Aquaponics

Aquaponics consists of raising fish and plants in a symbiotic relationship within a closed loop system. Fish waste provides the nutrients that are necessary for plant growth. The plants, typically growing in separate beds, benefit the fish by removing toxins from the water before returning it to the fish tank.  The presence of nitrifying bacteria in the water and the grow media, where the plants are located, convert ammonia in the water to nitrites, then to nitrates which the plants need for growth.

Because this process is entirely organic, it may be considered the ultimate sustainable system. Only organic fish food is introduced into the system, otherwise, both fish and plants would die. Since the water flows from the fish tank to the grow beds where it is purified, then back to the fish, there is no need to replace the water. Water is only added to the system to replenish what is lost through evaporation. This is, of course, a major consideration where water is scarce.

Advantages of Aquaponic Systems

  • Produces protein (fish) and vegetables in one system.

  • Produces 4 to 10 times more vegetables than conventional agriculture.

  • Uses up to 90% less water than conventional agriculture. No seepage, no weeds, and very little evaporation. 1 head of lettuce uses 2-4 gallons of water in an aquaponic system compared to 20-24 gallons of water when grown in the ground…

http://www.aquagardensfarm.com/aquaponic-advantages/

More Advantages

  • Does not need soil or regular farmland (which is diminishing every day) to grow vegetables.  Can grow vegetables on a parking lot, rooftop, warehouse, or vertically on the side of a building.

  • No salmonella or e-coli contamination since these are related to warm blooded animals, which fish are not.

  • The only inputs are fish food, and electricity (can be solar) for air and water pumps.

  • Naturally organic.  No pesticides, chemical or mined fertilizers are used as these would kill the fish.

Building a new system.
Teaching opportunities.
DWC (Deep Water Culture)
Planting seedlings.
Grow beds for growing produce.
Fish produce nutrients for the plants.
A community class inspecting the fish.
The completed system ready to produce.
Ready for harvest.
A reliable source of protein.