According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn. Main reason as it appears, is that they run out of cash. But this is not the main reason, in fact, the reason for failure starts right at the beginning. This is a scary thought when one decides to drop his or her current day job to become an urban farmer, using aquaponics. Lets analyse what we should be doing in order to avoid being part of the 80%.
More often than not, I get asked what or even how should I build my aquaponics system in my garden and what plants can I grow, what fish can I use, how much should I feed them... These are the recurring questions in the aquaponics backyard garden world. With this article I will try to set the baseline of what and how an aquaponics system should come to be and hopefully bring you closer to success.
It is such a jungle out there that clearing the wrong from the right about aquaponics is overwhelming and a very difficult task.
This is a question I get a lot here, I wonder if it is because our summer gets easily to and above 120F or 50C... What else could it be? Dubai offers great weather throughout the months of November to April, during which, you can grow pretty much every crop under the sun... ;)
Now, when come summer, can I keep my production going or do I have to shut down? The quick and easy answer is: NO, keep at it but you will have to limit yourself to a certain variety of veggies.
Your aquaponics water temperature will rise also, so if you thought you could grow out trouts in Dubai, you might want to harvest them before it's too late.
So without any further ado, let's get right into it.
You know now, after reading through my blog, that I strongly believe in this method being the most natural and environmentally friendly agricultural method, so why should I ask you would say... Well, let start with something we already know: aquaponics is about creating this natural and fragile ecosystem and by taking a permaculture approach, reducing the use of natural resources and grow food the most naturally possible. So why wouldn't it be possible to give aquaponics the famous "organic label"?
Fish to plant ratio
Here you, came the time when you were in front of your first ever aquaponics system and you were wondering how many fish can you "stock" in there... For many it is a challenge, for a few it is a gamble and the rest, they follow a certain ratio.
Prevention - Monitoring - Treatment
Since our United Arab Emirates summer is now behind us, life doesn't get any easier for gardeners and farmers alike. This is what gave me the idea to write this article or more likely, this series of articles. There are many pests susceptible to infest our greens and flowers.
Let me know if you enjoy the read and share with us if you use different methodology.
A water savvy system that could help remote communities.
Aquaponics as such, has a great potential to be used in developing nations - not only as a commercial venture but as a mean to produce food for the population of these countries.
Aquaculture advocates also say it is sustainable and Eco-friendly. Water is a precious commodity in developing nations, and because the majority of the water used is recycled through the aquaponics system, significantly less water is consumed than in traditional agriculture. The possibilities are limitless
It could improve people in developing countries’ lives by increasing food security, employment opportunities and economic growth.
As nutrition is a key issue for developing nations, relying mainly on staple crops such as wheat and rice, the farmed fish could also provide a valuable source of protein. By building aquaponics systems in developing nations, there would be more food for the population, and it would be more nourishing as well as economically viable.
What is aquaponics?
Having an aquaponics system is fun and very rewarding. Not only for the fresh and naturally grown veggies but also for the knowledge you will acquire along the way. In this article I will introduce you to a very important parameter: the pH. You may have heard about this term, mostly concerning your drinking water. Well, our favourite pets (our fish) as well as our plants like their water to a certain pH and this is for that reason, you will have to test it. So without any overdue, let's talk about potential of hydrogen aka pH.
There is indeed an aquaponics movement picking up in Dubai. I see more and more new comers, residents purchasing from me small systems to put in their backyard or by the window sill. This is very encouraging. And many more come and visit us to see with their own eyes what is this about. I tell you, when they see the papapya tree I have growing in the grow bed and they can compare with the one planted in soil, exactly at same time, they realise the potential.
But these people are expats, no nationals have been visiting so far.
So I decided for this short article to share with you how is the aquaponics doing at the National level.
I am a French expat, married, dad of one, nature lover and firm believer of sustainable living. My background is leisure and tourism industry. I fell into aquaponics and now I am sharing with you my adventure.