Aquaponics combines the art of aquaculture (raising of fish and other aquatic animals) and beauty of hydroponics (growing plants without soil).
In this growing method, plants are grown in the seedling bed, and fish are placed in the fish tank. The water from the fish tank that contains fish waste is fed to the seedling bed, where billions of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria break the ammonia down into nitrites and then into nitrates.
Plants absorb these nitrates and other nutrients to help them grow. The plant's roots clean and filter the water in before it flows back into the fish tank for the fish to live.
The fresh, clean, and oxygenated water recirculates back to the fish tank, where the cycle will begin again.
Benefits of Aquaponics
1. Year-Round Gardening: Through indoor/outdoor aquaponics systems or the use of greenhouses, an aquaponics grower can grow food all year round.
2. Low Water Usage: One of the significant benefits of aquaponic growing is minimal water is wasted compared to the traditional growing method, like soil gardening. Although the name implies 'water,' aquaponics uses approximately 90% less water than conventional agriculture. The water is rarely changed or discarded since it’s recycled repeatedly through the entire system.
3. Minimal Weeding: There is no soil involved in aquaponics, so there are very few weeds that will pop up in your garden, giving you more time to enjoy your garden
4. Growth: Plants grow faster in an aquaponic system than plants grown in soil because they access 100% natural nutrients 24 hours a day.
5. Small Footprint: Aquaponics can be done successfully on any land, cement, gravel, rocky surfaces, or even drought lands, which are difficult to use in conventional farms or backyards.
7. Food Security: Food security and food independence are increasingly becoming important. Aquaponics is another means of living a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
1. Healthy Food: In an aquaponics system, fish and plants grow without fertilizers and chemicals, so your harvests are fresh and organic.
2. Fresh Produce: Having your own aquaponics garden at home allows growers to harvest fresh vegetables.
3. Protein and Vegetable Harvest: Aquaponics provides food harvest in the form of protein (from the fish) and vegetables from one compact growing area.
4. Healthy Eating: One of the reasons most people resort to raising their own produce is that they want to eat healthier. With aquaponics, you can be confident that your plants are organic because you know what went into growing them.
5. Personal Satisfaction: Growing your food in an aquaponics system can be a rewarding and exciting experience because you know your way of growing food is also helping save the environment.
6. Self-Sufficient Way of Living: Growing your own food is the start of living a self-sufficient lifestyle.