Curious as to what's involved in an aquaponics system? This week we'll cover the basics and benefits.
Aquaponics is a form of sustainable agriculture that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals, such as fish, in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water.) In this system the waste from fish becomes food for plants that clean the water for fish.
In order for an aquaponics system to function there are three critical components fish, bacteria, and plants. Each of these components support and sustain the others creating an ecologically sustainable closed loop system (a system that operates independently of matter exchanged beyond the system), except for water and energy inputs equivalent to those needed to run lightbulb. In a permanent system rainwater could be captured and diverted in the system, while a small solar panel could provide energy, creating a true closed loop system!
What are the benefits?
Decreased Chemical Inputs -- It’s Organic!
- NO fertilizer (fish instead)
- NO pesticides (they’d kill the fish)
- NO herbicide (easy to weed, less weeds grow)
Decreased Mosquitos (fish eat them)
NO E. coli risk-- unlike manure fish waste can not carry E. coli because fish are cold blooded
Look for our post next week on the fish in our system and how they contribute!
Curious to learn more? Mark your calendars and come check us out (and lots of other awesome projects) at the CEMUS fair on May 24th.