If you are searching for an article on How to Grow Cucumbers in Aquaponics, then read this to know all about it.
If you want to grow tons of healthy cucumbers in your garden greenhouse or commercial planting site, then you must know how to grow Cucumbers in Aeroponics System.
Why Growing Cucumber Essential?
The Cucumber, also called Cucumis sativus, belongs to the family cucurbits and is fruit like its few essential family members, watermelon, squash, zucchini, muskmelon, and pumpkin, famously used in raw or pickled form.
It grows in three types: Slicing, Gherkin, and Burpless cucumbers.
Raw cucumber provides us with significant water, carbohydrates in the form of sugar and fiber, protein, negligible fat, and essential nutrients like vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc.
It improves our digestion, skin elasticity, bone strength, and blood clotting properties, reduces the risk of heart diseases, and strengthens our immune system.
Cucumber is a superfood that we can quickly grow using Aquaponics because of its nutrient-rich oxygenated water supply.
It is a canal connected with another canal in which cucumber and fish grow separately in the same environment.
Fish waste is transformed into nitrite and then into nitrate using bio-filters supporting Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria to support the growth of cucumbers and fishes.
Cucumber grows very well in Aquaponics as nitrogen in nitrates accelerates photosynthesis. Cucumber grows quickly in this system, almost four times more than in traditional farming.
How to Grow Cucumbers in Aquaponics System
Cumbers usually grow well in Aquaponics, but we need to pay special attention to their vines while growing them in Aquaponics.
We need to take special care of our vines and system requirements; otherwise, it will affect our Cucumber Growth.
10 Essential Factors for Aquaponics Cucumber Farming
Even if it looks easy, understanding its growth factors and conditions for farming aquaponics cucumbers from your Aquaponics system is essential. Some of those conditions are:
- Optimum Temperature: Temperature ranges suitable for Cucumber are 22–28 °C in the daytime, and 18–20°C in the nighttime as above and below can be dangerous as temperature directly affects the pH of the water, which will disturb growth.
- Optimum p.H: As p.H plays a crucial role in Cucumber Plant and Fish growth, the optimum p.H required for Cucumber growth is 6.0 to 7.0.
- Oxygen requirements: Fish, Bacteria, and cucumbers 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 at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Artificial fluorescent light can also be used on less sunny days.
- Spacing: For cucumbers, we can plant each seedling at a distance of 12 inches apart in 5 to 6 rows, taking care not to harm the roots and avoid malnutrition in Cucumber 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 Cucumbers Farming are. Tilapia, Koi, Omega perch, crappie, Angelfish, and Goldfish. But what goes best with Cucumber is Tilapia and Goldfish, as they are readily available and low maintenance.
- 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.
- Harvesting period: It will take at least 55-65 days, depending on the variety of seeds you use.
- Germination time: It will take at least 2-3 weeks when it has four to five new leaves.
Types of Cucumber seeds:
Cucumber that works well with Aquaponics is Lebanese Cucumbers, Burpless cucumbers, Armenian Cucumbers, Spacemaster Cucumbers, English Cucumbers, Mexican Sour Gherkin, Japanese Cucumbers, Straight eight Cucumbers, and Salad Bush Cucumbers.
|Name of seed
|Growth Specifications and characteristics
|7 1/2″ long dark green cucumber grows in full sunlight under 56 days
|0 to 12″ long, cylindrical dark green cucumber grows in full sunlight under 55 days
|Mexican Sour Gherkin
|36 – 42 inches sweet and tangy gherkin grows in full sunlight under 60 – 70 days
|Straight Eight Cucumbers
|4 – 5 feet vines with bright green skin around crisp with white flesh cucumbers grow in full sunlight under 58 days
|15 to 20 feet vines with pistachio green color, long, thin and curvy cucumbers grow in full sunlight for under 55 days.
|4 – 6 Feet vines with sweet dark green cucumber grow in full sunlight for under 55 days.
|They are very similar to English cucumbers but a bit more bitter than they grow in full sunlight for under 65 days.
|Salad Bush Cucumbers
|They are dark green, smooth-skinned cucumbers that grow in full sunlight on 26 inches bush for under 57 days.
Germination Steps of Aquaponics Cucumbers:
- Wash your seeds with regular tap water, around 21 degrees Celsius
- Plant 3-4 seeds in a growing medium like Rockwool cube or grow sponge or coco coir
- Maintain temperature 22–28 °C in the daytime, and 18–20°C in the nighttime
- 3 to 4 weeks will take, and seeds will sprout into seedlings. Then it will transfer to the Aquaponics system
- Place the seedlings 12 inches apart in 5 or 6 rows in your growing medium for better growth.
Methods used for Aquaponics Cucumbers
Generally, four methods that work well with Aquaponics Cucumbers are Deep Water Culture (D.W.C.), Ebb and Flow System, Media bed system, and Drip System.
1. Deep water culture (D.W.C.):
Deep water culture is the best option for growing Aquaponics Cucumbers commercially. In this method, water-loving cucumber seedling roots will remain suspended in an oxygenated, nutrient-rich solution full of nitrates.
We will use two tanks, one for fish and another for cucumbers growing trays or rafts on both end temperatures of 22 to 28 °C in the daytime and 18 to 20°C in the nighttime with p.H around 6 or 7.
Pipes and pumps will connect two tanks and pass water between physical and bio-filters filters to recirculate water among them.
As most cucumber types grow on vines, so it is vital to maintain a solid support system for the vines to climb and grow on your D.W.C. Aquaponics system.
2. Ebb and Flow System:
This technique includes planting cucumber seedlings in a cup on a grow medium system made up of any standard gravel, granular Rockwool, grow rocks, perlite, or combination.
The plant roots in grow bed can be directly suspended in a nutrient water container where fresh nutrient water from fish is filtered to grow media bed containers, which are flooded for a short interval.
Then simultaneously, after cleaning from filters to fish tanks and vice versa.
3. Media Bed System:
The plant roots in the grow bed can get direct access to the nutrient water. The roots themselves filter and clean the water before returning to the fish tank for the fish to live.
Some of the cucumber types that grow on bushes grow well in it, and we have to ensure that the gravel bed or river bed is limestone free to maintain p.H of the system. Bell siphons and pumps simultaneously transport water between the fish tank and grow bed.
4. Drip System:
This technique is best for small commercial planters as it uses an active micro-irrigation system in which nutrient-rich water is dripping slowly into the base of the cucumber seedlings over a growing medium; here also plant’s roots filter and absorb nutrients.
Nutrient-rich water is dripped to cucumber beds using a pump with a timer and recycled to fish tanks utilizing a gravity feed system.
Benefits of Aquaponics Cucumber:
- Aquaponics Cucumbers are packed with more vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B complex, improving our health and immunity.
- It is an environmentally-sound method that combines the benefits of Aquaculture and Hydroponics, which grows cucumbers and fish together naturally.
- It reduces the cost of cucumber farming by saving water, land, and the cost of pesticides and fertilizers.
- Cucumber sizes and quantities are more significant than traditional methods because they grow with natural manure cleanly.
- You can grow various cucumbers together, saving land and providing your kitchen with more variants of cucumbers to use.
How to Grow Aquaponics Cucumber FAQS
Q: How quickly does cucumber grow in Aquaponics?
It can grow in 50-70 days, depending on its seed type.
Q: Which seeds are best to grow Aquaponics Cucumber?
The Cucumbers that grow well in Aquaponics are Lebanese Cucumbers, Burpless cucumbers, Armenian Cucumbers, Spacemaster Cucumbers, English Cucumbers, Mexican Sour Gherkin, and Japanese Cucumbers, Straight eight Cucumbers, and Salad Bush Cucumbers.
Q: How do you grow Cucumbers in Aquaponics?
Four methods to grow Cucumbers using Aquaponics are Deep Water Culture (D.W.C.), Ebb and Flow System, Media bed system, and Drip System.
Q: How much sunlight is essential for Cucumber in Aquaponics?
At least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day is essential for Cucumber in Aquaponics.
Farming Cucumbers in Aquaponics is one of the easiest methods to harvest Cucumbers for beginners and Commercial planters to supply healthy cucumbers sustainably throughout the year.
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