How would you like to have a self contained garden right in your backyard, garage or kitchen? A garden that you would not have to pull weeds, deal with soil pests, fertilize or irrigate? A garden that grows delicious food very quickly and with minimum effort or expense?
Aquaponics is a relatively new term for most people. I first discovered it about a year ago and I have been watching this system develop. It has started to gain popularity with the home gardener as they concept has been downsized to not only fit in your backyard, but your garage or kitchen or basement. This container garden system had to be added to this website as the home aquaponics system continues to evolve and grow.
Click Here to learn Step by Step How to set up your own fish and veggie system with the Aquaponics for You guide.
In a nutshell, aquaponics is a sustainable food production method which combines aquaculture and hydroponics. The aquaponics system maintains a stable environment by using the special beneficial relationship between the fish and the plants.
Aquaculture is the science of raising fish in a tank. These tanks vary in size from large commercial fish tanks down to a small home aquariums. Hydroponics is the science of cultivating plants in water. These two methods complement each other and create an automated food production system.
How Does Aquaponics Work?
When you raise fish in a tank you need a filter system. Tank fish produce ammonia, algae, minerals and other by-products which need to be filtered from the water.
Plants thrive on the ammonia, algae, minerals and nitrates that the fish naturally produce. Now before you say “Yuck!” just think about it.
When you circulate the fish tank water through the hydroponics system and back into the fish tank you have an environment that complements and sustains both the fish and the plants. It’s a Win-Win for everyone.
Your plants grow faster and are healthier gaining a constant supply of rich nutrients from the fish. Your fish are happy to have their water filtered naturally every day.
Best Fish for Your Aquaponics System
In the larger, commercial systems, freshwater fish that are sold when they reach the appropriate size are the most common types of fish raised using aquaponics.
The most popular fish for larger home units and commercial systems is the Tilapia. Perch and catfish are also popular types of fish that are raised to eat.
Many people interested in the larger home aquaponics system do not want to keep fish that they would raise to eat. Instead they raise fish like the Goldfish and Koi to supply other people who are looking to stock their ponds.
The smaller home aquaponics systems use simple aquariums that are stocked with their favorite small aquarium fresh water fish. These fish are usually raised for the pure enjoyment of looking at.
Best Aquaponics System Plants
Since your plants grow twice as fast using this method, you can almost watch them grow. The plants that do very well using a hydroponic system are:
- Green leafy plants
- Basil, Tomatoes,
- And Many Others.
Benefits of a Home Aquaponics System
Besides having an abundant supply of fresh vegetables and fresh fish (if desired), there are numerous benefits to a Home Aquaponics System. Some of the advantages are:
- Low Cost
- Energy Savings of 60-70% less than regular farming
- Use only 2% of the water a regular farm would need to grow the same amount of produce
- No weeding
- No soil pests
- No digging in dirt, no compost, no tilling
- No pesticides, chemicals, herbicides or fertilizers (you don’t want to kill your fish)
- Easy to Maintain and operate. Minimum body stress as there is very little bending over and no kneeling.
- Small units take up very little space.
- A fully scalable system that you can start small and add on whenever you want to expand
- Produce up to 20 times the amount of organic produce than you would from a traditional garden of the same space.
- Natural and Organic Food Production System
I look forward to writing more about this fascinating self-contained mini farm adventure as more new exciting ideas come out. If you would like to learn more about home aquaponics systems there are several interesting communities on the Internet sharing ideas. I can only think of two reasons you would not be interested in this self contained food production idea.
- You don’t like Fish
- You can’t get past the idea of fish fertilizing your food.