Introduction to Aquaponics
Hydroponics and aquaponics are very similar in every way except hydroponics requires the addition of fertilizer and there's no fish in the nutrient solution.
In aquaponics, plants and fish live a symbiotic life with the fish feeding the plants, and the plants cleaning and filtering the fish's environment.
The fish waste becomes the plant's food source, consequently, the plants' roots filter the water and keep the tank clean. In essence, aquaponics could be considered a miniature ecosystem because both plants and fish are thriving in the same environment.
Aquaponics offer benefits to both Gardener's and Fish Farmers. Fish Farmers may utilize aquaponics if they have difficulty disposing the nutrient rich fish water, while hydroponics growers benefit from having a constant supply of free plant food - eliminating the need to purchase commercial fertilizers.
Unlike hydroponics or aeroponics, aquaponics is still a relatively new cultivation technique. As more technology is developed and the process is refined, it could potentially become a space and money saving process for producing fish, vegetables and herbs.
In hydroponics and aeroponics applications, the nutrient solution needs to be prepared - measured, mixed, and then added to the reservoir. In aquaponics, there's no mixing fertilizer involved, making it a great way for beginners to cultivate plants. Only the fish needs to be fed.
The number of commercial applications utilizing aeroponics is still very limited. A number of universities globally are currently exploring the science of aquaponics to advance this extreme cultivation technique. Aquaponics is currently being used in areas where the fish population is declining and/or their food supply must be imported.
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