Aquaponics has been around for many of years, however, many people are new to the concept. It is simply using fish waste from the fish in your tank to feed the plants you wish to grow. The nitrogen cycle takes care of the magic by filtering the dirty water in the grow bed before it returns to the fish. This allows for the best conditions for growth to your plants and fish that you are raising. An aquaponic system does all the hard work for you, so you don’t have to filter the fish waste and you won’t have to worry about feeding your plants, which makes it easy aquaponics.
Hydroponics is a method of growing crops without using soil. You have to use nutrition solutions to feed the crops, which are elements added to the watering system and delivered to the roots. With this system, the plants need to be secured with a growing medium such as, lavarock. The growing mediums not only secure the plants, it provides moisture, and a place for bacteria to thrive! If growing medium was not used then sprayers would be used and this would be considered an aeroponic system.
The other part of aquaponics is aquaculture, the water is provided all the elements for the plants to grow from the fish waste. Without having crops this naturally filtration system would not function properly, which would lead to the death of your fish. There needs to be a balance of fish and plants for aquaponics to work properly.
There are great benefits to aquaponics, especially because of the efficiency and space saving methods of fish farming, growing crops of your choice. It allows hydroponic growers to cut cost of buying fertilizers, and helps fish farmers with the filtration of the fish waste.
Commercial aquaponics system operators are limited, however, there is a strong level of interest in this organic method of food production. With little maintenance of less than 20 minutes a day, you can have fresh fish and vegetables year-round.
History of aquaponics
Aquaponics can be traced back to The ancient Aztecs, who built ‘chinampas’ (networks of canals and stationary artificial islands) in which they cultivated crops on the islands using nutrient-rich mud and water from the canals. The ancient Chinese also employed a system of integrated aquaculture in which finfish, catfish, ducks and plants co-existed in a symbiotic relationship where the ducks were housed in cages over the finfish ponds. The finfish processed the wastes from the ducks. In a lower pond, the catfish live on the wastes that have flowed from the finfish pond. The water from the catfish ponds was used for irrigated rice and vegetable crops. The New Alchemists are probably the people principally responsible for Aquaponics, as we currently know it.
What if I said you could have fresh organic vegetable year round in the convenience of your own home. Well, this is possible by using an aquarium, with ornamental fish and growing beds for crops of your choice. A home system can serve as a beautiful show piece or a food production system, depending on the size. Many backyard aquaponics gardeners are setting up systems to grow hundreds of pounds of fish and an endless supply of herbs and vegetables a family needs.