A Geat Source of Organic Vegetables – The Aquaponics Agriculture
Aquaponics is a form of agriculture which allows the farmers to raise fish (aquaculture), vegetables and other plants (hydroponics) together in a recirculating system.
How does the aquaponic agriculture work?
One component of the aquaponic system is the aquaculture: the fish and the fish tank. The fish are provided with fresh water and food. As a natural consequence, the water from the fish tank fills with fecal matter and waste from the fish. This water filled with organic waste is treated with beneficial microbes and bacteria, which convert the waste matter into plant nutrients, then it is passed into the hydroponic system.
The hydroponic part assumes that plants and crops are grown in the nutrient-rich water passed into the vegetables beds from the fish tank. Over time, the water is used by the plants, loses its nutrients and is riddled with plant waste. The depletion of nutrients from the water from the vegetable beds becomes usable for the fish, so it is pumped back to the fish tank and the recycling process begins again. An aquaponics system works on the continuous recycling of water between the fish tank and the hydroponic bed, thereby minimizing the requirement for water or fertilizers.
What are the advantages of the aquaponics system?
- It minimizes the production of waste, both from the fish tank and from the plants.
- It allows growing crops in areas that have water shortages. Only the water from the evaporation and plant transpiration is lost.
- Because the plants are not growing in soil, this system can be implemented in any kind of environment.
- Aquaponics systems also remove the dependence on fertilizers or pesticides for the cultivation of crops.
Are the aquaponic vegetables organic?
Both the vegetables and the fish are organic. The system does not allow any cheating: the use any chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers for the plants, causes the death of the fish. Even the approved organic pesticides can kill the fish, so the aquaponics farmers are forced to be honest.
The most popular fish grown in aquaponics projects are: tilapia, barramundi, Silver Perch, Eel-tailed catfish or tandanus catfish, Jade perch and Murray cod.
The most profitable vegetables grown in aquaponics systems are: green leaf vegetables (lettuce, spinach, Swiss Chard; Chinese cabbage); basil; roses; tomatoes; cantaloupe; bell peppers; beans; peas; watercress; taro; radishes; strawberries; melons; onions; turnips; parsnips; sweet potato, herbs etc.
The aquaponics farmers’ greatest benefit is that the amount of aquaponics vegetables is 8 times bigger than the amount of organic vegetables produced on the same area of ground/soil and their vegetables taste great: they taste sweet and are flavorfull.