What Are The Benefits of Aquaponics? Organic Farming and More Benefits
Growing vegetables in your own aquaponics system has many benefits for both you and the environment around you. Here are a handful of the many benefits to growing plants/vegetables with aquaponics.
Aquaponics allows growth of a significant amount of food in a small footprint and in high density areas, making it a desirable method of farming in high population areas.
Local, Organic Farming
Aquaponics allows organic crop production in contaminated and urban areas. Local crops can be grown where soil is unfit for consumer tastes.
Aquaponics in greenhouse or indoor environments allow crop production in all but the most extreme conditions. In colder climates you will likely need a to house your aquaponics system in a greenhouse, but in warmer climates your system can right outside like a normal garden.
Aquaponics is a great way to teach biology, physics, and sustainability. Aquaponics doesn't need to take up a lot of space and is fun, making it a great tool for parents and schools to teach the next generation.
One of the great benefits to aquaponic growing is the minimal water wasted compared to conventional farming. Although the name implies 'water', aquaponics actually uses approximately 95% less water than conventional farming.
When watering your conventional garden the majority of the water used is lost in the soil, never getting to the roots of your plants. Aquaponics uses the same recycled water continuously. Very little water is lost in evaporation and the water feeds only the roots of the plants in your system. Aquaponics is also more water efficient than hydroponics because hydroponics requires that you completely change the water after each crop. This is not needed in aquaponics, instead all of the water is recycled and reused.
Your aquaponics system is a direct reflection of what you put into your system. Since the system is a self contained recirculating system, you do not need to add harmful pesticides and chemicals. Many unnatural additions will kill your fish, meaning that keeping your fish healthy will also keep your system healthy. Think about an oasis in the middle of the desert with a small pond where the fish are happy and healthy. The fish in the water fertilize the water. The lush plants around the pond are fed off the the water and fish excretion. Without the fish, your plants would either die or become weak and sick and without the plants filtering out the nitrogen from the water your fish will become sick and die. This is the perfect example of the symbiotic relationship between the plants and fish.
The nutritional value of vegetables grown in aquaponics tends to be higher than vegetables grown in the ground and the great thing about having your aquaponics farm/system is that you control what goes into your plants. You don't have to trust the farms telling you that the plants they grow are organic. You can be confident your plants ARE organic because you know exactly what went into growing them.
Think how you would feel if you ate only doughnuts for a whole month or several months? Terrible right? Well similarly, your plants and vegetables will take in the nutrients and harmful elements (sugary sweet doughnuts) in the soil that they are grown in. You may have great soil in your backyard, or maybe your soil has some good nutrients and some harmful elements in it (as is usually the case).
With aquaponics you don't have to worry about what's in your soil because you completely control what goes into each and every one of the plants and vegetables that are grown in your system.
Whatever your reason for starting and maintaining your own aquaponics system, the benefits are real and tangible. Save water, avoid pesticide loaded vegetables, know exactly what went into growing your plants and have some fun maintaining your own system all at the same time. Click here to learn more about the basics of aquaponics!