Aquaponics is a sustainable form of aquaculture and agriculture widely promoted by entrepreneurs, educators, individuals, and the government at large. The idea is to produce more food using less land, water, and labor, as opposed to traditional farming practices.
It involves raising fish in tanks to improve the results of hydroponics (land-less agriculture). It optimizes the symbiotic relationship between plants and fish, where the nutrient-rich water from the fish tanks provides the much-needed fertilizers for the plants, who in turn, help purify the water for the fishes to survive.
Coming to the question of why you should employ Aquaponics in indoor farming, the answer can be found in the following explanations.
The growth is faster and better
With Aquaponics, veggies and other plants grow faster than usual, as there’s no dirty soil or chemical solutions to inhibit their progress. The fish waste contains all the important nutrients that are required for the plants to grow at an optimum pace. As the plants are grown in a soilless environment, they are also immune to soil-prone diseases.
The food produced also tastes better than conventional ones, as there are no pesticides involved to alter their taste and quality. These plants are also subjected to the nutrient-rich water for 24 hours, which is another reason for their high growth rate.
Less space required than traditional agriculture
When it comes to indoor farming, space is a primary concern for many people. As different plants have different nutrient requirements and absorption capabilities, it can be troublesome to grow them together in traditional farming methods. However, in the soilless system, you can raise different types of veggies together, as the water circulates throughout the system, meeting all their nutrient requirements.
It also requires less water
You may assume that as water replaces soil in the system, you may need more water than usual, but this is not the case at all. A large amount of water used in traditional farming practices evaporates or dries up on the soil, but in the aquaponics system, the water is recycled through purification and returned to the fish tank.
Only a negligible amount of water evaporates from the tank, thus minimizing waste. The plants take up a little, and the rest is recycled for use. You also don’t need to change the water, which is purified by the plants. All you have to do is add some water to substitute for the amount that gets evaporated from the tank and is absorbed by the plants.
You can raise some amazing fish
In this system, you can raise some amazing species that are also less-polluted than the ones caught from the sea. If you’re wondering what fish you can raise in the system, you can check the examples here for effective suggestions. Some of them, like trout and salmon, offer tremendous health benefits when served on a platter. You can even supply fishes for aquariums if you wish to open a side business of the sort.
The fishes also grow free from artificial hormones and antibiotics, making them inherently safer for consumption. With a well-maintained aquaponics garden, you can thus expand your business reach by supplying protein, vitamins, and nutrients for a proper diet.
The system is energy efficient
For a homeowner, it can be difficult to include additional energy expenditure for small-scale indoor farming practices. No worries! In the landless system, you can utilize any renewable source of energy like wind turbines, solar panels, and solar batteries, to derive power, as it consumes much less power than conventional organic farming.
You also don’t need non-renewable fuels and petrochemicals to boost growth, which depends only on electrical energy and that, can be sourced from anywhere. You can even develop your alternative energy source to power your indoor, landless garden without any hassle.
It’s less labor-intensive
Growing aquaponics at home has several advantages. It enhances the aesthetics of your home and exudes a beautiful, organic feel. As it involves much less labor than traditional gardening, even elderly people can take care of it. No stooping, bending, or straining your neck is required to maintain your landless garden, thus making it a suitable hobby for the elderly population.
This apart, you’ll be able to enjoy your production and lead a healthy life. These days, consuming food free from chemicals is one of the effective ways to strengthen your immunity and combat diseases. If you have a rich soilless garden of veggies and a tank full of nutritious fishes at your disposal, life will be ‘great’ in the true meaning of the term.
Reduces pollution and is sustainable
Unlike traditional farming, the soilless system doesn’t allow water to escape the controlled environment, thus preventing pollution to a great extent. You don’t need to add anything to the water besides fish food, which reduces waste build-up and stops the water from getting toxic. The ammonia and nitrogen waste produced by the fish is taken up by the plants, thus rendering the water free from waste and suitable for raising the fish.
Increased food security
For the people, who live on a strained income, this system is quite profitable for personal and business purposes. Food security is high, as you’ll be getting a regular supply of veggies and protein from the soilless garden. Besides, you can also sell them off to other organic food enthusiasts to increase your income.
It also doesn’t need you to break your banks to develop an aquaponics system in your backyard. Once the system is functioning properly, you can grow a range of food from leafy crops like lettuce, collards, cabbages, and cauliflowers to other edibles like pepper, beets, radishes, tomatoes, green onions and so on.
Wrapping it up
For creating an aquaponics system in your home, you need a fish tank with the right kind of fish to support your hydroponics system, a biofilter consisting of nitrifying bacteria, and a range of nitrate-consuming plants that grow vigorously under the influence of the right amount of nutrients. It’s inherently simple and way simpler than traditional farming and thus an apt way to grow organic veggies at home.