- The quality of the food you buy in the grocery store ( I mean pesticides or GMO),
- Hormones and antibiotics contained in cultivated fish or heavy metals in sea fish. (read more…)
- The origin of the food; you would like to consume locally.
- Your community needs some projects for self-sufficiency.
- You have a limited space for growing food.
Don’t worry anymore, aquaponic gardening is the choice. Aquaponics appears like the easiest and sustainable way to produce fresh vegetables and fruits and, at the same time, to raise freshwater fish (and some others aquatic creatures).
With an Aquaponic System, you’ll be recreating the same process you found in a pond: fish will thrive in the closed freshwater system and produce the nutrients needed by plants. On the other hand, the plants will benefit from the waste products produced by the fish. As the plants feed on the nutritious soup within the system, the plants filter and clean the water, too.
Creating an aquaponics project in your garden, even just in an urban setting, has turn out to be a growing movement among households interested in self sufficiency, natural and organic living and who see the wisdom of saving money though supplying their own balanced nutritious and free of toxic meals”
In fact many aquaponic enthusiasts in several countries, have already experienced great success with creating sustainable aquaponic systems that regularly produce organic vegetables and tasty, freshwater fish -and other marine creatures-, in its two approaches: commercial farms or at home spaces.
Aquaponics is usually defined as a hybrid of two existing methods: aquaculture and hydroponics.
Aquaculture is the process of raising fish in closed systems. Hydroponics, on the other hand, endeavors to produce fresh fruits and vegetables using water alone.
It’s easy for a lot of people define Aquaponics as the result of combine these two older systems, but in my opinion Aquaponics is something different from hydroponics and the only point where they converge is they don’t use soil to make grow plants.
Hydroponics is a system for growing plants under highly optimized, frequently sterile, conditions. Aquaponics loves bacteria. Its maximum goal is creates a balanced ecosystem in which various living creatures, bacteria, fish, plants and inclusive worms, interact to create a beautiful symbiotic whole.
A Flexible System
Aquaponic systems are naturally flexible systems. A small aquaponic system can produce up to fifty kilograms of fresh fish every six months… and tons of organic vegetables.
If you want to sell organic vegetables, fruits, and fish, you can expand your operation to produce a higher target harvest. Of course, you’ll need more space and a more powerful water pumping system, but these are just one-time requirements of the system.
Once you have the expanded system in place, that’s it. All you have to do at that point in time is to maintain the system so all your plants and fish grow well. An abundant harvest from an aquaponics system means that the system is clean and enough attention has been given to it on a day-to-day basis.
A Plenty of Reasons to Undertake a Sustainable Aquaponics Project in your Home
Aquaponic gardening is a sustainable activity to produce food in your home. Some of the main reasons that support such a decision are:
- Aquaponics needs less than 3% of water used in traditional agriculture. This is a major advantage that directly helps the big problem of water shortage in the world. In Africa for example, where water is not enough for agricultural activities, aquaponic gardening gives every family the opportunity to survive producing their own food. Even in America water shortage is caused in high percentage by irrigation in agriculture.
- Indirectly, aquaponics supports reducing meat in your daily diet to replace it with fish protein you are raising. A typical beef burger can take 630 liters of water to produce. (Learn more about the water embedded in your food with National Geographic’s “The Hidden Water We Use” interactive.)
- Is purely organic. Any chemicals that may be placed on the plants will only harm the fish when the water is recirculated. This in turn also applies to any Hormones or steroids that a fish farmer may want to feed the fish, affecting the plants. Is important to note here that since aquaponics is a symbiotic and balanced ecosystem health is its ordinary status. More info about the fish you already eat here.
- Aquaponics also reduces the need for cropland diminishing the environmental footprint of crop production.
- This closed system greatly enhances the growth time of the plants. Growing times cut in half, sweeter more lush vegetables are grown with a fraction the cost and space that traditional farmers undertake.
- Organic fish feeds can also be used. With a small bit of effort you can grow food for your fish through vermiculture. By harvesting your own worms or grubs you can be assured that the fish you produce are the most healthful around. Thus the vegetables and fruits you grow will be as well.
- Aquaponics is a beautiful educational program for the kids. They learn how life thrive by engaging in the farming activities like feed the fish and observing any change within the environment.
So remember: Anyone can start their own aquaponic system. If you have the determination to give your family the best food you can find, Aquaponics is definitely right for you!