Monday, December 15, 2014

Aquaponics / Fishponics

Aquaponics / Fishponics - Hydroponics
Aquaponics (AKA Fishponics) is one of the few  more "organic" versions of Hydroponics. You can integrate Aquaponics into almost any Hydroponics system. The difference between regular Hydroponics and Aquaponics is the introduction of fish into the nutrient solution reservoir. Instead of using a nutrients bought from the store, the fish in the reservoir are what produce the nutrients needed for the plants. This can make Hydroponics cheaper, and more organic at the same time. This is a great learning experience for children as well as adults. This method is by far my favorite. You are building your own ecosystem. You take care of the fish, the fish take care of the plants, and your plants take care of you!
Aquaponics is typically accomplished using Tilapia fish as they give very good results for proper amounts of nutrients for the plants. This can be accomplished with other fish, however make sure you do your research prior to thinking any old fish will do. This could become costly to you. By using Aquaponics, this does not mean you will be 100% organic. You may still have to add nutrients every now and again. You can make compost tea however, if your goal is to stay 100% organic, instead of using store bought synthetic nutrients. 

Remember that just because you use compost tea, and Aquaponics, that does not mean you are growing organic produce. Just make sure that if you want to grow "organically" via some forum of Hydroponics to read every stipulation on what "organic" is defined as in your state, and federally. 

Aquaponics Advantages: 
  • Great learning experience. 
  • You will use far less nutrients overall, which will save money in the long run.
  • Self sufficient. If the fish are happy, the plants should be happy. 

Aquaponics Disadvantages:
  • Large learning curve.
  • Must have knowledge on keeping fish (Tilapia) alive. 
  • More costly upfront. You may need lights for the fish, and your plants. Most people buy Tilapia, which is a cost, plus the fish tank to hold them. (Depending on how much ingenuity you have, or how worried you are about looks.) 

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