2.) May Need Separate Vegetative & Flowering Chambers
Aquaponics may be the most efficient way there is to cultivate both fish and plants at the same time because combining them together reduces the cost of farming each one individually! In big commercial operations, aquaponics is used to produce profitable combinations like tilapia fish and lettuce. In smaller setups, aquaponics is a sustainable, low-technology and efficient way to create food even with infertile land and low resources – aquaponics dramatically reduces the amount of water needed for raising fish, while producing high-nutrient plants at the same time!
In an aquaponic growing system, fish are raised in a tank and the nutrients they produce (contained in their poop and produced by their gills) gets converted by bacteria into nutrients for the plants. The plant roots help clean the water before it is re-circulated back to the fish tank, completing the cycle.
When it comes to growing cannabis in aquaponics, one of the big goals is to set up a system that produces high levels of available nutrients. Growing cannabis plants gobble up nutrients, especially in the flowering stage, so you need to ramp up an aquaponics system to optimize it for high nutrient output! That means that you need to make sure you have a high density of fish, as well as a really great bacterial colony to convert all that fish poop into nutrients for your plants!
The secret to any successful aquaponics system is patience! You need to create a balance between the fish, bacteria and plants, and this takes time. Unfortunately, there’s not necessarily a lot of ways to speed things up while your bacteria is being colonized.
Even after your biofilter is established, you may still need to supplement with extra calcium, iron, potassium and possibly phosphorus to keep up with the needs of your cannabis, especially during the flowering stage.
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Theoretically speaking, meeting the terms and conditions of the cannabisaquaponics method seems achievable. But for novice growers with hardly any experience of growing marijuana hydroponically, practicing aquaponics could prove devilishly difficult. Even experienced cultivators will have a tough time adhering to and maintaining the stipulations for effective aquaponic farming.
The aquarium, fishes, bacteria (Biofilter), and cannabis plants constitute the main elements of your weed aquaponics system. The fish-tank or aquarium serves as the habitat for the elements of the aquaponic ecosystem. Depending on your financial capacity and your experience, you can go for a large or small setup.
An aquaponic system can function efficiently with a very little quantity, compared to other agricultural methods. Since you need to recirculate water in the fish-tank periodically, actual water needed for operating the system is very less.
You need to take good care of the cannabis plants, especially during their vegetative and flowering phases. Nutrient, water, and humidity needs vary greatly as the plants graduate from the vegetative to the flowering stage. Therefore, you’ll need to have multiple fish-tanks so that you can optimally use the aquaponic environment.
Major hurdles & complications when growing weed in a fish tank
If you don’t implant a biofilter component, the ammonia emanating from fish poop will kill the latter. Conversely, the cannabis plants will not be able to use the unprocessed nutrients (i.e.,waste from fishes)and ultimately wither. So, there’s no disputing the indispensability of a biofilter component in an aquaponic environment.
To say the last but not the least, take up aquaponics only after you’ve garnered extensive experience in hydroponic agriculture of weed.
However, the nutrient (waste products) has to be processedfor making it fit for absorption by the plants. The bacterial community converts the fish waste into a form deemed proper for consumption. And it could take up to six months for the biofilter community to proliferate and start processing fish poop.
Farming marijuana using aquaponics
You’ll have to continue supplying extra supplements until your biofilter system starts processing fish waste, and the system becomes self-sustaining. Toavoid obstructions in the aquarium, you’ll need to install a waterfiltration system. You could be at your wit’s end in determining the exact proportion of fishes, plants, and biofilter for making the system sustainable.
However, hydroponics poses its own set of challenges, and the grower might struggle to monitor the key grow elements. So, having prior experience of hydroponic farming goes a long way in enabling you to monitor the grow environment effectively. Nevertheless, as a first-timer, you’ll have greater leeway over hydroponic cultivation, if you take advantage of Aquaponics.