Your Questions About Backyard Aquaponics and Guide

Lisa asks…

Is aquaponics legal in the UK?

If you didn’t know Aquaponics is a system that has a fish tank and a plant growing bed linked together. Water is circulated around the two to provide the plants with nutrients from fish waste. This system is very efficient and i would love to make one however i am unsure on its legality.

I am trying to find out if aquaponics is legal in the UK? My step dad and i would like to make one but my step dad told me that he is unsure about it because there is something about if a farmer wants to own fish they have to own a license. Does anyone know if there is a document online about this? i would like to know what is the maximum i can have but i am also interested in possibly taking this further as a Commercial Business so i would also like to know about owning a mass of fish and if i really do need a license.

Any input will be helpful 😀

Aquaponics Nut answers:

Do you plan on selling the end product? If so you’ll need a license. Otherwise you’re a hobbyist.

The other question is whether this will be an outdoor system, or an indoor closed system. Outdoor Aquaponics is a subject of concern because they don’t want contaminants in the watershed or yet another “escaped” species. As such, they will want you to get a license, even without the profit motive.

Now if you’re proposing an indoor fish farm, couple with an indoor hydroponics style growing beds, a closed system, they’ll only object if you sell the end product, as with any meat producing enterprise.

Laura asks…

Pumping water without electricity?

Im building a greenhouse, and I want to put a Aquaponics system in it, but for the aquaponics I need a pump. I’m not using electricity from my house for it,so no electric pumps, and im not installing a generator. So I need a way to move water about 4 feet vertically, without electricity.
Also- I plan on making it, not buying it, and as cheap as possible.

Aquaponics Nut answers:

I assume that the water you wish to pump is stationery and not the town supply.

You could make a reciprocating or plunger pump and drive it from a windmill or you could drive a water bucket wheel with a windmill.

Michael asks…

Backyard fish farming – you have some experience with it?

The term recirculating aquaculture system, or aquaponics, and I am sure there are others – you yourself do any of this, or know someone who does?
found out the World Aquaculture Society is in Baton Rouge LA where I used to live and they told me to contact the Aquaculture High School in Bridgeport CT – wow! I even know where that is!

Aquaponics Nut answers:

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing this. I haven’t done it yet. It still is a revolutionary concept. I particularly love the fact that it’s an organic farm. I’m still researching and deciding how I want to set mine up. I think I’ve located a pool to house them in. It’s used and I hope it works. I believe I’ll keep mine heated with solar panels in the winter. And I still need to decide on a good cover.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Donna asks…

Help! Why do leaves curl at the tip?

Does anyone know why baby/young leaves curl in an aquaponics system? Or just curl in general??

Aquaponics Nut answers:

I don’t know about in an aquaponics system…but in general it would be due to a lack of water. When a plant leaf curls the surface area which is exposed is reduced so less water will evaporate out of the leaf. It can also help to increase the boundary area around the stomata (assuming the leaf curls toward the stomata) which means that less evaporation will occur from open stomata but the plant will still be able to exchange gases with the environment.

Not sure if this will help but might get you on the right track…

Betty asks…

fertilizers in aquaponics?

An aquaponic system utilizes nitrogen from fish waste to feed plants. When looking at a normal fertilizer for plant growth there are 3 chemicals that are typically listed; nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Is there any way to raise the phosphorous and potassium in the system without harming the fish?

Can you add blood/bone meal (or anything else) to the grow bed, or will it result in a poisonous environment for the fish?

Aquaponics Nut answers:

Most aquaponic systems are designed to utilize plants and fish that are productive under the conditions of the fish excrement alone without the need to add other things like phosphorous or potassium which would require more intensive filtration or monitoring methods. Some systems might allow for that and could be converted to grow plants or fish that can withstand higher levels or more expensive filtration or closer monitoring but for the most part, the systems are designed to grow limited types of plants and fish. You could check out this link which has number of sources listed for further information and some companies have workshops you can attend to learn more.


“Aquaponics is particularly successful for growing leafy crops like lettuce, herbs, chives, spinach, arugula etc. Because of the high nitrogen content in the water.
Other food crops do well including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, peas, squash and melons, but these fruiting plants may not produce as high a yield as with hydroponics only systems where higher levels of phosphorous and potassium may be maintained. These minerals may be added to the water adequately to raise these crops within an aquaponic system providing its addition is monitored properly.”

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