics is utilized to create a profitable combination. It is possible to grow your marijuana plants using aquaponics and get decent yields.

Benefits of Aquaponics

Aquaponics is viable in a small scale set up. It requires little technology and is more effective in producing food even if faced with infertile soil and minimum resources. In addition to that, aquaponics significantly lowers the volume of water required to raise fish, and at the same time also creates plants that are nutrient-rich.

Mostly, aquaponics can be very beneficial. It does have its own few disadvantages because there is no perfect growing system. Patience is a key factor in your success in aquaponics. They say that the secret to having a successful and functional aquaponic system is a lot of patience. A balance should be made between the fish, plants, and bacteria , and this is only achieved over time. Of course, it does not happen overnight. There is no way to speed up the process of the biofilters function while bacteria starts to settle in. This is the same as growing your plants, you can only assist in their growth to be a little faster, but still will not fully mature to harvest. In other words, you still need to wait until they are ready for harvest.  In aquaponics, you can aid the bacteria to grow and mature but time is needed for them to grow in numbers, enough to make a strong community.

This means, that if you are just starting with your aquaponics system, you have a lot more time raising the bacteria in the tank. While doing that, you also need to do many adjustments to keep the nutrient levels in balance. You will need to add them if needed, replace water, maintain the pH levels as well as put more fish in or remove some. When balance is attained and the tank is mature enough, the less work for you because as time passes by, the system will function on its own, through their own ecosystem

3  Major Difficulties Growing Marijuana with Aquaponics

  1. Marijuana plants need a lot of nutrients.

Marijuana growing using aquaponics is the same as hydroponics, the exception is that the fish and bacteria are making the food. The nutrients from the fish cannot be used directly by the plants, so the fish waste needs to be changed into another form with the help of the bacteria that can be used in the biofilter. It takes almost six months for a strong community of bacteria to build up in the biofilter. This also means that extra nutrients are needed coming from natural resources to supplement the growth of the marijuana plants at least for the first couple of months.

In the flowering or budding stage, marijuana plants need more nutrients than any other stages. It is hungry for more nutrients than ever before because it needs to make flowers or generate the buds. It has been proven that it is hard for marijuana and other fruit-bearing plants to survive in an aquaponic system.

 

  1. Marijuana plants may need separate vegetative and flowering chambers.

The vegetative stage and the flowering stage of marijuana need different nutrient levels for best and healthier growth. To maximize the aquaponic system, it is recommended to have different tanks for the vegetative and flowering stages.

It is also possible to just put extra nutrients in the tank for the flowering stage. But this can be dangerous to the fish if there are excessive nutrients in the tanks, unless the plants suck up all the extra nutrients before the water flows back in the rear tank. Additionally, testing the water is required to manage the nutrients that are present in the tanks.

 

  1. What to do if you have extra fish.

Aquaponic systems are very good for the production of fish and plants both at the same time. So this system is very helpful, you will have an unlimited supply of fish and can be another source of income by selling them. These fish are guaranteed to be healthy and clean.

 

Conclusion

Aquaponic systems are a good way to be a more ecological and organic marijuana grower. There are growers who do not want to harvest the fish for consumption or additional money, so growers need to have another plan if that is the case. Fish mature and die eventually and will be replaced by younger ones to keep the balance in the aquaponic ecosystem. So what will you do with the extra fish you have?

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