You can download the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 589: “Small-scale aquaponic food production. Integrated fish and plant farming” for free. It is a large file, so be patient. You can also download it in 11 smaller files if you prefer. (See bottom of this post for download links.)
It is arguably one of the (if not “the”) most complete aquaponics books available at any price. It literally has everything you need to know. For us Americans, it is useful to have metric conversion tables handy – the measurements and temperatures are metric and some of us are too stubborn to learn the metric system.
From The FAO’s website:
This technical paper begins by introducing the concept of aquaponics, including a brief history of its development and its place within the larger category of soil-less culture and modern agriculture. It discusses the main theoretical concepts of aquaponics, including the nitrogen cycle and the nitrification process, the role of bacteria, and the concept of balancing an aquaponic unit. It then moves on to cover important considerations of water quality parameters, water testing, and water sourcing for aquaponics, as well as methods and theories of unit design, including the three main methods of aquaponic systems: media beds, nutrient film technique, and deep water culture. The publication discusses in detail the three groups of living organisms (bacteria, plants and fish) that make up the aquaponic ecosystem. It also presents management strategies and troubleshooting practices, as well as related topics, specifically highlighting local and sustainable sources of aquaponic inputs. The publication also includes nine appendixes that present other key topics: ideal conditions for common plants grown in aquaponics; chemical and biological controls of common pests and diseases including a compatible planting guide; common fish diseases and related symptoms, causes and remedies; tools to calculate the ammonia produced and biofiltration media required for a certain fish stocking density and amount of fish feed added; production of homemade fish feed; guidelines and considerations for establishing aquaponic units; a cost–benefit analysis of a small-scale, media bed aquaponic unit; a comprehensive guide to building small-scale versions of each of the three aquaponic methods; and a brief summary of this publication designed as a supplemental handout for outreach, extension and education.
Small-scale aquaponic food production. Integrated fish and plant farming. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 589
Year of publication: 2014
Pages: #262 p.
Job Number: I4021;
Author: Somerville, C.;Cohen, M.;Pantanella, E.;Stankus, A.;Lovatelli, A.;
Corporate author: Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Division
Office: Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
Serial Title: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper;
Series number: No. 589
Agrovoc: aquaponics; agropisciculture; fish farms; plant production; water quality; wastewater; fish culture; fish wastes; soilless culture; biological contamination; nutrient solutions; sustainable agriculture; best practices;
Click here to download entire publication. (File is over 50 MB so be patient.) Or you can download it in parts below: