How Much Does Aquaponics Cost?
Aquaponics is a system that combines both aquaculture and hydroponics to produce a symbiotic relationship. Aquaculture is the process of raising aquatic creatures such as mollusks, crustaceans and fish as well as aquatic plants. This can be done with both salt and fresh water fish and organisms. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants with a mineral solution in water rather than using soil. Together, this is a system in which fish, prawns, and other aquatic animals are raised together in an aquarium or tank with plants that are grown above the water. The water that is accumulated by effluents is led to a hydroponic system where toxic substances are filtered and the water is recycled. There are many types of food and plants that can be grown in a system like this, and these systems can come in many different sizes and combinations.
How much does it cost?
- The cost of an aquaponics system varies depending on several circumstances such as the location, cost of installing the system itself, labor costs, the materials used (such as the tanks, aquarium, aquatic animals, and plant variety), and maintenance. The average full setup for a aquaponics system can range anywhere from $1,000 to as much as $8,000. However, there are systems that can cost well more than $8,000.
- For example, according to an interview with Murray Hallam on Ecofilms.com, setting up a small commercial aquaponics system could cost around $20,000. Building the system in northern parts of the United States would be more expensive considering that they have colder winters and will require heating during the cold months. Hiring people to help you set up the Aquaponics system will cost around $50,000.
- On the other hand, you can purchase an Aquaponics System at Theaquaponicstore.com from $1,595 to $4,195. A Tote Aquaponics System (3 beds), for example, costs $1,595 while a Modular Sleek Aquaponics System (2 beds) costs $1,895. A Modular Easy-Reach Aquaponics System (4 Beds) can be bought at $2,495 while a Modular Bountiful Aquaponics System (6 Beds) can be bought at $4,195. A Plumbing Kit costs $109.95.
- The price of aquatic animals and plants for the system also varies. Tilapia fingerlings are sold at $60, for example.
What is going to be included?
- An aquaponics system includes hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques. Through the hydroponic system, by-products from aquaculture, which are called “effluents” and accumulate in the water, are broken down by nitrogen fixing bacteria. The plants cultivated in the water use these by-products to nourish themselves. In the process, these plants help filter the water and the clean water is recycled.
- Typical components are going to include the rearing tank, which helps raise and feed the fish; the solids removal, which will catch uneaten food; the biofilter, which helps grown and convert ammonia and nitrates; and the subsystem, which helps plants grow by absorbing the nutrients from the water. The sump will pump the remaining clean water back into the tank.
- Other systems include a recirculating, reciprocating and trickle-fed system.
- To learn more about the system, visit this Wikipedia.org page.
What are the extra costs?
- Purchasing guides for setting up an aquaponics system would entail additional costs. At Theaquaponicstore.com, you can purchase guides for aquaponics from around $30 to $250. A step by step guide costs around $30 while the complete curriculum set costs around $250. Amazon also has the highly rated Aquaponic Gardening book for $19 to $25.
- Hiring people to install the aquaponics system for you would also incur additional costs for labor. To find someone in your area or get an exact quote, HomeAdvisor.com can help connect you with contractors.
- Fish food and other materials would require more money. For instance, a 10 pound fish feed costs around $33. A bell siphon costs around $60 while a two-inch net cup (200 pieces) would cost around $30.
Tips to know:
- The best food to grow in a system like this include strawberries, onions, turnips, sweet potatoes and most herbs.
- Freshwater fish are the most common animal used to help the aquaponics system. Crayfish and prawns can be used too. Aside from freshwater fish, some users have found luck with koi and goldfish.
- Depending on your purpose of purchasing this system, you may end up making your money back after a few years of cultivating products.
How can I save money?
- You can save money by learning how to set up and maintain the aquaponics system yourself. This would help eliminate extra costs for labor, letting you save more money.
- Once the aquaponics system is installed, it would be wise to purchase materials that will help you learn to care for it correctly. Although these materials will cost more up front, they will help you run your system more efficiently. Without this knowledge, you may end up wasting products because you did not know how to care for them.
- Look for a site with favorable weather. Before installing the aquaponics system, try to find a good site with good weather so that you can avoid spending extra money for heating.