What is Aquaponics

Aquaponics is the symbiotic pairing of Hydroponics, the growing of plants in soilless media and Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic species in a controlled environment.







How Does It Work?

Aquaponics systems can be built both inside and outside depending on climate conditions. This combination of powerful growing methods eliminates the need for the chemical food/fertilizers used in hydroponics. And, aquaponics allows for the growing of a full range of vegetables, fruits and fish, unlike aquaculture, which focuses on fish production alone.

Aquaponics recirculates water from a fish tank through a vegetable growing bed. Nutrients from the fish waste are taken in by the plants as food, and the plants filter the water to help keep the fish healthy.

Food grown aquaponically has the ability to grow in almost any location around the world, as it is weather and pest independent when designed accordingly. Aquaponics creates no negative impact on the local environment, unlike traditional/commercial agriculture in which topsoil erosion (vitamins, minerals and micro-organisms needed to grow healthy food are stripped from the soil), salinization and chemical contamination is a by-product.

What are the Benefits of Aquaponics?

Aquaponics offers improvements over traditional soil-based farming, which often requires extensive water, pesticides, fertilizer, tilling and weeding. This labor intensive method eventually results in hazardous chemical and wastewater run-off, as well as fallow soils which are devoid of life and the organisms needed to nurture and sustain plant life. Aquaponics also overcomes the issues of hard clay, sand or contaminated soils. In addition, vegetables, herbs and fruits that are mass produced in this way come from seeds and plants engineered for rough handling, disease resistance and long shelf life.

Indoor systems are typically built inside of a greenhouse, hoop house, or other controlled environment structures. This allows for partial to full control over various pests, intensive/destructive weather conditions and ground/air pollution, and permits food to be grown year round in areas which otherwise might not be able to produce any food crops. Smaller systems can also be easily built and operated in people’s homes, providing a convenient food source for your family.

When gas prices soar again, so will food costs. Research shows that the average meal travels over 1,500 miles to reach your plate. Just consider all the energy consumption necessary to transport that salad and tilapia dinner. Locally produced, aquaponically farmed foods result in significantly less energy consumption, compared to the current processes of using equipment dependent upon oil and gas for both farming and food transport, as well as the physical labor necessary to till, plant, weed, water, harvest, process, package, transport, and store food. That’s a lot of wasted energy!

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