The Benefits of Aquaponics
The benefits of using an aquaponics system to grow food are becoming more important due to population growth making fresh water more scarce and pollution more prevalent within the world. Here are some of the reasons why aquaponics is such a hot topic.
- Fast Plant Growth
Providing nutrients and an oxygen rich environment for the roots of aquaponic plants makes them grow 3 times as fast compared to soil. The flavour of the plants is better too, as they have more time to focus on healthy growth rather than placing energy into extending their root system to look for water.
The fish you grow are free from pollution unlike many sourced from the sea. This goes for the vegetable and herbs produce too, you have control of what goes into the system. All the produce grown within an aquaponics system is important for a healthy lifestyle.
- Reduced Chemical Use
When an aquaponics system is setup within a greenhouse or insect mesh there are very few bugs to manage. Pesticides are extremely dangerous to fish, so they are not recommended for aquaponics. As chemicals can be introduced, you're guaranteed clean and non-toxic produce, completely organic (depending on where you live!).
- Food Localisation
An important benefit of an aquaponic system is that it produces fish and plants for the family or grower all year round without leaving their backyard. A family will save time and fuel without having to shop for the same items, and also use more healthy herbs and veggies in their cooking and green smoothies.
- Food Security
Many consider that one of the main benefits of aquaponics is having a replenishing food source at home. Owners can rest assured they will never go hungry, and they have fresh produce to barter with too.
- Reduced Water Use
Compared to soil gardening, aquaponics uses 90% less water. An aquaponics continuously recycles water through the plants and fish tank, so the only water lost is through evaporation from the fish tank (when uncovered), and from the plants via transpiration.
- Smarter Farming
Aquaponics reduces potential erosion by eliminating the need to turn or plough the soil. The backbreaking work of turning soil and pulling weeds is gone, reducing the cost compared to a conventional horticultural farm. Imagine gardening with your plants at waist height, now that is smart!
- Reduced Pollution and More Recycling!
Compared to conventional hydroponic growers, aquaponics provides almost all the minerals for plants and there are very few things to add apart from fish food. Water does not need to be released from a balanced system, which eliminates the pollution of waterways that may occur with the disposal of used hydroponic water.
Compared to conventional Aquaculture, an aquaponics system has the benefit of reduced waste build-up in the system that causes the water to become toxic. Instead, an aquaponics system utilises this ammonia and nitrogen waste by converting ammonia into nitrates, which the plants then consume as their main nutrient source.
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