Aquaponics or Hydroponics – Which Is Right for You?
Trying to decide whether to go with aquaponics or hydroponics farming requires you to know about each type of farming and what the benefits of each are. By choosing one or both types of these sustainable solutions, you can start growing your own organic food and cut out the expensive grocery stores, pesticides, and gas prices.
Hydroponics gardening is a process where soil is replaced with a nutrient rich growing medium which is fed directly to the plants’ roots with a drip feeder. This system can be automated, making hydroponic gardening easy and affordable. It can also help your plants grow faster by simply adding more of the growing medium of your choice. Using a hydroponic garden, you can grow vegetables the whole year. Time and money is saved by taking out the middle man, in other words the grocery stores. Instead of running to the store for a tomato, you can just go pick one from your very own indoor hydroponic garden!
In hydroponics gardening, plants that would normally grow directly in soil, such as bulb rooted plants, do not benefit as much as plants with thin, spider-like roots. To solve this issue, you would first grow the bulb rooted plant in a pot or outside and let it sprout to approximately a quarter of an inch. Then you can transplant it into your hydroponic garden.
Aquaponics, on the other hand, requires the use of aquaculture. Aquaculture is also known as aqua farming. It consists of the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, mollusks, and aquatic plants, both saltwater and freshwater, under controlled conditions. Aquaculture makes it possible to raise these types of aquatic organisms without mercury and free of human waste or oil spills.
Aquaponics provides sustainable solutions to food production. It is a system that combines traditional aquaculture with hydroponics in a synergistic environment. During the process of aquaculture, fish waste accumulates in the water, which increases the toxicity for the fish. This water is pumped or drained into the hydroponic system and is used as the hydroponic growing nutrients by the plants. The purified water is then re-circulated back to the aquatic organisms.
Aquaponics systems and hydroponic systems can be used as a small urban farming tool for a family or a community, or they can be large commercial farms. Both ways use the same type of system. Both hydroponic and aquaponic systems can be automated, requiring less work, less cost, and less waste.
In these hard economic times where small farms hydroponic farming are losing money to big businesses, why not grow your own food? Some benefits of either system you choose include: low maintenance, fresh, organic food right at your fingertips, the option to sell your food and make money, and are Earth friendly by using less water and soil.
Start-up costs for either an aquaponics systems or hydroponics systems are much lower than a regular farm. You can have these systems almost anywhere including inside your garage, on a rooftop, or on your front lawn. You decide how much space you want to use, and there is always the option to increase or decrease the amount of space or food production you want to create. You can even grow vertically to really multiply your crops.