What Are The Various Benefits of Aquaponics For Sustainable Food Production?

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As compared to traditional farming, Aquaponics is the best sustainable food production system. Aquaponics is a modern way of approaching farming. It only needs water and fishes to grow healthy food every day.

 

Nowadays, Aquaponics gardening system is gaining popularity. There are so many people who are turning towards locally grown food. The food grown by this system is environmentally friendly. Many gardeners use Aquaponics in the form of their hobby but on the other side, this is the primary and supplementary source of income.

 

Aquaponics in Australia is an ecological and sustainable process of healthy food production without using soil. This process is the combination of aquacultures like snails, fish, crayfish, and prawns with hydroponics.

 

It is a system in which the waste produced by fish, snails and other animals supply bio nutrient to plants. Plants are grown hydroponically and purify the water for the fishes. Moreover, also create a perfect environment for the growth and development of fish.

 

Vegetables grown by Aquaponics system have many benefits let’s have a look! 

 

It is a great solution for healthy organic food production. They provide a great number of benefits in comparison to traditional farming.

 

Grow organic Food with No Wastage

aquaponics system is environmentally friendly. It is the easiest way to have fish and grow organic food on the table without any wastage. The waste nutrients of fish and other aquatic animals are absorbed by the plants. So, there is no need to discharge the water into the environment and prevent it from water pollution. In this process, fish lives in a healthy environment because the plants are grown in the Aquaponics system and they are purifying the water for the fishes.

 

Plants grow faster with better Taste 

You should choose this method, instead of using dirty chemical solutions for growing your crops. Aquaponics system uses highly nutritious fish waste. This waste contains all the ingredients and nutrients that are necessary for the growth of plants.

This is the reason, the food grown by this process tastes better and grow faster than conventional food. It is one of the simple and natural way processes.

 

Requires 90% less water than traditional farming

In traditional farming, the plants take a lot of water for growth and are deeply evaporated the soil. Aquaponics system makes use of 90% less water as compared to traditional farming. In this process, there is no need to waste water anywhere. You are using the same water all the time.

Moreover, you don’t need to change the water ever from the fish tank. Simply, you just need to add the little amount of water to the system of water evaporates that is used by plants.

Introduction to Hydroponics: The Future of Farming

The world population is increasing at an alarming rate so it becomes important to look for alternatives that are environmentally sustainable and friendly. So, it is clear that the need for food and product farming has increased and will continue to increase in the future. One of the best ways to achieve the future needs of foods and crops is “Hydroponics”. It is basically growing plants with the help of water (without soil). It is widely being used to cultivate a lot of plants in habitats that would help in sustaining them.Product Hydroponics

The idea of growing vegetable without soil is a type of agriculture in which plants are grown on beds or trays which are constantly fed with the nutrient solution for proper growth and culture. Product hydroponics is free from harmful pesticides, insecticides and harmful chemicals that can be extremely damaging for the body.

How does Hydroponics work?

Conventional farming methods involve the use of soil for cultivation to enrich the roots. However, in hydroponics, the use of artificial mediums and solutions that has ionic compounds helps in nurturing the plants. Many times plant growth is restrained because of environmental factors. A constant supply of water and nutrients makes hydroponic more efficient and productive.

Advantages of Hydroponics

  • More Productivity: By using nutrient solutions, heaters, artificial lights and other types of equipment ultimately provide the solution that increases crop production. This leads to increased yield, faster growth, and all year round production.
  • More environmental friendly: The best part of a hydroponic system is that the water can be recycled. Along with that, you save a lot of soil and land. No requirement of insecticides and pesticides makes it even better.
  • Suited for areas which are not feasible for traditional farming: Hydroponics growing beds or trays can be easily stacked anywhere. Almost, every condition can be controlled artificially.
  • An easy way for monoculture: Different types of crops can be grown at the same time. So the on-demand crops can be focused. You do not have to worry about crop rotation.

Disadvantages of Hydroponics

  • Cost for set-up is high: Setting a hydroponic farm can be quite expensive. All the equipments need to be purchased before setting the hydroponic farm.
  • Expensive running cost: Most of the control systems like pumps, heaters, water purifiers etc. need power supply which can be a little expensive.
  • Monitoring: Although hydroponic farms need less labor but hydroponic products need to be monitored from time to time, unlike conventional farming.
  • Expertise and skills: Hydroponics needs to be understood at first which means the farmer first needs to understand the idea behind hydroponics to get best results which is quite difficult to understand.

Product Hydroponics

Theoretically, hydroponics can be used to grow a variety of crops. But mostly the method is used to grow plants that can grow effectively under hydroponic conditions. Product hydroponics includes crops like lettuce, cucumbers, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, spinach etc. Disease resistant varieties are also popular with product hydroponic culture.

Here Are Some of the Advantages of Hydroponic Gardening

Almost every sector is taking the fullest advantage of developments being made in the technology. There are new gardening techniques being used which require fewer fertilizers and have more productivity. It is a kind of organic gardening in which plants are grown in a solution of nutrients, not in soil. There is a huge number of people buying hydroponics products to grow fruits and vegetables in areas where land is not fertile. It is a technique for growing healthy food with the minimum use of fertilizers and pesticides. Moreover, there is hardly any labor required. And, those who are using hydroponics products for growing food have not to worry about weeds. The nutritive value is under your control. This allows you to get better results in a brief span of time. Hydroponic gardens are simple and also very easy to maintain. You can have it in both outdoors and indoors.

Hydroponic Gardening

Here are some of the advantages of Hydroponic gardening:

  • Hydroponic gardening allows you to grow plants anywhere if you manage to meet all the requirements.
  • Traditional gardening requires a huge amount of water. In hydroponics gardening, you need only 1/20th of water used in traditional gardening.
  • No fertilizers, pesticides or any other chemical is required which makes it environment-friendly. There is no soil-borne disease that can damage your food. You are growing food in a controlled and disease-free environment.
  • Crops in hydroponic gardening grow two times faster than the traditional gardening. So, you can produce more.
  • The space required in hydroponic gardening is 20% less than the space required in traditional gardening for producing the same amount of food.
  • Water in traditional gardening is hardly reused. On the other hand, water is reused multiple times in a hydroponic gardening. This not only leads to water conservation but also makes food production less expensive.
  • Less labor is required to grow food in hydroponic gardens.
  • No soil setup and testing are involved in hydroponic gardening.
  • Plants grown in hydroponic gardening are healthier than plants grown in traditional gardening. Hydroponically grown plants have more nutritional value. For example, vitamin content in these plants is 50% more.
  • Harvesting is very easy in this type of gardening.
  • Don’t worry about the changing seasons. You can grow crops throughout the year.
  • Hydroponic gardening can be a relaxing hobby as it can relieve stress. Even your kids will love working with you.

So, it is clear that hydroponics is more productive and eco-friendly as compared to traditional gardening. If you want to produce food while enjoying quality time with your family, you can buy hydroponic products online.

Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid as an Aquaponics Grower

Undoubtedly, aquaponic gardens can provide you a great deal of delicious fish and fresh vegetables. The plants and animals in an aquaponic system have a symbiotic relationship. In this aquaculture and hydroponics combine to grow plants and fish together in one integrated system. The waste produced by farmed fish supplies the nutrients for plants grown and the plants provide a natural filter for the water.

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Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. If you are trying aquaponics for the very first time, the chances of getting stuck with aquaponics are too much. If you do a lot of mistakes repeatedly in your aquaponic system, you can lose fish and plants that you’ve cherished for weeks. So, it is important to maintain the health of both plants and fish. Have a look at the top 3 problems with aquaponics Australia and how to avoid them.

Top 3 common problems with Aquaponics Australia

Poor quality water

Starting with poor quality water is one of the biggest mistakes of first-time growers in their aquaponics system. The proper amount of acid, neutral and alkaline should be there in the water. In addition, Most of the people use fluoride and chlorine for the water cleaning process. Especially, Chlorine can be poisonous to fish. It is recommended that do not use tap water for your aquaponics system. If the tap is the only medium to provide fresh water, then you need to off-gas the water before letting the fish come in contact with. The proper pH for a productive aquaponics system will typically be in the range of 6.0-6.4. So you need to consider the quality of water for the growth of your aquaponics Australia system.

Too much fish in the tank

The second problem among those beginners is that they add too much fish in the tank. The quantity of fish you have in the aquaponics system and the size of the fish tank will affect the efficiency of your system. Having too much fish in the tank can provide many bad effects. Excess numbers can cause small fish to die; larger fish may feed on the smaller fish or over fertilization of plants. Plenty of fish waste can kill the plant as well. A general rule for a media based home aquaponics Australia system is to add one fish in every 20 liters of water.

Poor climate control

Temperature is one of the important factors that can make or break your aquaponics system. Make sure to keep a temperature in a range your fish can tolerate. Low sunlight can prevent plant to grow but excess sunlight can boil your fish tank. So, it is important to monitor your system frequently to ensure it stays within the range. You need to shade the plants in summer, especially if you are living in a very hot climate. Opposite to it, too little sunlight can cause many problems for your plants. You need proper sunlight in the winter for your aquaponics Australia system; otherwise, there are chances of plants withering away. Make sure there is proper lighting into your system design, and strongly monitor the climate of the tank so your fish and plants can grow perfectly.

 

A Brief Introduction to Six Hydroponics Methods

Most of the readers of this post might not be familiar with hydroponics. The term hydroponics was coined in 1937 by Gericke after he grew tomato vines in his backyard in a solution of nutrient without using soil. It is a subset of soilless culture which is a technique of growing plants without using soil. It is the use of nutrient solution which differentiates hydroponics from other soilless culture techniques.

Till now, following six hydroponics methods have been developed:

  1. Water culture: It is the simplest and least expensive method of hydroponics. A platform made up of Styrofoam holds plants. The nutrient solution is kept directly below the platform. This system consists of an air pump and an airstone. When air is supplied to the airstone; the airstone in addition to supplying oxygen to the roots also creates bubbles of nutrient solution.hx_shop_interior_montage1
  2. Wink system: This method of hydroponics makes use of capillary action to supply nutrient to the root. This system comprises of wicks, a reservoir and growing medium. Perlite, ProMixs, coconut fibre and vermiculite are the most popular growing mediums used in the wick system. Nutrient solution to the growing medium is supplied through wicks using capillary action.
  3. Flood and Drain method: This system consists of a timer controlled pump submerged in the reservoir, and a grow tray. The pump is used to flood the grow tray with nutrient solution and then drain it by drawing the nutrient solution back into the reservoir. In this system, it is required to use growing mediums which can retain more water. Coconut fibre, Rockwool, Vermiculite are the most suitable for this method.
  4. Drip system: Like Flood and drain method, drip system also consists of a grow tray and a timer controlled pump submerged in reservoir. The pump is turned on by the timer and nutrient solution is supplied to grow tray using drip lines. Recovery and non-recovery are the two types of drip system. In recovery drip system, the excess solution is reused. In the non-recovery drip system, the excess nutrient solution runs-off.
  5. Nutrient Film Technique:F.T. system consists of a pump (without any timer) submerged in the reservoir. This pump continually pumps the nutrient solution into the growing tray. This system uses air as growing medium.ez-aeroponic-clone-16-kit-complete_629520723 The solution flows over roots of plants without any interruption and then is drained back into the reservoir.
  6. Aeroponic: This system is quite similar to N.F.T. as it also uses air as growing medium. The root of a plant hangs in the air and is misted with nutrient solution. Roots being exposed to air are likely to get dried quickly. Therefore, misting is done for a few seconds after a few minutes using a timer controlled pump submerged in the reservoir.

Hydroponic Xpress and Aquaponics is the largest hydroponic shop, aquaponic warehouse and display centre in Perth where you can buy all hydroponic essentials at very affordable prices. Visit the website of Hydroponic Xpress to learn more about hydroponics.

Aquaponics Kit – Installation at Tuart Hill Primary School

Maurice van Aurich from Aquaponics WA explains the importance of using expanded clay in an aquaponics system and why round fish tanks are a better choice than square or rectangle. Expanded clay helps convert ammonia to nitrite then to nitrate which becomes available for healthy plant growth and in turn cleans the water to recycle back to the fish tank.