Bioponics: what it is and how it works

A bioponic system could be defined as a system using organic hydroponics. The growing modules employed and the methodologies behind bioponics and hydroponics are essentially the same: what differentiates them is the nutrient solution used at the beginning.

The liquid fertilizer employed in bioponic systems is generally produced from either worm humus or bird manure after having been infused at a low temperature inside tanks for organic fertigation connected to systems for filtering solid and organic waste.

In order for the organic substance to become bioavailable for plants, it needs to be converted and processed by bacterial communities developing inside filtering systems.

  • We also find the mixing tank connected to the fertigation tank. Inside the mixing tank, we find units that pump the nutrient solution, which reaches the growing systems
  • The remaining water, poor in nutrients once they have been absorbed by plants, is channeled back inside the fertigation tank

Which organic fertilizers to choose for a homemade bioponic system?

An organic hydroponic system can be fueled through different organic starting substances. The most commonly used are compost, humus, and bird manure. The first two can be easily produced at home through a compost bin. Click here to see how to build your own compost bin at home. We instead recommend purchasing bird manure in specialized centers.

The compost tea is a solution with a high concentration of organic substances and nutrients beneficial for plants. It is an organic fertilizer which help them grow, improves their nutrient intake, and ultimately reduces their risk of contracting diseases.

To produce a high-quality compost tea, you definitely need a worm compost that is already matured, ensuring it emits no foul odors and contains no remnants of organics yet to decompose fully.


How to prepare a natural liquid fertilizer

In order for the bioponic system to reach a good production level, it needs an adequately sized fertigation system.

You thus need:

  • A decently large container that can hold the amount of water necessary to make compost tea
  • A fine knit stocking, inside of which you will have to insert mature compost to leave it to infuse
  • An adequately powerful aerator and at least two porous stones to allow the liquid fertilizer to be oxygenized appropriately and favor the development of beneficial bacteria
  • A mechanic and organic filtering system containing specific materials like biocarrier to favor the development of the bacterial community
  • You can also use a thermostat to keep the temperature constant (in between 22 to 25°C) throughout the infusion period

It is important to keep the container away from light and let the compost tea mature for at least 3 to 5 days before connecting it to the mixing tank and the growing systems.

In this video Gianmarco shows you how we built small experimental bioponic systems.