Keeping an aquaponic greenhouse is optional, but there are several benefits.
– Environmental control – aquaponic greenhouses keep crops warm during winter months
– Protection – In case of hail, excess wind or monsoon.
– Insect and pest exclusion
In short, an aquaponic greenhouse can help you provide the right environment all year round, protecting your crops from harsh environmental changes and act as a barrier to pests.
If you choose to use an enclosed greenhouse you want to know about CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture). This is a computer system that combines with a greenhouse that monitors and adjusts itself to always keep optimum temperature, humidity and ventilation. This gives the grower complete control and some farmers who have switched to this method have reported increased profits after installing CEA.
Greenhouses vary widely in style and cost. They range from polyethelene, insulated polycarbonate and glass.
Glass offers the least in terms of insulation, but its light transmissions are the best. A downside to glass is that it can shatter easily and is expensive to replace.
Probably the most inexpensive but well insulated greenhouse is a dual layer of polyethelene with an insulating air pocket inbetween. These usually last about 5 years before they need to be replaced.
Polycarbonate has the benefit of great insulating properties and lasting 15-20 years. It also looks very nice.
With a tropical climate like India’s, screened walls and a clear overhead roof work well to protect the crop. The screening helps to keep pests at bay and also allows for good ventilation and movement. The clear roof provides protection during strong winds and heavy monsoon rains. This is probably the best option for most Indian aquaponics growers.
Aquaponics In India will soon be offering consultancy services. Please get in touch for further details.