How to choose the right aquaponic pump

Matthew Jambro is a home improvement and construction writer and editor for South Shore Roofing

The combination of breeding fish and growing plants through a hydroponic system in your home, garden or even on your rooftop have never been as popular as today. Making it possible to produce your own, healthy and cost efficient food are only a few benefits that an aquaponic will bring to your life. This productive form of agriculture is a great example of plants and animals functioning together like an ecosystem, producing food without creating waste products or pollution.

Tropical temperature is the best for having an aquaponic all year round, but a greenhouse will help you keep your aquaponic all year if the winter time gets too harsh. If you have a home with a big yard, an aquaponic is a great way to begin self-sufficiency. Small aquaponics can even be set up in your home if setting up a big one outside seems inconvenient. Today it is possible to buy prefabricated aquaponics for inside use and if you are really keen on it you can always make one yourself. For city dwellers, a rooftop aquaponic garden can offer many environmental benefits, similar to traditional green roofs. Aqauponics might be a bit more complicated than a regular vegetable garden, but a guide to the right system will get you started in no time. Starting off small is best at first until you get the hang of it.

The right pump 

Without a pump, it cannot be called an aquaponic as there would be no water transferring from the tank to the plant and back again. Therefore choosing a good quality water pump is important for an aquaponic system.

The amount of watts needed

For a big complicated system, a pump with a big amount of watts is required to run non-stop. Some smaller systems will do fine with the smallest amount of watts which is, of course, a better choice if you want to lower the electricity bill. Some pumps have timers to ensure the electricity is not running all the time and even solar pumps are available if you choose to be completely energy sufficient.

The amount of water being pumped

100 liters of water should be pump per hour, but this can vary due to factors like the length of the pump. When choosing a pump you should not only pay attention to how much water per hour it will pump, but what is the greatest high that it can pump. 

It is better to choose a pump that is a bit stronger than you need because the water flow can be slowed down by adding a valve. On the other hand, be careful not to overdo it by choosing a pump that is too strong as this will use too much electricity.

Water pumps also have venturi, which basically ensures that needed air gets into the water. The pump propeller is the one that does all the work, sucking the water through the pipes. The filters in front of the propellers are protecting it to make sure that nothing will get stuck inside the fan blades. This filter needs to be cleaned out once a week.

Pumps that are oil free without any copper exposure are safe for fish. Having the impeller shaft made from stainless steel will help it function longer and a pump that is easy taken apart will make cleaning easy on you.

Here are some examples of good water pumps to use for your aquaponic:

  • Ponics Pump PP12005 – 120 GPH Water Pump –this pump is compact and good for smaller systems; 
  • Ponics Pump PP29105 – 291 GPH Water Pump  – a bigger a version of the one above, this pump is inexpensive and high quality;
  • Hydrofarm AAPW550 – 550-GPH Active Aqua Water Pump – excellent water flowing hydro or aquaponic pump that is suitable for indoors or outdoors; and
  • Hydrofarm AAPW1000 – 1000-GPH Active Aqua Water Pump  – similar to the one above, but this pump is suitable for more water and can run constantly for over 5 years without problems.

With aquaponics you are able to grow your plants organically with no hassle as your plants will also grow twice as fast due to the nutrients they get exposed to all day long. If you have the skills and are mechanically equipped, then building your own aquaponic can be great, but make sure you did good research otherwise it can be inefficient and a loss of time and money. Investing smart into an aquaponic will not only provide you with your own food, but it will also give you an insight to new possibilities.