Unlike hydroponics, which basically just uses a chemical bath for the plants roots to save water and maximize plant growth, aquaponics helps feed people twice over. Not only do you grow plants with this system, but you can also grow fish.
Given that the global the human population has a growing need for protein, this comes as great news. Indeed, fish are an amazingly rich source of protein. Humans need lots of protein and sadly, current food systems are simply stretched to the limit.
There is simply not enough grazing land for cattle, sheep, and goats. Pig and chicken farming are notoriously noxious. It’s no wonder that even the United Nations is urging people to load up on protein by eating insects (BBC News, 13 May 2013). Still, this highlights the ‘protein crisis’ that’s looming.
It would be great to have a system where you not only make the water cleaner, but you also grow plants and fish at the same.
Waste is Cleared Naturally
Aquaponics is built on the fact that fish produce waste. Instead of just filtering this waste and dumping it out into a river, which can lead to all sorts of headaches such as oxygen depletion – aquaponics actually recycles fish waste.
In this context, the liquid manure that fish producer on a twenty-four hour, seven-day basis forms the foundation of the system. The system would not work without fish producing excreting in the water.
When fish relieve themselves in the water, it releases ammonia. To most people, ammonia smells nasty. The longer you keep it in one area, the longer it breaks down, and the smell gets stronger and stronger.
The good news is that there is naturally occurring bacteria that breaks down ammonia into a form that is usable by plants. When plants suck out that the nitrates from the water, they actually clean the water and this makes for an amazing all-natural water management system.
There are no artificial filters needed. There’s no need to pump all that water or bury the waste. You don’t have to worry about any of that because you’ll just be letting Mother Nature work her magic.
Requires Less Space
Another great thing about aquaponics is that it maximizes limited space. Since you can build a tall fish tank with proper tubing and pumps, your aquaponics setup doesn’t have to take up much real estate. You can even set it up vertically so that the plants on the outside of the tank get sunlight while the fish inside the tank get shade.
Easier to Fix If Something Goes Wrong
Another great thing about aquaponics is that it’s very easy to troubleshoot. Normally, such systems are modular in nature.
Most aquaponics operations aren’t built on a large-scale basis on day 1. Generally, they start out much smaller and then once they have optimized their operations and the entrepreneur behind the outfit is sure that they can reach certain ROI targets, they then scale up.
This modular nature is not just great in terms of financial planning, but it also makes the whole system easy to troubleshoot. You check for things like pH levels, pump pressure and water levels and you are pretty much good to go.
These points mentioned above show why aquaponics is probably one of the best forms of agriculture that’s not only environmentally friendly, but also self-sustaining and creates more produce than other methods in the same amount of space.
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