Aquaponics can be defined defined as a sustainable food production system that combines traditional aquaculture with hydroponics, with effluent from the water being used as nutrition for the plants. Despite the technical sounding nature of the description and etymological origins of quaponics, a rudimentary DIY aquaponics system is very easy to install by someone with basic skills in their own backyard or property. Complete kits are also sold that come with all basic growing tubs, plumbing systems and pumps if you prefer to get your start with a complete turn-key system.
For self sustenance or off the grid living or just as an experiment in natural life cycles aquaponics is a compelling field for the hobbyist or serious forward thinker interested in sustainable farming practices. Latest Books on Aquaponics
Aquaponics is a beautiful combination of two main sciences, one being the aqua part which is short for aquaculture part and is the raising of fish and other aquatic creatures mainly to be used for food for human consumption and the 2nd science is the hydroponics part which is for growing plants without soil. All aquatic effluents contain uneaten feed and waste from the raising of fish, shrimp or other entities which normally accumulate in water due to these being closed-systems . But now they are used as a naturally recirculated fertilizer and stimulant that makes the aquaculture system work in a near ideal cycle. Without plants the effluent-rich waters would become toxic to the aquatic animal in high concentrations but these high concentrations of compounds contain nutrients essential for plant growth and thus become the fuel that propels the system instead of a toxin that damages the system.
All aquaponics systems are usually grouped into several components or subsystems responsible for the effective removal of solid wastes, for adding bases to neutralize acids, and for maintaining water oxygenation. The complexity of each aquaponic system varies on the size and types of plants and fish grown. Decorative aquaponic systems can be used indoors or small herb growing goldfish tanks can be set-up in kitchens but even if it is a large scale system with hundreds of kilos of fish living in multiple tanks containing thousands of gallons the systems remain fairly uniform in concept.
Typical components include:
1. Growth tank: the tanks for raising and feeding the fish; 2. Settling tank: a unit for catching uneaten food and detached biofilms, and for settling out fine particulates; 3. Biofilter: a place where the nitrification bacteria can grow and convert ammonia into nitrates, which are usable by the plants; 4. Hydroponics subsystem: the portion of the system where plants are grown by absorbing excess nutrients from the water; 5. Sump: the lowest point in the system where the water flows to and from which it is pumped back to the rearing tanks.