It's very simple: Aquaponics is an eco-system that provides nutriments to plants with the help of mineralized water provided by the fertilization of fish - when the water reaches the plants, it returns to feed the fish. Aquaponics creates a natural microbiome ecosystem
For some this answer is satisfying with its simplicity, but to others there are many more questions that follows it. Here are few questions & answers that we believe are going to be helpful to better understand Aquaponics.
How is Aquaponics organic?
Aquaponics creates a microbiome ecosystem that allows the making of natural microbes which then helps the nutrient absorption and disease resistance in our system with the help of the recirculation of the mineralized water.
Any use of fertilization or pesticides could not only harm the system itself but reduce the number of healthy microbes that provides food for both the fish and greens. The microbiome environment Aquaponics offers is considered organic due to its natural ecosystem and lack of possible diseases found in soil.
How is Aquaponics sustainable to the environment?
Aquaponics is considered sustainable to the environment for many reasons including:
We recycle up to 90% of our water – 10% is due to evaporation and plant consumption.
The lack of fertilizers and chemicals provides a safer environment for organic compost.
All produce is free of pesticides and herbicides.
Our fishes are free of growth hormones and antibiotics.
Produces both a protein and a vegetable crop in a natural stress-free environment.
Eliminates soil affected by soil borne diseases which could transfer to the produce in growth.
An aquaponics greenhouse can grow about 6-8 times more food per acre compared to traditional agriculture.
How is using a cold-blooded animal in the Aquaponics system a better outcome than warm-blooded animals?
Aquaponics uses a cold-blooded fish such as the Nile Tilapia as a fertilizer for the plants which provides the nutrients to convert faster than warm-blooded animal fertilizer. Fish; if nursed in a safe and clean environment, does not contain any growth hormones, no mercury or antibiotics and being cold-blooded; free from diseases such as E. coli.
How is Aquaponics changing the overall aspect of agriculture?
Aquaponics is changing the overall aspect of agriculture due to it’s organic, sustainable and innovative outcome. Aquaponics provides the possibility to avoid harsh traditional farming methods by focusing on being more biological and environmentally friendly.
Traditional farming needs to somehow supplement their soil overtime which could eventually be harmful for the soil and the watershed. It also needs a lot more acres of soil compared to the capacity of produce an aquaponics greenhouse could contain. Traditional farming needs to also deal with outdoor pests, weeding, droughts, excessive water consumption and evaporation, acres of produce loss, expensive machinery and manual labor, etc.
Aquaponics however eliminates the causes that makes traditional farming sometimes a cruel environment to maintain.
How is Aquaponics eliminating soil borne diseases?
Aquaponics eliminates the possibility of having any soil borne disease that could affect our produce because we do not use any soil.
Soil borne diseases include young seedlings decaying in the soil before making it’s appearance above it, plant roots affected by fungi which interferes with the water supply and nutriments consumption, unsegmented worms which also invades the roots and many more diseases that can allow typically large amount of losses and lack of sustainability for the environment.
What are the types of produce you can grow in an Aquaponics system?
Aquaponics can grow almost every type of produce in its system, such as:
Most common: Leafy Greens – Many types of salads & Herbs
Peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, radishes, carrots, green onions, etc.
Flowers and edible flowers
Strawberries and even tropical fruits such as bananas, limes, oranges, mangoes.
How much water is being used in the Aquaponics system compared to a traditional agriculture farm?
Aquaponics holds a large amount of water in order to maintain the space needed for the produce to grow in specific systems and greenhouses, but due to it’s ability to re-use the water in a recycled system, the amount of water used and lost due to evaporation and plant consumption is not comparable to the amount of water needed to maintain acres and acres of crops in a traditional farm.
Traditional farming that requires a significant amount of spraying water can use 40-200 litres of water during each application and loose 60% due to evaporation on extreme hot summer days. Rain can help alleviate the amount needed of application for an outdoor garden but allows the possibility of root suffocation and the consumption of air pollution and chemicals.
How much energy in lighting does one aquaponics farm use compared to the natural sunlight used to sustain a traditional agriculture farm?
Aquaponics is necessary to grow indoors because of the required environment it needs to create a natural ecosystem. In terms of growing indoor, the necessary costs of lighting are controlled with the possibility of using the right tools such as using a greenhouse made from Polycarbonate which allows the natural sunlight to provide heat and photosynthesis for the plants, utilization of LED lighting and timer automation.
There are many ways to obtain a sustainable environment by making small changes to obtain environmentally friendly results. Even though traditional outdoor farming does not require any energy costs, the sustainability Aquaponics offers for the environment in other departments is much greater than the capabilities traditional farming can obtain, due to many factors listed below.