It is generally understood that aquaponic systems are great for the environment and provide a cost effective way of growing fish and plants for feeding. Aquaponics is the combination of the science of hydroponics and aquaculture. Hydroponics can simply be explained as a science of growing plants in an environment without soil, but nutrient rich water. Aquaculture is the science of farming aquatic species, such as fish, for human consumption.
Aquaponics systems are usually misunderstood to be complex and complicated, but with more exposure, they are gaining ground as an alternative and “green” way to grow high protein and mineral foods and fish.
It’s estimated that, in the United States alone, over a thousand homes have DIY aquaponics systems installed. Families are beginning to see the cost benefits of growing fish, fruit and vegetables within their homes. With an aquaponics system, you can grow anything from tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and cabbage in your own backyard using very little water. This is of particular benefit to countries prone to drought.
With aquaponics systems, you can have fresh water fish within your household for feeding. Although crayfish and prawns are sometimes used, the most popular fish for aquaponics is Tilapia, which originates in Africa but has grown to be the third most popular fish in the world, creating employment for millions in Africa and Asia. In the United States, 156 farms cultured Tilapia in 2005, reporting sales of over 30 million dollars.
Besides these obvious reasons of saving the environment and creating jobs, here are some of the other advantages aquaponics systems?
- Aquaponics does not use chemicals
- It saves the much-needed resource of water, as it requires only one ten of water to remain sustainable, as opposed to traditional aquaculture.
- The system runs well at a low pH level
- You will need very little soil to grow your fruits and vegetables
- The plants thrive on organic fertilizer coming from the fish waste
- You have the advantage of growing fruits and vegetables the entire year as opposed to traditional seasonal cultivation
Check out more about these advantages by clicking here.