As almost every single DIY aquaponics user, enthusiast, expert and anybody else with a bit of hands-on experience with aquaponics will tell you, the most critical step in a start-up aquaponics system is establishing and completing the nitrogen cycle.
The nitrogen cycle as it relates to an aquaponics system, in the simplest of terms, is the process of establishing the right kind of water quality as it circulates between the fish tank and the plants tank.
This is a slow process (taking up to 1 month or even
longer sometimes) that can make or break an aquaponics system. If it goes right (as it should if you’re following a well researched plan), you will be rewarded with a working, even thriving aquaponics system with healthy fish and regular crops of fine, organic vegetables, greens, herbs etc. However, if the nitrogen cycle does not get properly set, you could end up with dead fish, dead plants, or both.
Please don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to scare or discourage you or anything like that. The reason why I said what I said above is to make you aware of the critical importance of the nitrogen cycle for an aquaponics system, so that you don’t end up with a less than working system after weeks of waiting.
As a matter of fact, a well-researched and detailed aquaponics plan or guide can tell you just how to go about with this (as well as all other aspects of building your system).
Unfortunately, while there are plenty of free online resources telling you about DIY aquaponics in varying amounts of detail, I failed to find any that is free yet provides comprehensive, all-rounded, actionable plans that you can actually follow to build – and bring to life – your own aquaponics system.
The one DIY aquaponics guide (a digital resource, not free, but quite inexpensive) that I found and used successfully is called Aquaponics4You.
It costs some 30 or 40 dollars but the author offers a full, 60-day refund guarantee so you’re not really risking anything by giving it a try. If you wish, you can check out the Aquaponics4You web site by clicking here.