In agriculture, specifically in farming, technology has contributed a lot for its development and one of the most recent revolutionary improvements is a system called aquaponics. This might sound familiar to those who are into farming and discovering the latest advancements in agriculture. However, to those who heard this for the first time, it might sound odd and foreign to their ears. Aquaponics is the latest advancement in farming wherein there a symbiotic relationship is observed between plants and fishes. It happens when the waste of the fish allows plants to survive in this type of environment and the fishes live through the plant’s waste.
Unlike normal gardens you will need any fertilizers or plant foods to aid the growth of your crop. Plus there is no need for slug pellets and other repelants because your plants are not at ground level.
Unlike conventional hydroponics, aquaponics is 100% organic, and it shows in health of the plants and quality of vegetables. It allows you to grow many times more in a much smaller space and with less work. Unlike traditional gardening where you have to constantly water, weed, fertilize and battle with slugs, snails, gophers and other pests, with aquaponics your biggest chore will be feeding the fish. For many people, that is one of the most enjoyable parts, but it can also be done with automatic feeders for those who are just too busy.
At the start, you have the edible fish aquaponic source the plants. Once the fish in the tank start releasing waste, two types of bacteria will begin to grow in the water.
Your produce tastes FANTASTIC! Now I’ve grown all sorts of vegetables and plants in soil, but was astounded at the fresh full flavoured vegetables I could grow with this system.
The way this works is by growing plants in a hydroponic grow bed and pumping the fish water through it, and letting it flow back to the fish tank. This gives the plants a constant flow of nutrient rich water that is continually cleaned by the plant roots. Not only do the plants benefit, so do the fish by getting clean water. Instead of you doing all the work of watering, fertilizing, weeding, digging, and all the labor involved with conventional gardening, you can put fish to work for you. All they need in return is clean oxygen rich water and food. The plants take care of keeping the water clean, and an air stone will keep the water oxygenated. So for you, gardening becomes a matter of feeding fish, planting the plants and harvesting them. The other garden chores are gone.
Another component common to most home based systems is a biofilter. This is where bacteria convert the ammonia in the water from the fish tank aquaponic supplies nitrates that the plants can use as food. This process is known as nitrification. The water coming from the aquaculture system to be filtered by the plants, must go through the biofilter first.
Some say that an aquaponics system is the best system as the disadvantages of the other two systems are eliminated. What is left is a system that works in harmony. The water is kept clean, the food grows and there is very little the ‘farmer’ has to do.
Some people do it as a hobby and benefit from it too. A Aquaponic system is not limited to some specific places, it can be applied anywhere. You can grow any type of plant and different species of fish in a common tank. Using the method is cheap, which makes very suitable for both fish and food production for small-scale farmers. To understand this subject further, one can read our eBook Aquaponics Made Easy that has been specifically developed for those who may be interested in aquaponics system.