What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a food production technique that combines raising fish (Aquaculture) and hydroponics (growing plants in a soilless environment). Aquaponics uses these two in a symbiotic combination wherein the fish waste provides fertilizer for the plants. It is a recirculating system where the water containing fish waste is supplied to the plants, who in turn take up the nutrients and cleaning the water which goes back to the fish. In addition to plants and fish, microbes play an important role in an Aquaponic system by converting fish waste into a nutrients that roots can absorb.

Literally speaking, Aquaponics is putting fish to work! An Aquaponic system mimics a natural ecosystem, perfectly combining the relationship between water, aquatic life, bacteria, nutrient dynamics, and plants, with little to no outside intervention. Taking cues from nature, aquaponics harnesses the power of bio-integrating these individual components to create natural harmony.

Aquaponics is a big hope for sustainable organic crop production, aquaculture and water consumption. The fish waste is recycled and used for plant growth instead of draining off. Water too is recirculated, reducing consumption and wastage as compared to traditional farming. A few benefits of Aquaponics are listed below:

  1. Aquaponics uses 1/10 the water used in traditional agriculture.
  2. Plants and fish are grown in a symbiotic environment, increasing produce and reducing wastage.
  3. Aquaponics gives at least three times the yield in a given space as compared to traditional agriculture.
  4. No fertilizers/pesticides are used in Aquaponics because they get into the water and harm the fish. Aquaponics is inherently organic!
  5. Vegetables grown in Aquaponics are healthier, because of no additives and careful monitoring of all aspects of plant growth.
  6. Aquaponic systems are scalable. They fit most sizes and budgets, from small backyard systems to full fledged commercial ones.

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Ref image source: istock images