Lettuce is one of the convenient leafy green vegetables to harvest in an Aquaponic system. Lettuce grown by this method is nutritious and full of vitamins that you can easily incorporate into your diet.
By learning how to grow Aquaponic lettuce, you will save water by recycling it, and you will be able to grow lettuce alongside fish and earn a double return simultaneously.
How Does Lettuce Improve Our Health?
Lettuce is primarily beneficial for us for having almost all vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
Depending on different types of lettuce, 100 gm of raw lettuce can provide us with 97% of Vitamin K, 21% of Vitamin A, 10% of Iron, and 9% of Manganese of the Daily Value recommended for good health.
It improves our sleep, vision, and bones and keeps us hydrated as it consists of 95% of water. Whether you eat it raw in your Russian salad or green salad, it will give you the same health benefits.
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Why Is Lettuce A Popular Vegetable?
Any edible thing in this world is famous for its taste, appearance, and health benefits, and lettuce qualifies in all three categories.
It is tasty; whenever you add it to your salad, sandwich, or other dishes, it multiplies its taste and adds a delicious crunch.
Its light to dark green color makes it a pleasing and relaxing vegetable. Even when you’re gardening, you feel very relaxed and calm.
We have discussed how it has been beneficial for health since Ancient times. It was considered to be a medicinal herb for sleeping, a way to improve fertility, and treatment for diseases like typhoid and smallpox.
Many ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, Romans, Persians, and Anglo-Saxons cultivated it for medicinal and religious purposes.
Do We Have Enough Lettuce?
Lettuce was first grown in Egypt in late 2000 B.C. by ancient Egyptians to extract oil for fertility medicines, but now it is grown worldwide for its culinary and medicinal use.
It is the only vegetable of the family Asteraceae, Genus Lactuca, grown commercially and domestically for its beneficial use worldwide.
China is the leading lettuce producer of more than 14 million tons per year; the other leading producers are the U.S.A., India, Spain, and Italy.
Why Use Aquaponics For Growing Lettuce?
Aquaponics is a modern farming technique to grow lettuce. It combines two different cultivating techniques: Aquaculture and Hydroponics.
Hydroponics farming of vegetables, fruits, and other crops in a soil-free and water-efficient system where the nutrient value of crops are more than traditional farming due to the use of nutrient-enriched water and its pest-free as it is in not cultivated in soil.
Aquaculture cultivation of fish and other marine species in a pond or closed system has fresh or salty water.
Lettuce is a very fast-growing leafy vegetable using Aeroponics. It can grow varieties of lettuce using any species for nutrients.
Still, it mainly uses, Goldfish, Crayfish, Prawns, Tilapia, Catfish, Rainbow Trout, Murray Cod, etc., to excrete nutrient-rich feces, which is helpful for lettuce growth.
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Growing Lettuce Using Aquaponics
As Aquaponics combines the power of Aquaculture and Hydroponics, it artificially yet naturally creates a perfect ecosystem in which fish, water, plant, and bacteria plays a supporting role in each other’s nutrient, and lush lettuce grows along with healthy fishes.
It uses less land, and water is harvested in the vertical arrangement by stacking and growing them in Rockwool cubes without any soil or pebbles in a vertical garden that you place on the ground or polystyrene rafts effortlessly float on water.
The Optimum Conditions for Aquaponics Lettuce
Whether you are choosing a Tower Garden or Raft floating to grow your lettuce, the following parameters should be considered for better lettuce growth.
|Optimum Growing Conditions|
|Temperature: 15 to 22 degrees Centigrade|
|Plant spacing: 18 to 30 centimeter|
|Tank Capacity: At least 10 gallons or more.|
|Garden Tower or Polystyrene Raft|
|Rockwool or oasis cubes as growing medium|
|Biofiltration Pump with air hose tubing and two-way gang valve|
|Light source: Near a sunny window|
|p.H testing kit to maintain p.H around 6.8 to 7.2|
|Harvesting time: 28 days|
|The fresh supply of oxygen in your reservoir|
Role of Fish and other Aquatic Animals in the Growth of Aquaponics Lettuce:
Marine animals are usually producing nutrients for our lettuce in Aquaponics, and at the same time, we are also cultivating them for consumption and sale.
Varieties of Aquaponics Lettuce:
It is one of the fastest-growing using Aquaponics. Some of them are:
|Salanova Red Butterhead|
|Waldman’s Dark Green Leaf Lettuce|
|Butterhead Alkindus Lettuce|
|Red Sails Loose-Leaf Lettuce|
|Romaine Salvius Lettuce|
|Ithaca iceberg lettuce|
|Butter oak lettuce|
|Summer crisp lettuce|
|Red Salad Bowl oak lettuce|
Methods of growing Aquaponics Lettuce
1. By using a Floating Raft
Advantage: Floating Raft is best for commercial sale
Disadvantage: Costly and need maintenance.
2. By Using Media Bed
Advantage: starting Aquaponics lettuce farming on a small setup is best.
Disadvantage: Need quick cleaning of growing beds to avoid clogging aerobic respiration of plants.
3. By Using Vertical Aquaponics Farming:
Advantage: Lettuce roots are highly oxygenated for good growth.
Disadvantage: In case of pump failure, the lettuce crop yield will be affected.
Can We Regrow Aquaponics Lettuce?
Yes, we can harvest three to four times from the same lettuce using Aquaponics as it is quickly grown in this technique using its stem.
Romaine lettuce is the best choice to regrow lettuce from its stem, but due to this advanced technique, you can regrow almost every variety again.
During the bolting season, you can collect seeds from regrowing lettuce using Aeroponics.
How to Grow Aquaponics Lettuce FAQS
Q: Does Lettuce Grow Well In Aquaponics?
Yes, water-loving lettuce is one of the fastest-growing vegetables using Aquaponics as its roots can grow deeper in it.
Q: How Fast Can We Grow Aquaponics Lettuce?
It usually takes 30-45 days for Aquaponic lettuce to grow, depending on the seed you are using.
Q: How To Grow Aquaponic Lettuce At Home?
It is suggested to use the Media Bed method to start growing lettuce at home due to its low-cost investment.
Q: Which Fish Best Works For Aquaponics Lettuce Growth?
Due to its wide availability, low cost, and easy maintenance Tilapia, Koi, and Goldfish work best for Aquaponics lettuce.
Q: What Nutrients Are Needed For Aquaponics Lettuce Need To Grow?
Nutrients necessary for Aquaponics lettuce need to grow calcium and magnesium to prevent its leaves from burning.
Q: How Can We Germinate Aquaponics Lettuce?
To start germination, we should soak its seed at the optimum temperature of 23 degrees centigrade, then, after adding the Rockwool cubes, keep it in the dark for 15 days for germination.
Q: What Are The Most Common Issues With Nutrient Aquaponic Lettuce?
Wilting and yellowing lettuce leaf due to unbalanced p.H
Lettuce leaf tips burning or turning black due to lack of nutrients and water.
Q: What Is The Minimum Space Needed For Planting Aquaponic Lettuce?
We need to plant one lettuce every 7 inches, and by this, we will have more lettuce per square foot with maximum growth and nutrient.
This spacing will also depend on the variety of lettuce according to its size.
In this time of extreme climate change and shortage of water, Aquaponics is the perfect solution for farming water-loving lettuce.
And we must learn how to grow Aquaponic lettuce to produce and sustain this miraculous vegetable for the coming generation with fish as a by-product.
My name is Olivia, staying in the United States, and I love to have plants in my garden. Lots of plants are there in my balcony, indoor and outdoor garden also. Here I am trying to share useful tips on gardening, how to grow and care for various plants, etc. Check out more.