Home Aquaponics - Best Reasons to Venture
Aquaponics is a gardening and food production method that combines aquaculture and hydroponics. Essentially, it creates a mini eco-system of plants and fish where the plants feed from the waste products of the fish and the fish get the benefit of clean, pure water from the plants natural filtering systems.
What you might not know is that there is another beneficiary in this symbiotic relationship, you!
Setting up a home aquaponics system has numerous benefits including saving you time and money, as well as improving the health of your family and the planet! Here are Aqua Gardening's top 10 reasons why you come out a winner with aquaponics.
Top 10 Reasons to Venture into Aquaponics
- Eat organically
With aquaponics, because you are feeding your plants with the natural waste from the fish, pesticides and fertilisers are not needed- in fact, they can be harmful to the whole system. Say goodbye to scrutinising labels in the grocery store and forget about those suspiciously overpriced tubs of basil. Your home garden can be a source of organic herbs and vegetables for the whole family!
- Save time
These days we have less free time than ever. It's probably not that surprising, but over 80% of people check work emails outside of work hours and have 3 hours less free time per day than the average person ten years ago. Aquaponics will save you time because the system does not require any weeding, fertilizing, watering or spraying! Unlike traditional gardens, aquaponics requires minimal maintenance so you can concentrate on the email that your boss sent you about a tweet that he wants you to put on Facebook.
- You can make money
Because aquaponics is such an efficient way to grow food, many people find that they have much more than they need. You can sell excess vegetables, herbs and even fish to earn a little extra money for yourself or your family. Make sure that you check the regulations in your country or state and find out if you need a licence to do this.
- You can save money
As well as reducing the amount of money you spend at the grocery store, aquaponics involves relatively few maintenance costs. Once your system is up and running, you will only need to buy fish food, which you can find in our store for less than $20 a kilo.
- You don't need a backyard
Many people would love to get involved in home gardening, but are put off by the fact that they don't have a huge yard. With traditional methods, you certainly need a lot of space, but aquaponics is much more versatile. With these systems you can grow food in basements, on balconies, in sheds, on rooftop gardens - basically anywhere!
- Water restrictions? No problem!
Aquaponics uses an absolute minimum of water, in fact as little as 5% of the water needed for a normal veggie patch. This means it can be grown in areas with water restrictions and is perfect for places that are perpetually dry or have infertile soil.
- No back pain
Because you can grow your vegetables at waist height, or indeed any height that is easier for you, you will never strain your back harvesting from an aquaponic garden. This makes it a perfect hobby for people with chronic back problems or physical disabilities, pregnant women and elderly people.
- 70% less energy
For those concerned about their carbon footprint, aquaponics is the way to go. By switching from a traditional garden to an aquaponics system you can reduce your energy consumption by 70% and produce a larger variety of food which will reduce the need for you to buy items that have been shipped in from Timbuktu!
- Make friends with your neighbours
One important and often overlooked benefit of aquaponics (and hydroponics too) is that because it is accessible to everyone, it has the potential to strengthen communities. Why not start a food co-op in your local area, create an urban or edible garden at school, or even participate in a farmer's market or food hub.
- Less waiting
For the impatient gardener, aquaponics is a perfect system. Ordinarily, crops such as lettuce take up to two months to grow and tomatoes can take as much as five months. Your aquaponic crops have access to nutrients 24 hours a day and none of the precious food is wasted on weeds or trapped in the soil. This means that your delicious homemade salad can be on the table in less than half the time.
Take a look around the Aqua Gardening site for more articles about aquaponics and details about how you can build one at home. Do you have an aquaponics success story? We'd love to hear about it! Please send us your experiences and let us know about any great benefits of aquaponics that we haven't mentioned here.