The Ultimate Guide to Hydroponics, Aquaponics – What are they and which on is better?

Over the years, technology has evolved and revolutionized in almost every field. Our perspective towards life as well as the world has drastically changed with the rise in technology. This tech-savvy world has almost brought our resources and tools at fingertips. But that is not it, technology is not just refrained from work or games it is much more than that. It is drastically impacting our lifestyle and well-being. Hydroponics and Aquaponics is the latest example of use of technology in an eco-friendly, natural, organic and sustainable way.

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As the world continuously tries to evolve in various sectors like health, so are the gardening techniques. Hydroponics and Aquaponics are few examples of gardening methods that are drastically being adopted by people. Probably, because these techniques can yield much more than the conventional method of soil gardening. Now Let us have a close look at what these techniques are and what they can offer to us.

 What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is an organic gardening method in which plants are grown in liquid, sand, coconut fiber, clay, gravel or any material that supports plant growth other than soil. Water carries the nutrients to the roots which are increased along with liquid plant food. All in all this method uses water and chemical nutrients to cultivate the plant.

Benefits of Hydroponics:

  • No use of soil which ultimately results in saving space and other issues like weed growth, pests, and other soil-borne diseases.
  • Faster growth, higher yields, and better quality crops.
  • Water conservation because hydroponics uses 90% lesser water than traditional methods of gardening.
  • Nutrient levels can be controlled which results in less requirement of nutrients.
  • Can be grown all around the year.

What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics combines the technique of aquaculture with hydroponics. Aquaponic is a balanced ecosystem in which fish and plants are in a symbiotic relationship that mutually benefits the plants as well as the fish. Just like, hydroponics growth media and pumps are used in this process, but Aquaponics uses organic fish waste as a nutrient for the plants.  Plants naturally help in cleaning out the water in aqua tanks, so it requires less cleaning and maintenance. Aquaponics is widely used across Australia as an organic method to cultivate so many plants and crops.

Benefits of Aquaponics:

  • No additional nutrients need to be used as it uses organic waste produced by the fish as a fertilizer.
  • The organic fish waste can easily be disposed using the drain and can also be used in composting.
  • The natural system easily balances out and does not require much maintenance. Only periodic checking of pH, nitrate and ammonia levels is required.
  • Can be grown all around the year.

 Which one is better?

Both systems work well as they are organic and have advantages over the conventional methods of soil gardening. However, Aquaponic seems to be more beneficial in production as well as is suitable in various environmental conditions. In Aquaponic system plants grow rapidly and the yields are better. The overall system also produces fish that benefits as an additional income, and it works on feeding the fish which is cheaper than feeding the plants. It also saves water due to recycling nature as compared to hydroponics.

From a commercial point of view, Aquaponic culture has a stronger exposition than its counterpart hydroponic. But for a gardener, it is more subjective whatever is suitable you can choose, as both are organic methods of gardening.

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