Introduction to Aquaponics

What is Aquaponics?

  • It is a means of growing food.
  • It is a combination of two food production processes:
    • Aquaculture – the process of raising fish in a monitored environment.
    • Hydroponics – the process of growing plants in a water-based, rather than a soil-based, system.
  • By combining these two processes, aquaponics is able to produce a wider variety of products to satisfy the average human dietary needs while improving the efficient use of resources, particularly water.

How Does Aquaponics Work?

  • Like all natural ecosystems, aquaponics is made up of several smaller components working together to achieve balance.
  • Aquaponics relies on three fundamental components in order to work successfully:
    1. Fish – the fish are the nutrient providers of an aquaponic system. Their organic waste contains the nutrients needed for plants to grow.
    2. Bacteria – aerobic (oxygen-loving) bacteria exist in a system to convert the organic waste of fish into nitrates and other fundamental molecules. These molecules are the foundational sources of nutrients and energy needed by plants to grow.
    3. Plants – plants collect the nitrates and other nutrients in the water.

How Does Aquaponics Benefit Me?

  • Aquaponics uses less water than any other growing system, including traditional farming, gardening, and even hydroponic systems.
  • It also uses less space.
  • It enables food production anywhere. Since you’re growing in a soil-free, controlled environment, you don’t need fertile soil or ideal conditions to produce high-quality food.
  • Even food labelled as “organic” is subjected to chemical spraying. But fish are sensitive, and can’t handle most chemical sprays. That’s why aquaponic systems don’t use chemical sprays. This means you can produce your very own, better-than-organic food!
  • You produce both produce and protein for consumption.
  • It empowers the individual to have control and stability over food production.