What is aquaponics and why is it important?

Aquaponics is an agricultural method in which fish and plants are raised in a shared environment, each species contributes to the development of the other and, as a result, food is produced. In more detail, fish in the aquaponic environment create waste, which bacteria then “eat” and convert into nutrients. Aquaponics is a sustainable and natural method of growing aquatic plants and animals. Promotes a symbiotic relationship between plants and marine animals, allowing small backyard growers and commercial growers to grow nutritious, organic crops and raise edible fish.

This solution provides all the nutrients important for plant growth. The most common method of soilless cultivation is hydroponics, which includes growing plants in a substrate or in an aqueous medium with bare roots. Aquaponic systems are sustainable and respectful of the environment, since there are no toxic waste or chemical emissions. Finally, aquaponic programs can help urban food producers increase food production.

This is possible by harvesting fish both for a source of protein and by producing new plants. Aquaponics is a completely natural process that mimics all of the Earth's lakes, ponds, rivers and waterways. The only part of the aquaponic system is fish food. Fish eat food and release waste products, which beneficial bacteria convert into nutrients that plants can use.

By digesting these nutrients, plants help purify water. Herbicides, pesticides, or other harsh chemicals are not used in the aquaponic program, making fish and plants healthier and safer to eat (8 farms using aquaponics to grow food sustainably, 202.In a nutshell, aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in water). Aquaponics combines these practices into a single system, creating a less wasteful setup for growing fish and plants. Tilapia is among the best candidates for aquaponic systems because of its tolerance to high population loads and overcrowding and its resistance to stress, disease, management and environmental changes.

During the primary data collection survey in Indonesia, several questions were asked about the social and economic impacts of aquaponics at the domestic level. They evaluated the water quality of the semi-intensive tilapia-pak choi (Brassica chinensis) aquaponic system on a small scale, with and without bacterial biofilter (BF and NBF) under tropical conditions. Because aquaponics leverages a closed-loop system that uses fish and plants together, the ability to produce nutritious crops is now available to everyone. Instead, an aquaponic system uses this residue of ammonia and nitrogen by converting ammonia into nitrates, which plants consume as their main source of nutrients.

Although the name implies water, aquaponics uses approximately 90% less water than traditional agriculture. Several studies have considered tilapia production in aquaponic systems, with promising results. The site selected for the aquaponic system must be stable, protected from winds and floods, exposed to direct sunlight, easily accessible and provided with the necessary services. Over the past decade, aquaponics has become one of the main techniques of sustainable agriculture that has gained popularity among environmental communities.

Aquaponic systems can be classified as an organic way of growing food because they allow producers to produce food in a sustainable way. This system is less expensive and easier to manage and more ecologically sustainable than the BF aquaponic system. The first forms of aquaponics were used about 1,500 years ago, in southern China, Indonesia and Thailand. Aquaponics is a simple, promising and sustainable food production technology, especially in developing countries and arid zones, where resources are limited, fresh water is frightening and populations are increasing.


Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

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