Using Aquaponics to Grow Cannabis

Using Aquaponics to Grow Cannabis

Growing cannabis is, for many, an art. There are a few ways to grow it. While “weed delivery Santa Monica” remains a top Google search in the area, more and more, people want to try it themselves. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, aquaponics combines two growing systems: Aquaculture and hydroponics, both very effective on their own and together highly efficient. 

Aquaculture farms fish to feed plants. Mostly, growers farm koi, tilapia, or bluegills. Hydroponics is another growing method, one that grows plants directly in water, without using any soil. When combined, the two systems create an almost closed-loop system that provides growers with both fish and plants for food. It can grow all you need, medicine, food, and weed included. 

How Aquaponics Systems Work

Aquaponics is much the same as hydroponics. The primary difference involves nutrients for the plants. Fish waste provides an excellent source of nutrition for cannabis plants. Their roots absorb all the waste and then purify the water before returning it to the aquarium. All you need to add is fish food, which you can either buy direct or grow yourself. 

Nitrogen is the main nutrient provided by fish waste. It contains minute quantities of other minerals too. This is why aquaponics systems, even basic ones, work so well for vegetative growth. During flowering, you might add extra nutrients, such as potassium and phosphorus. However, you can remedy this yourself too with a simple double-root zone setup. 

With a double-root zone, you can effectively divide and separate roots. One section occupies the lower half of the pot, submerged in water, while one can add soil to the upper section. This setup works as a filter, allowing the roots to receive additional nutrition, but without dirtying the water. You can divide the two sections using burlap. Burlap gives roots easy passage through it, while keeping soil from water. 

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Water cleanliness is very important. For this reason, it is important to monitor water levels. When adding nutrients, it is crucial that you do not overwater. Oversaturating the soil can contaminate the water below. An aquaponics system cleans itself. You feed fish, fish feed plants, and then plants purify the water in a closed-loop setup. Results are always exciting. Aquaponics is truly worth the effort. 

Hydroponics vs. Aquaponics

Aquaponics is hydroponics, just with fish added. The setup is otherwise the same. Adding a fishpond allows you to eliminate having to feed nutrients to plants. Instead, they feast on the waste the fish make, a source of nutrients far more natural to them. Another primary difference is that you can grow fish too, for food, as well as vegetables, medicines, and weed. 

However, fish can be finicky. You want to choose the right fish, a species hardy and capable of surviving the conditions you can provide for it. You will need to consider the temperature of your water, the size of your tank, how difficult the fish are to maintain and care for, as well as how readily available they are in your area. Common and versatile fish for aquaponics include trout, catfish, goldfish, koi, and tilapia. 

Different fish have different needs. Some species prefer warm water, others not so much. You might require a water heater, depending on your choice. A warm area is always a good idea. Further, some fish get bigger than others do. Some require more care, some more money. Some fish need more maintenance. All factors deserve prolonged consideration before outlaying any money. 

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Advantages of Aquaponics

Aquaponics systems are highly sustainable. They utilize the waste of one system to feed another, recirculating water. Fish food made specifically for use in aquaponics systems helps to keep the water clean, free of toxins, and capable of growing strong, healthy fish. Healthy fish grow healthy plants. Cannabis grows well in aquaponics. Quickly too. Roots absorb more oxygen, more nutrients. They thrive. 

Disadvantages of Aquaponics

Aquaponics is expensive. Initial setup costs are exorbitant compared to soil, even hydroponic setups. Fish thrive in a specific temperature range. Warming and cooling water needs equipment and resources. It requires maintenance. Labor. Because of its high moisture content, aquaponics systems are prone to algae. This can harm your plants and involves sterilization to clean. You need to be on high alert for it. 

Biggest Challenges of Aquaponics

Growing weed is challenging. Even more so hydroponically. However, aquaponics is even more difficult. As such, this is not a method ever recommended for newbies to growing. First-time growers should start elsewhere. This is because aquaponics can quickly get complicated, since it involves focusing on both plants and fish. You cannot just worry about your plants. Your fish must be healthy and happy too. 

As with hydroponics, the utilization of water can present a challenge. Using it to grow weed requires investment in more time, money, and equipment. Further, one must learn the trick of balancing the fertilizer that you use for your plants, while keeping it from the fish. You need a firm understanding of pH levels and nutrients, as well as how to balance them correctly. 

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Setting Up an Aquaponics Garden

Your aquaponics system can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. The easiest setup is undoubtedly to just repurpose an old pump and fish tank. Before you add fish, however, make sure that you first dechlorinate the water properly. Cycle it for at least six weeks. Your plants will need a bed, in the right medium for optimal growth. Some place numerous plants on one big tray; others plant singly. 

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Once you have decided on your setup and built it, you can add the fish and finally the plants. To start the cycle, just feed the fish. In no time at all, they will produce enough fertilizer to keep your plants strong and healthy, of the finest quality. Until then, search online for “weed delivery near me.” You can find weed for every taste, including buds aquaponically-grown. Soon, you should start harvesting your own. 

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