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Aquaponics

Sounds like a new exercise regime, dancing in a swimming pool to build muscle strength! Strangely, in a way, it’s not far from the truth, except it is growing fish muscle and edible plants in a fish tank.

In reality it is combining the two disciplines of hydroponics and aquaculture.

Hydroponics is a way of growing plants with their roots directly in water, the idea is to feed the plants with plant food introduced directly to the roots without soil. Unfortunately the fruits of this growth are often a bit bland.

Aquaculture is growing fish in tanks. One of the problems with aquaculture is fish produce waste such as ammonia, minerals, algae and nitrates. These will pollute an enclosed water system and slowly poison the fish.

But guess what? Plants need many of the waste materials produced by fish to grow. So the simple answer is to combine the two ideas and hey presto the plant roots are sitting in a nutrient rich liquid supplied by the fish, and the plants clean the water at the same time.

It’s a win win, if you use edible fish you also have a source of protein to go with your greens and veggies grown in the water.

It seems to be a match made in heaven:

  • No more watering your plants – this system only uses 2% of the water soil based growing requires.
  • No more weeding.
  • No more fertilising or soil cultivation.
  • No more soil pests.
  • Most plants grow twice as fast.
  • You use up to 70% less than conventional gardening.
  • The plants taste great.

You can produce up to 10 times more plants in the same area, because the plants are bunched closer together on a float system on the water. Plants are always in nutrient rich water and thus there is no overcrowding.

Could this be a new way to go?!

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