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Nutrient Film Aquaponics Sytems are a great option to consider when building out your sustainable garden. While the method may have some limitations compared to other popular Aquaponics setups, both large commercial farms and small operators apply the technique successfully. By comparison, the Deep Water and the Nutrient Film techniques are more cost-effective compared to Media Bed Aquaponics Systems.
If you prefer a cultivation method that requires minimal water volume, and can save you an extra buck here or there, the Nutrient Film Technique could very well meet your needs. In this article, we will explore the Nutrient Film method and assess the values you will gain in leveraging this system. Here are 3 Key Benefits of Nutrient Film Aquaponics That You Should Know:
- Minimal Water Volume Needed
- Best for Leafy Vegetables and Herbs
- Adaptable to Various Settings
What are Nutrient Film Aquaponics Systems?
The Nutrient Film Technique is a type of aquaponics system that cultivates plants in long canals. Periodically, films of water flow through each canal, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the vegetable roots. The method requires a biological filter since there is only a small volume of water and surface area for the nitrifying bacteria to live.
The vegetable roots partly hang in the nutrient-rich water. The water circulates through the system since it does not typically leverage flooding or draining. The circulating water ultimately returns to the fish tank to complete the cycle.
Small and large operators nowadays utilize this technique because of its potential. Let’s see some of the upsides of Nutrient Film Aquaponics Systems.
Minimal Water Volume Needed
The Nutrient Film Technique is a method that utilizes only a thin film of water. There is minimal water volume needed, which makes it a little easier for operators to set up. Similarly, because there is a consistent film of water flowing in the canals, the vegetable roots are enormously oxygenated, reducing the risk of root rot, fungal, and algae growth.
However, exposing the roots to more air likewise means the plant or vegetable is prone to severe temperature fluctuations. For optimal results, make sure to regularly monitor your crops.
Best for Leafy Vegetables and Herbs
Many growers choose the Nutrient Film technique to cultivate smaller, fast-growing vegetables or herbs like Lettuce, Swiss Chard, and Oregano. Since the system is space-efficient, operators have efficient access to each row, making harvesting and monitoring significantly easier.
While some aquaponics gardeners avoid using this method altogether when growing larger and more complex plants, the flexibility of the system allows you to adjust your canals to fit the requirements of these crops. Keep in mind, though, you must routinely monitor your system because the large roots can possibly block canals, and water may become impaired from reaching your plants and fish.
Adaptable to Various Settings
What is nifty about the Nutrient Film Aquaponics technique is that you can position the pipes you will use in various patterns. Many people set up their system on the rooftops where they construct pipes in wall fences, vertical spaces, or overhanging balconies. Moreover, since the nutrient-rich water is inside the pipes, it is thoroughly shielded from the sun limiting water loss by evaporation.
Our recommendation for the best results is to use pipes that are square cross-sections or rounded. Again, you can adopt the measurement of your pipes to suit your plant and space requirements. White-colored pipes are suitable because it reflects the sun allowing the pipe interior to remain cool. When it comes to planting, a popular option is to use net cups to plant seeds.
However, if you have a limited budget, you can likewise use ordinary plastic cups. Finally, remember to clean the pipes on a regular basis to avoid the risk of clogging.