The thought that aquaponics can only be done in large open spaces is quite wrong, there is always the Home Aquaponics Aquarium. It is well accepted that people living in apartments often have very limited space and this tends to limit the amount of “things” they can do in them.
Describing an aquaponics system to an apartment dweller conjures up nice thoughts, but also problematic pictures in their mind.
“This thing needs space, plenty of space, and I don’t have it!”
Do Aquaponics aquarium systems exist?
People in the Aquaponics industry have already thought of this and they have come up with a rather novel idea. There are three ways to go about the business of having a very productive Home Aquaponics system. The one is purchasing a small ready-made specially designed system. The other is making your own with whatever you can scrounge from what people often throw out (plastic barrels and such). The final way, is if you already have a large freshwater fish aquarium, to convert it to an Aquaponics aquarium. This way you can have the best of both plants to eat, and fish to watch and care for. The added advantage of this system is that you can do away with the aquarium filter.
In all these cases except perhaps for the fish tank component of the barrel system, the configuration is easily constructed in a vertical fashion. Some sturdy wood or steel shelving is necessary and good planning for the water and aeration tubing so that is may look neat. Depending on the available sunlight the system is exposed to you may not even need to provide artificial sunlight to the plants.
Where should Home Aquaponics Aquarium Systems be placed?
Ideally on a balcony if possible, or if you have access to the roof of the apartment building, and everyone agrees to it, that too is a good place. What is very important to be mindful of or the total weight of both water and grow beds. Make sure that your balcony can handle that mass by talking to a civil engineer. You may have to swap gravel beds with lighter and more expensive aerated clay pellets. In both cases it would be a good idea to have the system protected from birds and insects. The added benefit of this is keeping heavily polluted city air or particles thereof off the plants. If none of these are available consider under or next to a window or sliding door. If even those are not available then you will need to install a daylight lamp to help the plans grow.
How much volume in greens can such an Aquaponics aquarium system provide?
It always comes back to the volume of water and the volume of the grow beds. Most ready-made systems can vary between 100 liters and 500 liters of water. Such Aquaponics aquarium systems can provide enough of a wide variety of greens for 1 to 3 people all year round.