Why Do Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is an interesting subject for anyone looking to grow their own plants with the benefit of using fish as the nutrient source. A system can be as small as to have one on your kitchen bench using goldfish and growing herbs. To a larger system in your yard with silver perch growing lettuces, tomatoes, herbs etc. An Aquaponics system is made up of a tank containing the fish, and one or more grow beds for vegetable production.

The fish supply nutrients to the plants that are in a grow bed and the plants clean the water of the nutrients and the water then travels back into the fish tank creating a recirculating system. The fish water is pumped to the grow bed/s, using a system of pipes. The grow bed can be filled with gravel (flood and drain), clay pebbles or water (continuous flow). The fish water feeds the plants of which there is a huge range to choose from to plant such as  tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and green leafy vegetables, the water then returns to the fish tank preferably by gravity. The water that is returned to the fish tank is clean and ready for use by the fish, and so the cycle continues.

Aquaponics is suitable for a number of fish such as Barramundi, Bass, Jade Perch, Golden Perch, Silver Perch, Murray Cod if you are in Australia all of which are great to eat as well. Tilapia is the most common fish used in an aquaponics system outside of Australia.

So we have established that water is recirculated through the system, and you will need to add a small amount of water to compensate for what is lost by evaporation, and transpiration by the vegetables. Therefore Aquaponics uses only about 10% of the water required for traditional gardening or fish farming. Aquaponics is the future of home gardening and commercial fresh food production for any country.

Aquaponics is a balanced, self-contained eco system that works!! No chemicals are added or for that matter can be added to the vegetable part of the system as that would cause your fish to die. Garden pests can be kept to a minimum by housing the system in a green house or by using non toxic methods.

What are the benefits?

Compared with Hydroponics, Aquaponics does not need to use chemical nutrients for the plants,

as the fish waste provides these nutrients to the plants. Compared with Aquaculture, Aquaponics systems do not have a build-up of wastes in the system that causes the water to become toxic due to the nitrites. Aquaponics utilises this waste, with the bacteria in the grow beds converting the nitrites into nitrates, which the plants then consume as their main nutrient source.

Uses 10% of water used in conventional growing

No weeding or digging in the garden

Can produce fish and plants for the familly all year round.