What is Aquaponics?
Simply put, Aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics (growing plants in a soil-less, nutrient rich solution) and aquaculture (growing fish). It takes the best of both these
worlds, and produces a far superior vegetable yield in a fraction of
the time. This without using any chemicals, AND using less energy than a
light bulb. Attach one of our solar panels to your system and you are
producing food "off-the-grid" in your own backyard. No
matter what the price of oil or electricity becomes, you have the
incredible satisfaction of sustainably growing your own fish for
protein, and organic vegetables for health.
Here's how Aquaponics works
The problem with conventional Hydroponics
food and excrete ammonia. Certain naturally occurring bacteria then eat
the ammonia and produce nitrites, then nitrates. Plants connected to
the system then absorb the nitrates and experience explosive growth due
nutrient-rich (nitrogen) water absorption. While doing this, the plants
the water (a natural bio-filter). The clean water
then goes directly back into the fish tank ready to be "re-fertilized".
It is a closed loop system in which all you add is fish food. It's that
simple. Ever looked at what natural fertilizer is made of?
In Hydroponics, nutrient-rich water is delivered to the vegetables and plants by some method of synthetic irrigati
The solution is usually delivered to the plants with some sort of pump
that produces the mixture to the roots of the plants. Excess
nutrient solution is usually drained back into a reservoir which is
periodically emptied, the old nutrient solution discarded, and a fresh
nutrient solution re-mixed. This is time consuming and very expensive.
Additionally, water and nutrients are wasted. Why does this need to
happen? The plants deplete the nutrients in the solution as part of their normal growth. This
is one of the main problems with Hydroponics. It is not sustainable in
that you must keep adding nutrients to keep the cycle going.
The problem with conventional Aquaculture
In Aquaculture fish are raised in ponds, lakes, or tanks from when
they are young "fingerlings" until they grow to a size that is suitable
for consumption. After they are fed, their waste passes
into the water which contains very high concentrations of ammonia and
nitrites, which are toxic to the fish. To combat the build up of these
toxic chemicals, the water in the tank is either passed through an
expensive filter or just dumped out. Depending on the size of the tank
and the fish, this can result in a substantial waste of time and water.
Again, the problem with this practice is that continually adding fresh
water to replaced the waste water requires large resource inputs and
energy. It too is not sustainable.
An Aquaponic System simply duplicates what nature does, in a
controlled environment. With one of our turn-key systems, fish waste rich with
nutrients, are gently pumped out of the fish tank and into a plant
trough and then drained back into the fish tanks. The plants absorb the
rich nutrients and filter the water for the fish. With an ebb and flow"system, the cycle of the water flowing through the system
repeats itself several times each day keeping the roots moist and
aerated. With a "deep raft" or constant flow" system, water is pumped
and drained (cycled) continuously.
That's how nature does it. This happens using very little energy. In
fact, less than a single 45 watt light bulb. Hook that to a small solar
panel and you are off-the-grid and totally self-reliant.
The net results are large quantities of food, high in plant nutrients and protein, grown in your backyard using little or no energy.