This is a system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture is the process of growing fish in an enclosed environment such as a fish farm. A closed circuit water way is created and the fish waste is pumped into the hydroponics plants beds.
Although the fish waste is toxic to the fish, it contains nitrogen and other nutrients which are beneficial to the plants. The fish waste feeds the plants and is then recycled as clean water and pumped back into the aquaculture tank.
Aquaponics, then, is a system that constantly recycles water, waste, and food to allow for plant growth.
This is a system of growing plants without soil. Plants receive their nutrients from a nutrient solution. This nutrient solution is then fed directly to the roots, eliminating the need for soil.
Hydroponic systems are flushed periodically to prevent the build up of the nutrients. With hydroponics, you have only one system to be concerned with.
Growing with hydroponics has been studied since the 1800’s . Researchers discovered that plants in fact can get their essential mineral nutrients from just water and not soil.
Advantages of Hydroponic Systems
There is no need for soil which means the growing environment can be more compact and cleaner.
Water is then reused. This means water costs are lower. This is a massive benefit for huge hydroponic farms, especially those who produce food for supermarkets.
Nutrition levels in the plants are controlled in entirety which means lower nutrition costs. You can now control exactly how healthy you want your plant to be.
No nutrition pollution is released, because you have everything in a controlled environment.
You prevent your crops dying from pests and diseases that would usually occur outdoors in soil.
You also save your plants from extreme weather conditions and natural disasters. If they do happen to obtain a disease it is very easy to get rid of before damaging your plants.
There is a lot more space to grow as you can have things hung up as well as in containers.
You can grow out of season vegetables and plants all year round which means if you are using hydroponics as a business you are likely to make more money.
Eliminate weeds which means you will save the time you used to spend digging them up.
The process will be overall quicker and your plants will be bigger, healthier and natural.
Plants can now be grown in places like big cities, supermarkets.
Hydroponics Vs Aquaponics
Hydroponics and growing systems have become both common and popular in recent years in a variety of circumstances and with people of all ages. While these systems are generally effective, there are a number of drawbacks which can create issues or concerns.
First and foremost is the requirement for nutrients. This helps in healthy plant growth.
On occasion, these chemicals or compounds may contribute an additional or unwanted element of taste to the produce. This could detract from the natural flavor of a comparable organically grown vegetable.
Further, these compounds may create digestive or other issues for consumers who are making the transition from commercial or organically grown crops to those raised within a hydroponic system.
Win Win Solution
One way to mitigate these issues is to modify your system to aquaponics. An aquaponic system incorporates a hydroponic component along with an aquaculture component, where fishes are raised and grown in a tank or aquarium.
In the symbiosis of these two environments, fish excrement’s within the aquarium containing ammonia decompose, initially forming nitrites and subsequently plant-nurturing nitrates.
This water is then returned to the fish tank, where it maintains water health for the fish. No longer is it necessary to add chemicals or other substances to the system because the fish supply all of the nutrition that the plants require for healthy productive growth and the plants maintain the water quality for the fish..
The advantages achieved in this melding of two technologies should be easily apparent. The vegetables or other produce grown in the system enjoy natural nutrition and develop at a natural rate, achieve maturity with a maximum of appeal and taste.
One other consideration in aquaponics is the aquaculture itself. Not only can one grow vegetables and plants, one is also able to harvest fish.
It is this blending of technologies that improves upon the dimension of traditional hydroponics while adding the new dimension of aquaculture. Any way you might choose to look at it, from sustainable organics to increased profitability, aquaponics are clearly a superior way to go.