Growing food ourselves is the latest trend among people belonging to all categories because they have by largely understood the necessity of consuming fresh foods that are unadulterated and poisoned. Thanks to all new concepts and ideas that have encouraged us to grow plants directly at our homes without much hard work and effort.
I spend most of the time gardening in my backyard where I cultivate everything possible and to certain extents I have been successful. I have a special fondness towards organic growing as I very well know the importance of making right choices when it comes to health.
I have been using a store bought hydroponics system for growing veggies and other edible varieties with the help of a professional. But last year when I visited a nearby farm I got to know about aquaponics and witnessed how blissfully the whole system was working. Aquaponics unlike hydroponics is a perfect natural setup to grow plants and fishes together.
Hydroponics isn’t a bad idea and it allows growing plants without a soil medium but when I saw the way aquaponics was working I was fired up with enthusiasm that I wanted to setup one at my backyard. I installed an aquaponic system (with second hand stuffs) with the help of that farm owner to test myself how things are working. To my surprise my first batch of lettuce came out perfectly than I could ever grow using hydroponics.
I will tell you why you should think of shifting from hydroponics to aquaponics and why I am so much bent on aquaponics.
The farm which I visited has been growing plants and various fish varieties totally in an organic way. Trust me they aren’t using any pesticides, chemicals or artificial nutrient supplies to grow plants like the way we do in hydroponics. I mean with hydroponics we have to buy expensive nutrients and minerals to grow plants which are really a tedious task.
The other major aspect of aquaponics that enthralled me is the way the water is handled in the system. In hydroponics we have to continuously change the water to maintain the system clean. If we don’t change the water then it will be loaded with chemicals and wastes that will harm the plants. While in aquaponics the water is recycled and then it is purified by the plants and animals dwelling in the system. Isn’t it a perfect example of a natural ecosystem in a small man made set up? Seriously plants grown aquaponically has a different charm and tastes better than hydroponically grown ones.
Aquaponics is also great when it comes to water scarcity as it consumes less water and does not need to be changed frequently like hydroponics. Some amount of water escapes from the aquaponics system due to evaporation but that is negligible and can be filled easily.
Aquaponics can help people around the world to cultivate fresh fishes and veggies especially in those areas where they suffer from water scarcity. Imagine if each household has a system installed then the whole food crisis scenario can have a change of face.
Okay now when it comes to the cost factor both hydroponics and aquaponics does ask for some investments. But on the average aquaponic systems are less costly than the hydroponic set ups and maintenance costs that are incurred.
I would suggest a homemade or DIY aquaponic system if you are a beginner or want to try out how it works. It wouldn’t be wise to buy a readymade aquaponic system unless you are well educated and informed about the whole process.
Other aspects that you need to take care of are the climatic conditions in your locality and the amount of space that you have. Winters might be harsh on aquaponics so you might want to shift them indoors or continue the work later when the sun bounces back after his winter sleep. Also if you live in apartments you will have to set up artificial lightings and heat for the aquaponically grown plants. I have plenty of space in my backyard so I have set up a green house so that my aquaponic system gets everything perfectly.
Aquaponics is relatively easy to be maintained than hydroponics if you get to know about the whole system thoroughly. But I would suggest that you try a small homemade set up in a cheap budget so that you can understand and grow perfectly. Want to know how to set up a homemade aquaponic system? Click here.
Conclusion: if you want to grow plants perfectly by using aquaponics you will need the knowhow of the whole system, investments, time and devotion. Just installing a set up and then complain that it dint work isn’t the way to grow plants. Both hydroponics and aquaponics needs human intervention from time to time but on the whole I would say aquaponics is a lot easier and doable.