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What is Hydroponics?

What Can You Grow Using Hydroponics?

What is Aquaponics?

The Kratky Method of Hydroponics

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What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the merging of aquaculture and hydroponics to create a system in which plants and fish develop a symbiotic relationship, resulting in healthy fish and edible plants.

What that means is water from a fish tank is fed into a hydroponic grow bed where the plants take up the nutrients and the water then returns to the fish tank.

Fish water is loaded with nutrients. The plants benefit from these nutrients, but the plants also 'scrub' the water, making it clean for the fish. Hence, the symbiotic relationship.

There's a lot of science behind aquaponics. The whole thing works because fish waste turns into ammonia and nitrates, which is fertilizer. Build up of this stuff in a fish tank kills the fish.

Plants, though, take up fertilizer and turn it into energy for growing, flowering and producing fruits. So if you send the water, filled with fish waste, to the plants, the plants will grow. And since the plants remove the ammonia and nitrates from the water, it's safe, once again, for the fish.

The water in the fish tank maintains a healthy pH balance, which benefits both fish and plants. And because very little "new" water is introduced into the system, it's an environmentally friendly way to grow plants and raise fish. Furthermore, there's no need to add chemicals to the system, because the fish and the plants do the work naturally.

One of the more challenging aspects of aquaponics is the actual construction of a system. A system requires fish and tank, pumps, tubing, inert grow medium, grow beds, more tubing, timers, pipes, and so on. Once the system is established, however, it's just a matter of simple maintenance.

Watch our three part video series on Aquaponics. Our system is set up outside, because we live in Phoenix, but the system could be used inside as well. If you have any questions, just ask either on the video comment section, or email us. We're glad to help.

Aquaponics: Setting Up the Fish Barrel

Aquaponics: How to Line a Grow Bed

Aquaponics: Setting Up the Aquaponics System

Article copyrighted: Shelly McRae
Reproduction of all or part by permission only. Contact shelly@justaz.com