Wondering what is aquaponics? If you are new to aquaponics, you’ve come to the right place.
By taking the next few minutes to read this page, you will find out what is aquaponics – the biological concepts behind it and the benefits of taking up aquaponics gardening as your new hobby.
If you are unconvinced, I strongly urged you to read on.
What Is Aquaponics? – The Biological Concepts
It is a new approach to farming that makes use of the symbiotic relationship between the fish and plants by cultivating them together in a closed re-circulating system.
In general, fish produce two types of waste, ammonia and solid waste. When accumulated, they become toxic to the fish.
However, two types of nitrifying bacteria present in the fish tank and the grow beds of the plants are able to first convert the ammonia-rich fish waste in the water into nitrites (also highly toxic to the fish), then into nitrates.
Nitrates are readily absorbed by plants, providing them the essential bio-nutrients required for growth.
Other bacteria and composting worms convert the solid suspended waste into dissolved solids, which can also be absorbed by plants for growth.
The plant roots and growth medium therefore also act as a form of filter, by converting and absorbing the fish waste, to keep the water clean and safe for the fish.
Aquaponics – The Solution To Problems Faced In Aquaculture and Hydroponics
The biggest problem of aquaculture is the accumulation of the ammonia-rich waste, nitrites and nitrates in the water, which then becomes toxic to the fish.
To avoid this problem, at least 10-20% of the water in the fish tank has to be removed and topped up with fresh water daily in order to lower the concentration of ammonia.
Not only is this wasting a large amount of water, such water with high nutrient content cannot be disposed readily as it would pollute the streams or waterways.
Here in aquaponics, the excess nutrients are absorbed by the plants to keep the water safe for the survival of the fish and you only need to top up small amount of water that has evaporated off!
Hydroponics, on the other hand, requires careful concoction of expensive nutrient solution and careful monitoring of the pH and chemical content of the water medium.
In aquaponincs, once you have established the system, you will only need to conduct simple checks on the pH and ammonia levels occasionally.
Not only that, you can simply feed your fish with cheap fish food and also not have to worry about over or under fertilizing your plants as the essential nutrients are provided organically by your fish.
If you have tried hydroponics, you might have realized that plants are prone to a disease causing the root to rot. You will be glad to know that this disease is almost unheard of in aquaponics systems.
What Is Aquaponics To You?
Essentially you are trying to create a balanced ecosystem. With too much fish, the plants would not be able to absorb and remove enough nutrients to keep the nitrate level sufficiently low for the fish.
Similarly, if there are too many plants, there will not be enough nutrients for healthy plant growth.
Benefits of Aquaponics:
- Aquaponics is a form of organic and sustainable agriculture. No chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides are used, hence helping to keep your family safe and healthy.
- Uses significantly less water compared to hydroponics, soil-based farming and aquaculture.
- Requires less manual labor compared to soil-based gardening as most of the work are done by the plants, fish and bacteria! All you need to do is feed the fish, top up the water, perform some simple checks, ensure sufficient oxygen is pumped into the water and harvest your crops and fish!
- No more worries about weeds and pests.
- With waist-high aquaponics systems, it also eliminates the back strain that comes with the weeding of soil-based gardening.
- Higher productivity as you can plant crops more densely.
- You can also grow the crops all year-round if you create a greenhouse aquaponics system, providing your family with fresh vegetables and fish.
- The aquaponics system can be set up indoors or in the backyard, requiring a relatively small space.
Hopefully the information provided have helped you better understand what is aquaponics.
Aquaponics is generating increasing interest and is fast rising in popularity because of the benefits of organic farming. What’s more attractive is that it requires relatively small spaces and less manual labor.
Aquaponics is simply perfect for a lazy gardener like me! Imagine growing harvesting crops all year round in the comforts of your home or backyard!
So what are you waiting for? Get started with aquaponics today!
Find out more…
What I also strongly recommend you do now is to check out Aquaponics 4 You to learn more about how you can increase the output of your organic home garden by as much as 10 times, with less labor: