What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a sustainable method of raising both fish and vegetables. It is popular with individuals, entrepreneurs, educators, missions and governments. Furthermore, with this type of indoor farming, you grow substantially more food with less water, land and labor than traditional agriculture. An aquaponics system combines aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants without planting into soil).
Aquaponics uses a hydroponic-style system in which the plants are grown with minimal or no soil. However, aquaponics uses the waste from fish farming as the nutrient source in the system. As a result, the system still has two advantages:
- It uses less water than traditional agriculture.
- Plants consume and filter waste like an aquaculture system would.
The plants serve as a natural filtration system to clean the water. At the same time, the plants receive a natural nutrient source free of commercial fertilizers. Providing a resilient farming system that provides wellness and better nutrition.
Aquaponics is a great example of year ’round, indoor farming. It can be done anywhere, providing fresh local food that is free of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. It is safe, easy and fresh!
Natural and Sustainable
Aquaponics is a completely natural process that mimics all lakes, ponds, rivers and waterways on Earth. The only input into an aquaponics system is fish food. The fish eat the food and excrete waste, which is converted by beneficial bacteria to nutrients that the plants can use. In consuming these nutrients, the plants help to purify the water. You cannot use herbicides, pesticides or other harsh chemicals in an aquaponics system, making the fish and plants healthful and safe to eat.
Benefits of Aquaponics
- Use 1/6th of the water to grow 8 times more food per acre compared to traditional agriculture!
- All-natural fertilizer source from fish waste.
- No reliance on mined and manufactured fertilizers.
- Efficient, sustainable and highly productive.
- Produce is free of pesticides and herbicides.
- Fish are free of growth hormones and antibiotics.
- Allows continuous production of food.
- Produces both a protein and vegetable crop.
- Integrated system is sustainable and earth-friendly.
- Eliminating soil eliminates soil borne diseases.
- When combined with Controlled Environment Agriculture, you can grow year ‘round in any climate
What Can You Grow?
The fish and plants that you select for your aquaponic system should have similar needs as far as temperature and pH. As a general rule, warm, fresh water fish and leafy crops, such as lettuce, greens and herbs will do the best.
Most commercial growers raise leafy crops, but you can grow all kinds of plants in aquaponics.