Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Aquaculture and Aquaponics Work Well Together

Aquaponics and Aquaculture 

Both Aquaculture and Hydroponics are becoming the latest means to produce food in response to an increasing population and dwindling natural resources.


Recirculating Aquaculture Systems, (RAS) aquaculture is that fish produce waste that has a negative impact when disposed directly into the environment. Hydroponics also disposes salt-laden wastewater into the environment. Hydroponics also depends on fossil fuels to generate nitrogen and requires limited resources like phosphate so it is NOT as sustainable of a technology. 

In Aquaponics, fish waste is constantly removed from the system, and if we balanced the nutrient output of the fish with the nutrient uptake of the plants, no water exchange is needed and only supplemental Calcium and Potassium buffers and iron are required.

This equates to the use of 90% less water than normal RAS-based fish farm systems

This equates to the use of 90% less water than normal RAS-based fish farm systems so it is more water and eco-friendly. It has been clearly demonstrated by Lennard and Savidov that fish grow just as well as any other fish system and plants grow at the same yield and at the same rate as they do in standard hydroponics. In fact, plants encounter less disease than in a sterile hydroponic environments because the 100s of beneficial microbes in Aqiaponics that are present act more or less like a probiotic for plant health.

If one uses science to analyze the water chemistry it can be precisely controlled and optimized. Unlike hydroponics, conductivity build-up or drop-off doesn’t occur and instead it stays constant since the nutrients get renewed every time the fish get fed and the plants constantly use those nutrients and grow. Therefore since Aquaponics can yield fish and plants with zero environmental impact (AND) with more efficient water use, it wins hands-down.

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