- 1 1: What is a Cannabis Aquaponics System?
1: What is a Cannabis Aquaponics System?
You may have heard of hydroponics and aeroponics, but did you know there is a soilless type of growing style that uses living fish as part of an ecosystem to feed cannabis plants? An aquaponics system is certainly one way to take organically grown cannabis to a whole other level, so below is everything you need to know about aquaponics systems, how it works, nutrient availability, pH management, and the benefits associated. Paradise Seeds grow expert, Stoney Tark, takes a closer look.
In the same way that cannabis plants are placed in plastic net pots, filled with hydroton and set so the roots are permanently submerged in the water with deep water culture systems, aquaponics uses a living aquarium ecosystem to feed the reservoir.
The system uses Koi carp and a specific type of food that ensures an ideal balanced diet for the plants, fish, and beneficial microorganisms present. In return the fish waste is fed back to the cannabis plant’s roots, giving them access to the nutrient solution 24 hours a day. The water will be well aerated and the pH levels well maintained
2: Aquaponics Systems – How to Feed Cannabis Plants?
Instead of feeding with bottled nutrients or powdered feeds that are used when growing cannabis with hydroponics, pellets of food are used that contain all the relevant nutrients. Below is an analysis of the nutrient content available.
Crude Protein (min)………… 32.00 %
Crude Fat (min)………………. 3.0 %
Crude Fiber (max)…………… 10.0 %
Lysine (min)……………………. 1.7%
Calcium (Ca) (min)………….. 1.3 %
Calcium (Ca) (max)………….. 1.8 %
Phosphorus (P) (min)………. 0.8 %
3: The Differences Between Cannabis Hydroponics and Aquaponics
The difference between hydroponics and aquaponics systems are not so great. The major difference is that the aerated nutrient solution in which the cannabis roots sit is sourced from a totally separate reservoir – which the fish occupy.
The ability to incorporate hydroponics and an aquaponics system is easily done, with many commercial farmers of vegetables and fruits using pipe fitted NFT systems to allow roots to hang freely and run horizontally down the pipes over a film of nutrient solution.
4: The Growing Medium for Aquaponics
Aquaponic systems allow the roots of a Cannabis plant to be permanently submerged in the reservoir. The same way that plastic net pots are used in aquaponics and deep water culture systems, aquaponics also uses a plastic net pot with hydroton clay balls. As the roots are free to hang and live in the water, the size of the net pot does not need to be larger than 6-8 inches and smaller-sized Cannabis plants can be grown in even smaller net pots.
5: The 6 Benefits of Aquaponic Systems for Growing Cannabis
There are many benefits of growing cannabis plants using an aquaponic system. Below are some of them explained and some of the great reasons it may be worth the jump!
- The entire aquaponics system process from start to finish is completely organic, ensuring that the end results are totally clean, contaminant free and as natural as you can get.
- The amount of water being recycled is constantly being re-used. This means there is a huge saving on adding water and re-filling the reservoir each week.
- The growing medium is totally inert and it is impossible to over water your Cannabis plants when using hydroton. The lack of soil means the environment can remain sterile and clean.
- The rate of growth in an aquaponics system is very impressive, meaning Cannabis plants in the vegetative stage will grow tall, bushy and with extreme vigor.
- Aquaponic systems can be set up indoors and outdoors, allowing a grower to make the most of a rooftop space and grow all year around in some cases.
And 2 Tips on using Aquaponics to Remember!
1. Always make sure that your pH levels are on point and do not shift over or under-6.8-7.0, for the benefit of the fish also.
2. Only use recommended food to feed the fish, ensuring they follow a very strict diet.