What is Aquaponics, and what’s the best way I can get started with it from home?
Aquaponics is a sustainable form of aqua gardening that combines aquaculture, the growing of fish and other aquatic creatures in tanks or ponds with hydroponic gardening, the cultivation of plants in nutrient rich water.
This hybrid system is nature’s way of encouraging growth: aquaponic tanks are populated with fish that consume food, produce waste, and release tons of beneficial natural nutrients like nitrogen into the water. Aquaponic systems don’t require large spaces or soil to grow crops – just two containers connected by pumps and pipes – so aquaponics can be done indoors, making it a great DIY project for small apartments and houses.
The first step to starting an aquaponic system from home is choosing what type of setup you’d like –whether pond aquaculture or tank aquaculture – then purchasing the necessary equipment such as an aquarium, a suitable growbed, pumps, growing media and water testing equipment.
To operate indoors you will also need to purchase grow lights for providing the plants with adequate lighting. Once everything is together, managing your aquarium-garden hybrid won’t require more than few hours a month. But its application extends far beyond fun hobbyism: aquaponics can help fight hunger in urban areas due to its efficient use of resources while allowing us to develop our understanding of ecology on a much deeper level.
Julian ElderAqua GardeningOperations Manager