When purchasing an aquaponics system, whether it is micro-farming with aquariums or commercial with many rows of beds, they are all off the ground. The usual height for the very top of the grow beds is between 85 to 95 cm depending on the height of the people who will be using it.
Once it has been assembled it never needs to be reassembled or disassembled unless it has to be moved to another location. All work is done at a comfortable standing height. There is minimal bending of the back and no kneeling. No soil to carry, no compost to work into soils, no weeding a.s.o. The media that is already there need never be removed, especially if it is gravel. Work is light pleasant and hassle-free.
Aquaponics – Assembly and disassembly
From the very beginning, assembly of a modular store-bought system is a matter of logic and common sense. Plans are likely to be provided, and simply following them gets the job done.
The likelihood of having to disassemble a system will only arise in specific circumstances. These may be moving them to another location, selling them to upgrade to a larger system or even a commercial system, etc. Other than that, if planning has been done correctly, you will never have to do this.
Even a homemade system can be constructed to be easy to assemble and disassemble. Naturally, careful planning and choice of materials will be necessary. This has been successfully accomplished by people on numerous occasions affording them the same benefits of the modular store-bought aquaponics systems.
Where to install an aquaponics system
Aquaponics systems can be installed almost anywhere however some sites and systems are better suited to specifics than others.
Depending on their size and purpose they can be in your home, in a greenhouse attached to your home, in a backyard greenhouse, or in a large greenhouse on a plot of land. Some people have installed systems on their balconies and even on the rooftops of apartment blocks. Contrary to installing directly on a prepared ground surface, in all cases concerning buildings, civil engineers should be consulted.
Ground surfaces suitable for aquaponics
For the ground surface, as a better choice, solid, level and easy to clean surfaces are best. Surfaces such as packed gravel, asphalt, and concrete slabs are best. They support the considerable mass of the Aquaponics system. Water is one of the main components of such a system and it is important to have surfaces that can drain easily and can quickly be cleaned. At an extra cost, perforated plastic tiles can be installed on the cement to avoid standing on it for any lengthy time. This will however require a good drainage system, especially in a commercial aquaponics setup.
There is some talk about having everything on one level, but aquaponics systems have been built on tiers with the fish component at the bottom. Naturally, access to water and power is a must and it is best to have these nearby.
In all cases, whether it be in your house, or in a greenhouse, there must be adequate space to walk around the system as well as the grow beds and fish tanks. Not only does this help with good air ventilation and circulation which is important for plant health, but it makes maintenance and harvesting much easier.
Sunlight is of course a non-negotiable factor unless adequate and expensive lighting systems are the choice. Because most basements and conventionally designed houses do not have adequate sunlight and good ventilation, high humidity and potentially moldy conditions are quite prevalent. To combat this either new openings or ventilation will be required and or dehumidifiers.
Lighting frames can be included with a system that is in the far northern and southern areas where sunlight can be an issue. Like basements, they are also a solution for areas that have little sunlight.
Most of these systems are out of the way making aquaponics comfortable gardening quite easy. They can be on frames above the grow beds or fixed to the bottom of stacked grow beds. If the system is in a basement or in a small greenhouse, they can be attached to the roof.
Frames can vary according to the system purchased or built. Some attach to the grow bed frame, others are suspended on a bar, rail, or high tensile wire. Well-designed lighting systems will allow for the lamp to be supported and allow movement to spots that best cover the grow beds.