Do you want to know a sustainable way to grow organic Aquaponics Tomatoes? Then read this article to find out How to Grow Aquaponics Tomatoes.
Native to Mexicans, tomato now grows worldwide for its popularity in the culinary world. Almost every tangy or spicy dish contains tomatoes. It gives sour to umami flavors to your palate.
You can quickly grow them in your gardens during winter and summer, and if you know how to grow Aquaponics Tomatoes, it will be faster than you expected. You can also grow tomatoes aeroponically, and Hydroponically.
Why Should We Eat More Tomatoes?
Tomato (Lycopersicon Lycopersicum) is an edible berry that belongs to the family called Solanaceae; like its other family members, potatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, and chili pepper adds umami flavors to your salads, soups, curries, different kinds of pasta, pizzas, sauces, and drink.
It not only provides taste but also increases its health benefits. 100 gm of raw tomatoes provides you with 2-5% of daily recommended minerals like
- Iron, Magnesium,
- Manganese, Phosphorus,
- Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc,
which boosts our immunity and improves our health.
It is full of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. It also provides us with Vitamin A, B, C, E, and K, which improve our vision, skin, and blood supply and strengthen our bones.
Aquaponics Tomatoes farming is considered to be the most uncomplicated Aquaponic farming for beginners as tomatoes love fish nutrient water and thrive in it very quickly and easily.
Two major classes of tomatoes grow well in Aquaponics; bushes and vines. Both are different in terms of their height and production limit.
Bushes grow up to sixty to ninety centimeters and fruits at once and usually grow in River rock or Gravel Media beds.
On the other hand, vines grow up to a hundred to three hundred fifty centimeters tall and produce throughout the year, generally growing using Deep Water Culture.
Tomatoes grown using Aquaponics are organic, healthy, and much tastier than traditionally farmed tomatoes.
Aquaponic Tomatoes are grown within a month, while traditional tomatoes at least take two to three months to produce.
How To Do Aquaponics Tomatoes Farming: 12 Steps
Varying in color from green to yellow to orange and red, this juicy fruit is the most popular vegetable to grow using Aquaponics. It is a sustainable method that yields massive tomatoes in a short time.
But even if it looks effortless, we must know first its growth factors and conditions to cultivate the best tomatoes from your Aquaponics system. Some of those conditions are:
- Optimum Temperature: As tomato is an excellent all-rounder plant, the ideal temperature for growing tomatoes is 18◦ Centigrade to 30 ◦ Centigrade.
- Optimum p.H: As p.H plays a crucial role in plant and fish growth, the optimum p.H required for tomato growth is 5.5 and 6.5, much lower than other Aquaponics plants.
- Oxygen requirements: Fish, bacteria, and tomatoes require dissolved oxygen in water; thus, we need to ensure that the dissolved oxygen concentration is above 4-8 mg/liter by testing the water.
- Sunlight requirements: As a flowering plant, we must provide it with at least 8 hours of sunlight, underexposing it to the sun or covering it partially as fish doesn’t need that much sunlight for their growth. Artificial fluorescent light can also be used on less sunny days.
- Spacing: For tomatoes, we can plant each seedling at a distance of 12 to 24 inches to avoid malnutrition in tomato plants. For fish volume, approximately half to 1 kg per size of fish per 40 liters of water.
- Aqua species we can use: Aqua species we can use in tomato farming are Trout, Koi, Tilapia, crappie, angelfish, and goldfish. But the one that goes best with tomatoes is Trout, as they can easily survive in lower temperatures.
- Water filters: Use good quality physical and bio-filters to clean waste and convert them into valuable products.
- Optimum Fish feeding routine: The most common fish foods in Aquaponics are Pellets and flakes, which we can feed 1% to 2% of their body weight twice or once daily as per fish species. Trout can be fed the entire day as compared to other fishes.
- Types of Tomatoes seeds: The most popular tomatoes in Aquaponics are Cherry, Beefsteak, Plum, Heirloom, Tomatoes-on-the-vine, Grapes, Cocktail Tomatoes, and Roma tomatoes.
- Optimum yield per plant: You can harvest at least 25 and 35 tomatoes from each plant.
- Germination time: It takes 2 to 6 weeks to germinate before we can plant them.
- Harvesting Time: One to two months.
Recommended Planting And Harvesting Duration For Aquaponics Tomato Varieties:
You can grow almost every Tomato types using aeroponics which are high in nutrient value. Some of their recommended planting and harvesting periods are given below:
|Name of Tomato Variety||Recommended Planting And Harvesting Duration.|
|Cherry||It is the smallest and lightest variety planted in spring and harvested throughout the year.|
|Beefsteak||Beefsteak tomatoes are more prominent and heavier than other varieties. It can be planted in early spring and harvested in less than 60 days or when ripe.|
|Cocktail Tomatoes||Cocktail tomatoes are small but more significant than cherry tomatoes. Its peak season is the summer months, but it is available year-round.|
|Heirloom||They look like their Bell pepper and taste like cherry tomatoes. It can be planted in late summer till fall and harvested in less than 65 to 95 days.|
|Roma tomatoes||This tangy specie requires sunlight for 6 hours and can be planted in Summer and harvested in less than 70 to 80 days.|
|Plum||It is an oval or cylindrical variety of Tomato. Planted in winter and spring and harvested throughout the year.|
|Tomatoes-on-the-vine||These are red, ripe, juicy tomatoes planted in late spring and early summer and harvested once grown.|
|Grapes||Their shape is identical to grapes and can be planted after or in late spring and harvested in less than 70 days.|
Germination steps for Aquaponics tomatoes:
- Soak seeds glass container at room temperature in normal water.
- Then, after straining, transfer them into Rockwool cubes, Peat plugs, or Grow sponges.
- Then transfer it into a growing tray and keep it in a dark and dry place.
- Depending on seed time, it will take 6 to 15 days to sprout and then transfer to the Aquaponic system.
5 Benefits of Aquaponics Tomatoes Farming
- It is an eco-friendlier method as it combines Aquaculture and Hydroponics, which grows tomatoes and fish together and creates a perfect balance in ecology for farming.
- It saves water, reduces the cost of bringing different species together in the same environmental conditions, and increases our tomatoes and fish sales profit.
- Tomatoes size and quantity are more significant than traditional methods because there is no competition for food and water between the plants.
- Tomatoes are packed with more vitamin C, lycopene, and other nutrients that benefit our health.
- You can grow various tomatoes together, saving land and providing your kitchen with more variants of tomatoes to use.
Two methods give encouraging results when any aquaponics tomato variety is cultivated in Aquaponics systems.
1. Media Bed Aquaponics System
This technique includes planting tomato seedlings in a standard gravel bed or River rock bed system. The plant roots in grow bed can direct access to the nutrients water.
The roots themselves filter and clean the water before returning to the fish tank for the fish to live.
Mostly tomatoes that grow on bushes grow well in it, and we have to make sure that the gravel bed or river bed is limestone free to maintain p.H of the system; otherwise, it will affect the growth of tomatoes.
Bell siphon and simultaneously pump transport water between the fish tank and grow bed. Clay and other growing media are not suitable for growing Aquaponic tomatoes.
2. Deep Water Culture (D.W.C.)
This is the best option for growing Aquaponics tomatoes commercially as tomatoes grow quickly in larger and established systems using Aquaponics.
In this method of Aquaponics, we will suspend the tomatoes seedling roots in a solution of oxygenated nutrient-rich water.
- We will use two tanks, one for fish and another for tomatoes and pipes, pumps will connect them, and filters to recirculate water among them.
- Tomatoes seedlings are placed in net pots with the help of a floating raft. They float over the nutrient water tank.
- The second tank will collect and transport fish feces to filters and bio-filters. Bio-filters and filters convert them into plant oxygenated nutrients and then, in another cycle, Plant nutrients into fish nutrients with the help of the nitrification process.
- Mostly vine varieties are grown by this technique. We can also use the Vertical Garden nutrient film technique for tomato farming when aiming for small size plants like grapes, cherries, and cocktails.
How to Grow Aquaponics Tomatoes FAQs
Q: How Fast Do Tomatoes Grow In Aquaponics?
Depending on the variety of tomatoes, it takes one to two months.
Q: What Are The Common Problems Of Growing Tomatoes Using Aquaponics?
They are subject to wilt diseases, growth of algae, root rot, powdery mildew, and grey molds.
Q: Can Aquaponics tomatoes grow without sunlight?
As A Flowering Plant, It Needs At Least 8 Hours Of Sunlight.
Q: Are Aquaponic Tomatoes Healthy?
Yes, as they are free of Artificial fertilizers and organic.
Q: What Are The Best Tomato Seeds To Grow With Aquaponics?
The best tomato seeds to grow with Aquaponics are Cherry, Beefsteak, Plum, Heirloom, Tomatoes-on-the-vine, Grapes, Cocktail Tomatoes, and Roma tomatoes.
In recent years Aquaponic farming of various vegetables and fruit has been very successful, including tomatoes, and if we know how to grow Aquaponics Tomatoes, it could be an effort towards boosting health and solving malnutrition issues in the world.
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