There are as many AquaPonics setups as there are Aquaponics enthousiasts.
Most of these are based on three main AquaPonics systems:
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT). Growbeds filled with media. Floating Rafts or Deep Water Culture (DWC).
Each system has it's advantages and drawbacks. Of course these systems can be combined in a setup. This will often lead to a win-win situation.
Nutrient Film Technique (NFT).
Nutrient Film Technique or NFT is a well known technique in hydroponics.
A shallow stream of water is recirculated in a channel past the bare roots of the plants. This water contains all the dissolved nutrients that plants need for their growth.
Plants are grown in small pots filled with media that are inserted in holes in the gutters.
See the NFT page in the menu for more info.
Growbeds filled with media. Growbeds are the most repanded AquaPonics system: water from the fish tank is pumped to containers in which the plants are grown on media.
These media serve a quintuple purpose: - to serve as support for the plants. - to ensure nutrients to be accessible to plant roots. - to ensure oxygen to be accessible to plant roots. - to aerate the water flowing back to the fish tank. - to ensure biofiltration and nitrification to make the water reuseable for the fish.
To achieve all this, flood and drain is the preferred method.
See the "flood & drain" page in the menu for more info.
See the "barel growbeds" and the "rectangular growbeds" pages in the menu for more info.
Floating Rafts or Deep Water Culture (DWC).
DWC uses tanks or ponds to grow plants in on floating rafts.
Plants are grown in small pots filled with media that are inserted in holes in the rafts that keep them floating on the water surface, only dipping the roots in the nutrient rich water.
The main advantage of this system is the ease of planning, sowing and harvesting of one particular fast growing crop, i.e. lettuce and herbs: very long "raceway" ponds are calculated so that the harvesting of one or more rafts coincides with the sowing of new ones. These raceways can be as long as 100 and 200 m.
The UVI (University of the Vrirging Islands) has been pioneering in this technique for many years.
See the "Floating Rafts" page in the menu for more info.