Aquaponics is described as a system of food production that involves a blend of aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) and hydroponics (growing plants through the use of mineral nutrient solutions). In aquaponics, the fish consume protein-rich food and then excrete ammonia-rich waste. The waste is then broken down and converted into usable fertilizer through specialized nitrifying bacteria.
This food production system can be applied for several uses. Some aquaponic units are formed in a few academic centers to educate the general public regarding techniques in sustainable agriculture. Other such units are for humanitarian relief efforts, including food security intervention.
The following list outlines the key benefits that aquaponics offers:
- Aquaponics uses 90% to 95% less water compared to traditional farming.
- The recycled water in aquaponics is perfect for growing in areas with little water or droughts.
- Chemical pesticide use is reduced to prevent cultivated fish from dying.
- Growing fish and plants are made possible indoors, so you mostly don’t have to deal with pests.
- Most plants cultivated in an aquaponic setting do not have antibiotics.
- You can gain from two income streams: fish and vegetables.
- Aquaponic produce is better tasting compared to those bought at the grocery store.