Using Aquaponic Systems To Grow Organic Vegetables
Aquaponic gardening is a highly efficient and ecologically friendly combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. It masterfully ties soil-free plant growth with the process of fish rearing to create a totally genius and fully integrated sustainable gardening system that is also virtually waste-free. Lets have a look at how users are able to utilize aquaponics systems in order to grow organic vegetables and answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about this innovative and environmentally intelligent method of gardening.
What exactly is an aquaponics system?
Simply put, aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. It allows users to simultaneously grow fish and plants side-by-side in a highly-efficient and symbiotic manner. To expand on this, hydroponics is a method of soil-free gardening that has many unique benefits. Aquaculture is the process of rearing fish. Combined, they create an aquaponics gardening system that will be highly efficient and utility-friendly. This method of gardening has recently been increasing in popularity among people searching for more sustainable gardening and fish rearing methods.
Are there any unique benefits offered by aquaponic gardening?
The short answer is, yes. A multitude of benefits can be reaped by engaging in the use of a system of this nature. Let’s look at a few of the main benefits.
Fresh food from home – One of the most important benefits of a system like this is its ability to provide users with fresh and healthy produce right in their very own homes. These systems are so compact, efficient, and ergonomic, that nearly anyone could use one potentially anywhere in the world. All that is really needed for a system to get started is a greenhouse or growing room and the system components. Organic vegetable gardening aquaponics system can be used by nearly anyone, anywhere.
Pesticide reduction – These systems are completely oil-free. This means fewer pesticides are needed as fewer insects are able to thrive in such an aquatic environment.
That makes for healthier produce and also reduces gardening costs.
Space-saving ability – These systems can save space and are often compact enough to be housed inside of greenhouses. They are much smaller than a traditional garden.
Extended seasons – Growing within a greenhouse leads to longer growing seasons for most types of vegetables. This means that you could potentially have access to delicious and organic homegrown fruits and vegetables all year round.
Fewer weeds – These aquaponics gardening systems resist weed growth easily. Once again, this is because they do not require the use of soil.
Less strain – Many users find that these systems are easier to access and use physically. Since you’ll be building a system with a raised gardening bed, you won’t have to be bent over digging or straining your back every day.
Energy and utility savings – Systems like this can really save you on energy and utility costs. They reduce energy costs by combining fish growth and gardening in one system. Additionally, they save on water and fertilizer costs. This is actually one of the most efficient systems that you could possibly use.
Why choose organic vegetable gardening?
There are many advantages to be gained from gardening organically. Organic produce is a healthier alternative to food purchased from an unknown growth source which is sometimes thousands of miles away and may not even be regulated. Organic vegetables are free of GMOs, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, growth chemicals, and more. Additionally, organic vegetables tend to last longer because they don’t contain certain kinds of preservatives that can actually cause decay. This type of produce is healthier and can taste better as well.
Isn’t aquaponics gardening difficult?
Surprisingly, no. Like any new activity, it has a bit of a learning curve. However, learning to use a system like this isn’t nearly as hard as you’d think. All you really have to do is read up on how to set up your system, choose a growing space, and put all the components together. Nature pretty much does the rest. Obviously, you’ll have to tend to plants and fish regularly, but really this is a much easier form of gardening than traditional soil bed methods. There are also various online communities dedicated to helping people learn to use and maintain their systems. Compared to other methods, this is actually most likely the easiest form of organic gardening out there.
What are the basic components of a system like this?
All you really will need to start an organic aquaponics gardening system are the three main components: plants, fish, and bacteria. Basically, your plants provide you with a food source and purify the water for your fish. Your fish eliminate in the water and then certain types of bacteria are used to convert this into usable plant fertilizer. Water is run through the plant bed, cleaned and re-oxygenated, and then used for the fish once again.
The plants: This will be your sustainable food source. These plants also help to provide clean well-oxygenated water for your fish.
The fish: These guys will be your aquaculture component. They will provide key nutrients for your plants. You can choose from a huge variety of fish species.
The bacteria: Bacteria will act as an intercessor between your fish and plants. Specific types of bacteria are used to transform fish waste material into usable nutrients that can be absorbed by your plants. This is called nitrification.
What kinds of fish can be used for this type of venture?
Many different kinds of fish can be used. Some of the most common kinds are:
Small ornamental fish like Angelfish, Guppies, Tetras, Mollies and more.
In conclusion, these kinds of organic gardening systems save on utility costs, space, and time. They are a highly efficient way to grow your own organic produce, and might even be easier to start up than you’d think.