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Most practitioners of the Aquaponics systems primarily use three popular techniques to cultivate their gardens and farms. These techniques include Deep Water Culture, Nutrient Film Technique, and Media Bed. Finding the perfect system involves evaluating each of the design’s strengths and weaknesses, and then assessing your setup’s cultivation requirements. If you intend to run a large-scale system, then consider Deep Water Aquaponics, which is the ideal method for a commercial production setting.
This specific technique involves nutrient-rich water flowing through canals approximately 20 centimeters deep while polystyrene rafts with plants drift above. In this article, we will take a closer look at Deep Water Aquaponics and learn why this method might be the right one for you. Here are the Top 5 Advantages of Deep Water Aquaponics That You Should Know:
- More Cost-Effective
- Refined and Well-Researched Technique
- Rafts Allow Planting and Harvesting
- Water Volume Minimizes Quality Shift
- Reduced Water Loss thru Evaporation
What is Deep Water Aquaponics?
First of all, the Deep Water Aquaponics is also known as the Floating System or the Raft Method. It is a system where long canals circulate nutrient-rich water while polystyrene rafts float above with plants. Holes with net pots allow the plant roots to hang freely in the oxygenated water. This is where it can soak up significant amounts of nutrients and oxygen.
Indeed, this system is ideal and promising for commercial aquaponics since it leads to a faster-growing environment and higher fish and vegetable production. Let’s examine some of the advantages when you choose the Floating System or the Raft Method.
For commercial systems, the Raft Method is a cost-effective option versus Media Beds. The reason behind this is that the method uses either biological or mechanical filtration. It is the element that allows the water to flow consistently in the canals and gets rid of solid wastes left in the system. However, filtration means substantial investment and capital cost because materials used to build it might be difficult to buy in some locations.
The component will raise your upfront cost, but it will result in higher food production. Without filtration, your system is vulnerable to oxygen deficiency and unit clogging. These scenarios can trigger deplorable growing conditions for your fish and vegetables.
Refined and Well-Researched Technique
Another advantage of this technique is that it has been tried and tested by leading organizations. In fact, the University of the Virgin Islands and various Research programs refined the method in a 25-year study. The program designed a commercial-scale system that generates five MT of tilapia yearly and different types of crops.
Rafts Allow Harvesting and Planting
In a commercial setting, after harvesting full-grown crops, you can utilize the raft again for replanting. This maximizes floor space for large systems. It is important, though, to take out the entire plant, which includes its roots and possibly dead leaves. You must clean the raft after harvest. However, do not leave it to dry to prevent the nitrifying bacteria from dying.
Water Volume Minimizes Quality Shift
Because there is ample water volume and spacing within the fish tanks, the Deep Water Aquaponics method naturally helps protect the fish from proximity stress and water quality issues in the tank. In addition, it also prevents sudden temperature and nutrient changes in the system, which is beneficial for nurturing crops for longer terms.
Reduced Water Loss thru Evaporation
Finally, a large scale operation using a Raft Method means you have greater air space. This means your system has better ventilation, which promotes the dissipation of heat from water or otherwise known as evaporation. If you are in an area with a hot climate, the Raft Method could very well be the difference between a successful or failed plant and fish cultivation.