Have you ever thought of growing fish and plants at the same time? If yes, then you should consider trying aquaponics.
Aquaponics allows growers to cultivate plants and animals in the same location. Just like hydroponics, this farming technique requires different types of containers. With this in mind, an aquaponics farmer can use anything from traditional flower boxes to larger customized systems.
But can aquaponics work in jacuzzis? If you are curious about this topic, you can get all the information from this post.
Can I Use a Jacuzzi for Aquaponics?
Yes, you can use a jacuzzi for aquaponics activities. But most times, this container is used to keep the fish and other aquatic animals. When it comes down to it, a hot tub has incredible features that suit such farming methods.
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is the rearing of hydroponic crops and aquatic animals in a closed environment. When you use aquaponics, the process converts the animal waste into nutrients that take care of the plants.
Aquaponics stands as a natural way to cultivate food. When it comes down to it, this technique does not use pesticides or other harmful substances. Moreover, you can practice this farming without using large spaces.
Here are the popular types of aquaponics used in different parts of the world.
Types of Aquaponics
If you want to go into aquaponics, you can pick choose from various methods. Now here are some of the top aquaponic styles
- Media-Based Aquaponics
This technique involves using planting media for cultivating the crops in an aquaponics system. In media-based aquaponics, the plants grow on materials like clay pellets. Asides from removing waste, this system converts the ammonia into nitrates.
- Deep Water Culture Aquaponics
In deep water culture aquaponics, the plants are grown from holes in a foam raft. For the best results, their roots are suspended in the water. This method works by removing solid waste with filtered fish water. Normally, this technique suits quick-growing plants.
- Vertical Aquaponics
With vertical aquaponics, you will have to place the plants on top of each other. Then the water flows from the top and into a wick. As the water flows to the bottom, it carries nutrients to the lower plants.
Thanks to this arrangement, vertical aquaponics do not require much space.
- Nutrient Film Technique
Also known as NFT, this type of aquaponics involves suspending the plants in PVC pipes or similar items. As water passes through the pipes, it reaches the roots of the inserted plants.
Why Is a Jacuzzi Suitable for Aquaponics?
As mentioned earlier, a jacuzzi or hot tub can be used for aquaponics. After all, the item has the right features for this task.
First, a jacuzzi provides enough space for fish and plants. Even if you want to cultivate large fish like salmon, the jacuzzi will provide the right amount of space.
Next, you can maintain this container without much work. Even if the tub gets dirty, it is quite easy to handle the stains.
Furthermore, jacuzzis are less expensive than customized aquaponic tanks. You might even find free hot tubs in your area or on Craiglist.
How Can I Use a Jacuzzi for Aquaponics?
Now the question comes – how can we use a jacuzzi for aquaponics? If you don’t know how to start this activity, you can seek help from experienced aquaponics farmers. However, these are some basic steps for turning a hot tub into a fish pond.
- Clean the hot tub thoroughly with a hard brush and detergent. If you meet any stubborn stains, wipe them with diluted bleach solution. Allow the bleach to dry properly before adding the fish.
- Remove all the hardware or controls on the jacuzzi
- Cap all drains and plug off all the jets to avoid any leakages.
- Connect a fountain pump to the filter with a PVC pipe.
- Install some adaptors to the PVC pipe
- Cover the pond with a rubber pond liner. Allow up to 12 inches of the liner to overlap the edge of the jacuzzi.
- Cover the pond liner with rocks and stones to cover the plastic.
- Get some untreated water into the pond then cycle the pond.
- Decorate the pond with aquatic pots in plants.
- Add some fish into the pond. Consider using koi, catfish, tilapia, largemouth bass, or trout.
- Add feeder organisms to the pond. With these materials, you will provide the right ecosystem for your pond. If you can’t get feeder organisms, try using urine.
How to Cycle an Aquaponics Jacuzzi without Fish
Before placing fish and plants in the jacuzzi, you will have to cycle the pond. If you skip this step, you might not get the best results from the pond.
- Introduce bacteria into the jacuzzi
- Add some ammonia to the pool and ensure it reaches 4.0 ppm. At this stage, you can use powder or liquid variants.
- Monitor the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels of the pool.
- Wait for the nitrate levels to drop to fall to 0.5 ppm. Also, watch out for the growth of nitrates. If you notice any nitrates, stop adding the ammonia.
How to Cycle an Aquaponics Jacuzzi with Fish
If you are looking for another way to cycle a pond, you can use fish. Here is an easy way to perform this task.
- Add a few fish to the fish tank
- Starve them for the first day or 24 hours. Afterward, feed them lightly.
- Allow the bacteria to grow or speed up the process with a bacteria starter.
- Monitor the conditions of the water by using a water test. With this in mind, ensure the ammonia levels stays under 3.00 ppm.
- Lookout for nitrates in the water or check the ammonia level of the water. When the level reaches 0.5 ppm, stop adding the ammonia.
- Add more plants and fish to the jacuzzi.
Tips for Using an Aquaponics Jacuzzi
Before you use a jacuzzi for aquaponics, you will need to set it up properly. Here are some tips that will help with this task.
- If you are using a hot tub for aquaponics, avoid using the heaters and the pumps. After all, there is a high chance that these devices might not even work.
- Start by inserting PVC caps into the jacuzzi’s pipes. You can perform this step by pushing the pipes with your hands.
- Seal the caps with the type of sealant used in aquariums.
- Attach a submersible pump into the jacuzzi
You can also use the following method for the same task.
- Convert the drains ( of the jacuzzi) as a return line for the sump. Here water enters the sump and moves up. Then an upturned bucket is placed on the sump to send the water downwards.
- Debris collects at the bottom of the sump. Next, a twisted pipe releases the dirt from this part of the sump. Normally, such sediment can be used to feed aquatic animals.
- If the water line stays below the drainpipe, there is no need to install caps.
What are the Best Fishes for Aquaponic Jacuzzi?
Since fishes provide manure for the hydroponic plants, you will have to add these animals to the system. But in aquaponics, you cannot rear all types of fish. So if you want to start aquaponics in a hot tub, get the following animals.
Goldfish: Goldfish can thrive in most environments including aquaponic jacuzzis. Even if they are tiny, these fish can endure the toughest conditions. Apart from surviving any PH changes in the pool, goldfish provide healthy manure for the aquaponics setup.
Salmon: Since salmon needs extra space, a jacuzzi might be the best container for these species. But since they are prone to disease, salmons will need proper care. These fish require more food than other species. Also, they cannot resist many diseases.
Large Mouth Bass: The largemouth bass is another perfect choice for aquaponic jacuzzis. When it comes down to it, they do not require special food. Moreover, they can serve as a tasty source of protein. To get the best bass from your jacuzzi, you should provide a healthy diet for the fish.
Tilapia: You can also rear tilapia in an aquaponics jacuzzi. When reared, tilapia can withstand tough environments, reproduce quickly, and enduring illnesses.
Tilapia do not like freezing water. For this reason, you should maintain a temperature above 12°c. Also, they cannot survive tight spaces.
Catfish: Catfish is one of the easiest animals that you can breed with a jacuzzi. Unlike some fishes, you can raise catfish with other species of fish. On top of that, it provides top-quality proteins for the grower. But growing catfish has a few downsides. Since it does not have scales, there is a high chance of hurting the fish. Besides, these fishes survive on a high protein diet.
If you want to add a jacuzzi to your aquaponics system, you can use it as a fish tank. With the right steps, you can provide the right system for your animal.
Apart from offering the right environment, feed the fish and look out for signs of disease. You can also monitor the PH, temperature, and ammonia levels of the pond.
To get extra advice, consider reaching out to experienced aquaponics farmers in your area. Also, you might get similar information from the nearest aquaponics supply store.