Aquaponics is a sustainable method of farming that uses both water and sunlight to grow plants and fish.
Learn more about this new farming technique!
I have lost count how many times I have been asked to do a post on aquaponics. If you don’t know what aquaponics is, it is similar to hydroponics (if you don’t know what hydroponics is, Google is your friend!).
Aquaponics is an advanced form of aquaculture (the cultivation of aquatic animals) that utilizes a closed loop system of recirculating water and nutrients. This process creates a symbiotic relationship between the plant roots and the fish waste, allowing the plants to thrive while providing the fish with a clean environment.
The difference between the two is that with aquaponics you are not adding additional fertilizers to the water to feed the plants as you do with hydroponics. This is because in a separate tank on the system, you have some fish. Depending on the size of your system, these can range from small goldfish, right up to edible larger fish. The fish are fed standard fish food and it is their waste and any waste fish food which provides all the nutrients required for the plants to grow. In return the plants filter the water and keep it clean for the fish. This is all achieved by a pump that circulates the water around from the fish through the plants and back to the fish.
I am not sure I have done a great job of explaining how aquaponics works, but it does work very well and when done correctly, it achieves amazing results with much higher yields from crops and you can grow a lot in a very small space. With this in mind, aquaponics is starting to become very popular with preppers and people who want to be more self-sufficient, but who don’t have the land to grow crops in the conventional manner.
Anyway if you are interested, check out the post about building a low cost aquaponics system from 5 gallon buckets (from Five Gallon Ideas). They also have a better explanation about how it all works!