There are many different configurations of aquaponiques systems. These different configurations have two commonalities: the Fish basin and an earth-free platform. The variable components include filtration, plumbing, substrates, flow and frequency of water circulation and aeration. Generally, systems that use a filtration system to eliminate (convert) solid wastes from fish have higher fish and plant production than non-filtration systems. Three main aquaponiques methods exist in the industry: raft, NFT and beds filled with substrate. Each of these methods is based on a different design of the hydroponic system but all with accommodation for fish and filtration.
In a raft system also called raft, term that will use, the plants are fixed on rafts (polystyrene boards floating on the surface of the water. The water flows out of the fish tank through the filtration components and circulates in the reservoir where the plants are grown and then returns to the reservoir. Bacteria useful for the transformation of nitrites and nitrates live in the raft tank and throughout the system. By constituting a buffer volume, the volume of additional water in the reservoir reduces the stress of fish and potential water quality problems. This is one of the greatest benefits of the raft system. In a trading system, raft tanks can cover large areas. The plants are transplanted onto the rafts at one end of the raft reservoir. As they grow and harvest, rafts are pushed to the surface of the water. Once the plants of a raft are collected at the end of the reservoir, the raft is placed at the beginning of the reservoir and replanted. The floor space is optimized.
NFT (Nutrient film technique), in French culture technique on a nutrient film, is a method in which plants are grown in narrow gutters. A water Film trickle continuously flows into each channel. This water film provides water, nutrients and oxygen to the roots of the plants. As with the raft system, the water flows continuously from the basin into the filters, then flows into the NFT gutters where the plants are grown, then returns to the basin. In the NFT, a separate biofilter is required because the necessary bacteria are not present enough in the water.
A culture bed system uses a tray, tank or container filled with gravel, perlite or any other substrate. This bed is periodically flooded with water from the reservoir. The water then returns to the basin. All waste, including solids, is broken down into the growing bed. Worms can be added to the culture bed to improve the decay of waste. This method is the one that uses the least amount of components since no filtration system is necessary. This makes this technique very easy to use. The production is, however, much lower than the other two methods. The bed filled with brackets is generally used when the objective is not to maximises the production, in the leisure equipment for example.