Aquaponics For Your Tiny Home
The increasing popularity of tiny home living is a clear sign that people are becoming more and
more concerned about the resources they use. Particularly, people who choose to live in smaller
spaces prefer a self-sustainable lifestyle with minimum dependence on any of the market
supplies. It includes off-grid living and home-grown organic farming options.
While off-grid living is easy to manage- one can simply install solar panels and attach a battery
to the home for utility supplies; what’s difficult is maintaining a home-grown garden. It requires a
lot of space and maintenance just to keep up with a healthier yield. And most importantly it
requires soil, which could be difficult to include in a tiny home. Although, including pots could be
a solution but it still poses a challenge to include a sufficient number of these pots. In short, land
for cultivation is not readily available for tiny home-dwellers.
Thankfully, there are other options available. Have you ever heard about growing vegetables
and crops without soil? Yes, you read that absolutely correct! You don’t really need soil anymore
to grow your garden. The technology is known as hydroponics. Instead of using soil for growing
the crops, it uses an aggregate solution as a growth medium. But, it has its own fair share of
challenges. For starters, hydroponics or even aeroponics would require a lot of water, which
could again be a challenge for someone living with minimum essential resources.
Therefore, an improved version of this technique is now available for tiny home dwellers-
“aquaponics”. While hydroponics requires continuously replenishing the growth medium (water),
What is Aquaponics? How is it Better than Hydroponics?
Aquaponics is a combination of two cultures that co-create a self-sustainable system that
requires no additional assistance. It combines aquaculture with agriculture, reducing water
usage by up to 95% as compared with ordinary farming practices.
The water in fish tanks contains dead and excretory matter from the aquatic life such as fishes
and prawns. Of course, these substances are toxic for aquatic life, but not for the plants and
crops. In fact, the wastes from aquatic life act as nutrition for the crops grown in ponics culture.
As the experts from Farming Aquaponics suggest, this wastewater is circulated to the growth
tables. Here, the bacteria convert these wastes into nitrates, sulfates, phosphates, and other
basic compounds that can be used up as nutrients by the plants. Thus, making the water
reusable for aquatic life. This recirculating cycle omits the need for additional water and
nutrients to be added to the culture.
In fact, this is the most significant difference between aquaponics and hydroponics. Where in
hydroponics, the water requirement is too high, it is negligible in aquaponics.
By now, you must have had an idea that you can include this particular technique in your tiny
system in your home.
What do you need for including aquaponics into your tiny home?
Of course, the most illustrative question that you’d have now is how do you include this into your
home? After all, there must be some technical prerequisites for ensuring the healthy growth of
your crops. Here, you’ll find a basic layout for constructing a tiny aquaponics system for your
–Choosing the equipment
The very first thing is listing out the equipment and basic setup needs. For starters, you surely
need a tray and a fish tank. The tray would be used for planting the crops whereas the fish tank
would be used for breeding and farming the fishes. You have a great many options to choose
from when it comes to the crops and the aquatics for your aquaponics setup. You must carefully
choose your inclusions for a healthier yield.
Apart from the cultivating tray and the fish tank, you’d also need some other basic tools and
equipment. A scissor for shearing and chopping off any unwanted weeds or branches. Some
coconut coir to prevent the nutrients from flowing away with the water, a pH test kit to ensure the
acidity of the water medium, and grow lights for plants. Since the technique is preferably used
indoors, it is best to be prepared for all the necessary challenges and assisting your plants with
photosynthesis. However, you can also choose to install the setup outdoors, if you have a spare
piece of land.
–Setting up the system
The next step is installing all the equipment and getting the setup started. First of all, you
must prepare the water flow system. Drill two holes in the fish tank and connect them with the
grow table using pipes. One hole should serve as the outlet for the water from the fish tank and
the other should serve as the inlet for clean water. At the junction, make sure that you seal the
joints properly to avoid any leakage. Also, make sure that you attach filter cloths at the openings
for the inlet and outlet to avoid any fishes traveling into the culture tray.
Further, you’ll also need to attach a pump onto each supply system (the inlet and the outlet) to
ensure the proper direction of flow for the water. Fill up the tank with water and release the
fishes into it. You should make your tanks as homely for your fishes as possible to ensure their
proper growth and wellbeing.
On the other hand, setting up your grow table- you should firstly include the coconut coir, into
the flow bed. It should act as a growth medium for the bacteria that convert the nutrients in the
water while also preventing the nutrients from flowing back into the fish tank with running water.
Once your growth bed is set up, its time to install the plants or the crops onto it.
When your setup is complete make sure that you maintain a regular check on the water health
and that of your fishes and crops as well. Regular checkups will help you ensure that your
aquaponics system is working properly. If you find any changes in the pH level or the health of
your crops or fishes, it is suggested that you seek help from the professionals within the field.