What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics Tunnel with a farmer working on the farm.

What is Aquaponics?

What is Aquaponics?

February 04, 2021

Sustainability seems to be on the minds of many in recent years and rightfully so. We find ourselves dominating a planet with a lifestyle that is depleting the very resources that we rely on. Therefore, we should be looking for a more sustainable way to survive and thrive on our singular planet. Aquaponics could be the answer to a more sustainable future but what is aquaponics? And why is everyone talking about it?

Some people might say that aquaponics is the epitome of sustainability and we completely agree! Aquaponics is an agricultural method where both fish and plants are farmed in a shared environment. One species thrives off the survival of the other and in return, you get delicious, organically farmed food as a result.

The fundamentals of aquaponics is based on the natural cycling processes that we see mimicked in nature. The fish consume the food provided and excrete waste. Beneficial bacteria convert the waste into nutrients and nitrates. The plants use these nutrients to grow and clean water is returned to the fish completing the cycle. At the end of the day, you have a fully self-sustainable ecosystem that recycles water and produces organically grown produce.

Aquaponic Tunnel Filled with green plants.

Benefits of Aquaponics

Reduced Water Usage

An aquaponic system constantly recycles water throughout the system. Compared to traditional agriculture, aquaponics can grow up to 8 times more food using 1/6th of the water. Water scarcity is a serious problem globally and especially in South Africa. Therefore, we believe that we should be implementing farming systems that save up to 90% of the water consumption that is usually wasted in traditional farming practices.

No added Chemicals

Fertilizers are unnecessary as the fish waste provides adequate nutrients for the plants to thrive. There can be no use of pesticides and herbicides in an aquaponic system as this can harm the fish. However, the system design is flexible and can be placed in a controlled environment where alternative, physical barriers and natural remedies can be used as a form of pest and disease control.

Healthier Food

When last did you eat a meal that hadn’t been farmed with the use of antibiotics, growth hormones or pesticides? That’s what we thought…aquaponic systems do not require the use of antibiotics, chemical growth hormones or pesticides to produce good quality produce. The food is completely organic and retains all its natural vitamins, which is beneficial for us as consumers.

Smarter Farming

Aquaponics makes use of a soil-less environment which eliminates the time spent on weeding and ploughing soil which in turn, saves money for the farmer.

Efficient, Sustainable and Highly Productive

Aquaponics provides the plant with an environment that’s high in nutrients and oxygen which yields incomparable results in the quality of the fruit and vegetables produced.  The fish thrive in an unpolluted environment and the only water lost in the system is due to transpiration and evaporation.

There you have it, the basics of Aquaponics. It’s not too complicated, it’s nature at its finest! No wonder cultures around the world have been using a similar method of farming for decades.  If you have any unanswered questions about how it all works, feel free to contact us with any questions or better yet, try out one of our Aquaponics courses.