View Full Version : What is Aquaponics?

07-02-2009, 08:44 PM
The purpose of this thread is to give a basic overview of what aquaponics is for newcomers.

Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (raising plants without soil). It is a very advantageous fro a variety of reasons, and is the most water and land efficient way to produce food ever utilized by mankind.

In aquaculture, the biggest challenge is getting rid of fish waste and supplying enough fresh water to the fish. In a typical flow through system, water is diverted from a stream to a concrete channel, then back to the stream. This supplies the fish with constant fresh water, but the discharge is highly concentrated and will impact the stream's ability to support native life. Also there is no bio-security, the fish are exposed to any pathogens or harmful chemicals in the water. It is also basically impossible to use medications or affect the water parameters in any way.

In hydroponics, the biggest challenge is feeding the plants. Liquid fertilizers must be added consistently to the water supply. The amount of fertilizer must be regularly monitored and adjusted to have any hope of success. These fertilizers are typically made from non-renewable mined minerals, and are fairly expensive. While many large scale commercial hydroponic farms exist today, there is serious doubt that this technology a sustainable and reliable way to feed the world in the coming years.

Aquaponics is taking two difficult and complex disciplines, and combining them in a way that cancels out the negatives, and creates a self-balancing symbiotic loop.

In essence, you feed the fish, the fish feed the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish.

Any type of hydroponic system can be adapted to use fish waste. The most commonly used are fluidized media beds, floating raft systems, and nutrient film technique systems.

My interest in aquaponics is a hobby, with the goal to produce organic veggies and tilapia for a household. Some day I could see myself going into aquaponic production full time. At least it sounds more fun than swinging a hammer all day!

I don't know what else to say really, so please ask questions! Lets keep this conversation going. If everyone had one of these in their back yard, we would all be eating healthier and from a safer, more reliable supply.

07-02-2009, 08:46 PM
Very great, well written. It has answered my questions about aquaponics.
good write up, and should be stickyed!!!!!!!!!

07-02-2009, 08:48 PM
hmmm... perhaps it should be spell checked first!! Slow down Joe.(blush)

07-02-2009, 10:11 PM
wow love the write up very interesting considering i am just starting to research adding plants to my aquarium.. thumbs2:

07-02-2009, 10:25 PM
I can't even imagine setting up an aquarium without live plants anymore. They transform it into an enviornment, and provide a constantly changing background, while helping to clean the water and maintain stability.

The fish stay so much healthier and are less stressed. They have more hiding spaces, and tend to display more natural behaviors. Especially in a biotope tank. There is much more surface area for bacteria, and if done right, the plants will keep the algae in check.

Wild Turkey
07-02-2009, 10:30 PM
Great little write-up! Should get some people interestedthumbs2:

10-21-2011, 11:06 PM
What is aquaponics? It is a system that is self-sustaining and is also known as a closed system. It is a unique system that combines two systems that you may already have some knowledge about. These two systems are hydroponics and aquaculture.
Why is this "new" system so great? It works because the combination of both systems actually balances each other and makes a perfect eco system. With hydroponics, you can grow a multitude of fruits and vegetables like lettuce, potatoes, carrots or tomato's. With aquaculture, you can raise, Koi, White Bass, Catfish Bass, escargot, or crappies.
To completely answer the question "What is aquaponics?" you need to know about aquaculture too. Aquaculture is raising freshwater fish that the farmer harvests to eat or for income. In a closed system, the farmer must feed the fish and keep the water clean. If the water is not clean, the fish can become sick and die due to the high levels for waste, ammonia and/or other toxins in the water. In order to clean the water, it must be filtered.
To fully answer the question "What is aquaponics?" you need to understand the processes of using water to grow plants, the necessity of farming fish and how you can successfully combine them together.