Principles of marijuana cultivation in aquaponics

Principles of marijuana cultivation in aquaponics

Aquaponics allows us to obtain high quality marijuana, with the flavor and aroma of organic farming, combining hydroponics and aquaculture

Aquaponics is a bio-integrated system that includes two main elements: aquaculture, or fish farming, and hydroponics. Water contains the feces of the fish and they provide the plants with the necessary nutrients. In return, plants absorb excess nitrogen, providing purified water that returns to the aquarium.

It is very important to note that in the cultivation of marijuana in aquaponics we must have a third living community of vital importance: bacteria. Combining hydroponics, aquaculture and bacterial community, we managed to create a closed and self-sufficient system, which will provide us with high quality marijuana. These are the basic principles of marijuana cultivation in aquaponics.

Aquaponics is based on the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics in a closed re-circulation system. Aquaponics is the cultivation of plants using the detritus of fish to feed our plants. In addition to being a very effective method of cultivation that allows us to obtain high quality marijuana plants, we can also enjoy the pleasure of contemplating an aquarium with fish of great beauty.

Aquaponics can be adapted to our marijuana crops to achieve excellent crops grown in a hydroponic system but with all the flavor and fragrance of a hundred percent organic crop.

In marijuana crops with aquaponics, fish provide nutrients to the water with the help of bacteria that transform their feces into a food format that is much easier to assimilate for marijuana plants. Bacteria are responsible for breaking down fish feces through a process whereby these are transformed into very easily available nutrients for our plants.

One of the basic principles of the cultivation of marijuana in aquaponics is to create a re-circulation system through which with a hydroponic system you can provide your plants with the nutrients they need, lowering the toxicity level of the aquarium water where you raise your fish . The hydroponic culture system in which the roots of cannabis plants are located is the biological filter that purifies the water returned to the tank.

Principles of marijuana cultivation in aquaponics

It is very important to choose marijuana varieties that adapt well to hydroponics cultivation. We can use indica or sativa varieties. There are some cannabis varieties that are perfect for this type of crop, such as Kemango.

To grow marijuana in aquaponics systems it is important to employ some species of fish that are able to tolerate changing water conditions, such as PH, temperature, oxygen level and total dissolved solids (EC). Normally Carassius auratus auratus (goldfish) and Cyprinus carpio (koi) are used for cold water and Astronotus Ocellatus (oscar fish) or, Siruliforme (catfish), for warm water. Working with these species you will have to use a thermal resistance for water. Both the golden carp and the catfish are the most used since they are resistant and very voracious, which makes them eat a lot and produce many feces, which is what a good cultivation of marijuana in aquaponics needs.

To grow marijuana in aquaponics it is vitally important to control water quality. It is essential to control the level of oxygen, carbon dioxide, PH, ammonium, chlorine, nitrate and everything that involves having quality water. The quality of the water depends on the species of fish that we are going to raise and, of course, on the varieties of marijuana that we are going to grow.

Biofilters. The feces produced by the fish in aquaponics are full of nutrients, dissolved solids and other by-products. Biological filters are essential to collect dissolved solids suspended in water to make them available food for plants. This work is essential for the good development of the crop and is performed by bacteria.

The nitrification process is very important for the aquaponic system to work well as it reduces the toxicity of water to fish and transforms the ammonia from fish waste into fertilizer for our plants.

Nitrosomonas bacteria are an essential part of aquaculture culture principles. They transform ammonia into nitrite and nitrobacteria convert nitrites into nitrates. This way, the cycle closes so that our marijuana plants feed on the aquarium water, reducing the amount of ammonia in the water that could kill the fish. On the other hand, bacteria are an excellent protector of the root system of plants.

To grow marijuana in aquaponics we have to use a volume of water in the aquarium that is twice the amount of water in the hydroponic system. That is to say, that the aquarium of the fish has to be twice that of the farming system. This aspect is another of the basic principles of aquaponics in the cultivation of quality marijuana.

Installation of an aquaponic marijuana crop

The materials we need to install a aquaponics crop are easy to find. You will need:

Hydroponic system. Choose the one that best suits your space but remember that the ratio between the aquarium and the cultivation system should be 1/2.


A submersible water pump whose capacity liters / hour must be at least the same capacity of the tank where the fish are located, but if it is more powerful, the system will work better. The pump must be installed at the bottom of the aquarium so that it can absorb dissolved solids and effectively lower the ammonia level of the water.

A biological filter is the most important element of aquaponics system because bacteria that help transform ammonia into nitrate, which is the macronutrient of marijuana plants, live within the filter. Establishing a good colony of bacteria is one of the basic principles of aquaponics. The bacteria take between 3 and 6 months to colonize the entire filter for it to be effective.

Double root zone in the aquaponics system for marijuana

The main nutrient produced by fish waste is nitrogen and numerous traces of other minerals. Because of this, aquaponics cultivation systems are very grateful to grow marijuana, at least during the vegetative growth phase, since nitrogen is essential for marijuana. But if we think about the flowering phase we have to resort to phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to get good flowers full of resin.

This can be solved by creating a double-root zone. A double root zone allows you to divide the roots of your aquaponics crop with marijuana in two sections. The lower half of the pot will be submerged in water, while the upper half will be covered with arlite. This way we can add additional nutrients directly to the roots in the arlite without having to contaminate the water. The two parts can be divided with burlap, which allows the roots to establish themselves while preventing the arlite from coming in contact with water. When we carry out this process we have to keep the water of our aquaponics crop clean.

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