Aquaponic Systems

The most simple definition of aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish.

The third participants are microbes (nitrifying bacteria). These bacteria convert ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, and then into nitrates. Nitrates are the form of nitrogen that plants can uptake and use to grow. Solid fish waste is turned into vermicompost that also acts as food for the plants.

How Aquaponics Changed The Game

Waist-high aquaponic gardening eliminates weeds, back strain, and small animal access to your garden. Aquaponics relies on the recycling of nutrient-rich water continuously. In aquaponics there is no toxic run-off from either hydroponics or aquaculture. Aquaponics uses only 1/10th of the water of soil-based gardening, and even less water than hydroponics or recirculating aquaculture. No harmful petro chemicals, pesticides or herbicides can be used. It’s a natural eco system! Gardening chores are cut down dramatically or eliminated. The aquaponics grower is able to focus on the enjoyable tasks of feeding the fish and tending to and harvesting the plants. Aquaponic systems can be put anywhere, use them outside, in a greenhouse, in your basement, or in your living room! By using grow-lighting, anyspace can become a productive garden. Aquaponic systems are scaleable! They can fit most sizes and budgets, from small countertop herb systems, to backyard gardens, to full scale farms, aquaponics can do it all! And the best part – You get to harvest both plants and fish from your garden. Truly raise your entire meal in your backyard.

Instead of using dirt or toxic chemical solutions to grow plants, aquaponics use plants, naturally occurring bacteria, and the media plants grow in to clean and purify the water which is then recirculated into the fish tanks.

There are a few primary aquaponics systems in common use.

Vertical Aquaponics

One of the greatest aspects of aquaponics is its ability to grow an incredible amount of food in a very small area. No method does this better than vertical aquaponics. Plants are stacked on top of each other in tower systems. Water flows in through the top of the tower, and flows through a wicking material that the plants roots absorb water and nutrients from. The water then falls into a trough or directly into the fish tank. This form of aquaponics makes the most of each square foot of space, and works very well with leafy greens, strawberries, and other crops that do not require support to grow.

Dahui Aquaculture Blog