Aquaponics - Sustainable Farming

Modern day Aquaponics is essentially the result of combining age old practices in a modern farm to grow vegetables, herbs and fish synergistically. It is an eco-friendly way to naturally produce food for home use or for sale. Aquaponics is experiencing renewed modern interest worldwide. Many small home growers and commercial operations are using the process as a means to gain better and more sustainable management of resources while producing quality low input crops.

Why all the Interest in Aquaponics?

Aquaponics farming is an excellent way to grow your own supply of fresh herbs, vegetables and fish year round. A basic simple system can be made at home and consists of a tank of fish connected to one or more growing beds. It can be constructed small enough to fit into a garage, spare room, or kitchen, one or more systems could fit into a shed or home greenhouse.

Hobby scale aquaponics systems are becoming more attractive to people that desire to grow some of their own food in a natural manner that they control. This process has a considerable following among gardeners, acreage farmers and urban groups.

Are rising food costs and the recent scares involving e-coli and salmonella contamination in food supplies leading you to consider growing your own food at home? If so, you're not alone. Some 43 million U.S. households are expected to try their hand at food gardening, including the Obama family and 21 percent will be newcomers looking to green their thumbs for the first time, according to the National Gardening Association. Growing your own food may not be as difficult as you think. If you have limited space, aquaponics is one method certainly worth exploring. Numerous people today are raising fish and growing plants with aquaponics and enjoying the taste and benefits of eating wholesome food.

4,000 Pounds of Organic Vegetables Per Month, With 1/10th The Space

Plants and Fish Crops

Lettuce, chives and other leafy crops were first raised using aquaponics. Commercial growers and researchers have also had excellent success with growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and a variety of peppers. Flowers including lilies and even roses and many other crops, have been produced using aquaponics.

Tilapia, a fresh water fish that is hardy and fast growing, is most commonly raised fish in aquaponics. Numerous other freshwater fish, such as crappie, bass, carp, brim, goldfish and koi are being raised in aquaponics. More intense commercial operators are experimenting with and developing hybrid systems to raise trout, char and salmon.

Commercial Aquaponics Farming

The integration or polyculture of plants and fish is also practiced on a commercial scale. Any number of larger systems could function in commercial fish farms, greenhouse operations, existing barns or city warehouse space. Besides offering the ability to produce and sell multiple crops, aquaponics systems can also be used to reduce water requirements and mitigate waste issues at commercial aquaculture farms. These factors also help to increase the number of locations acceptable to establishment of farms in areas closer to market centers.

Many larger scale farms that practice aquaponics also use similar lighting, environmental and temperature control systems as those commonly found in hydroponics grow systems. In many warmer climates structures similar to those used in commercial greenhouse operations are also used in housing the equipment while allowing light transfer from the sun.

The tanks used to grow the fish crops come in many forms and sizes including circular and rectangle tanks constructed from plastic, fiberglass, concrete steel or even wood that has been lined with PVC or similar type liners. Stainless steel is used at certain locations in constructing some equipment components.

A Farming Practice that is helping to create a Greener World

Although the operating methods involved in Aquaponics have been practiced for many years, the emergence of these self contained food production systems is seen as a fairly new concept in today's society. Call it new or old, it is without a doubt a practice that is receiving considerable interest due to an ever increasing need for fresh wholesome food and an acute global awareness that sustainable eco-friendly agricultural practices should be the rule of growth in farming rather than the exception. Aquaponics technology is a gardening method that is considered by many to be the future of organic farming.

This short introduction to Aquaponics is intended to provide basic information on what Aquaponics is. If you are looking for more detail including system design, fish and plant types that can be grown etc., then check out the other sections of this site to gather additional information. We have also listed below suggested books on the subjects of Aquaculture, Fish and Aquaponics that you can browse and order from the links below, or visit our web store.

In the past several years, researchers from the University of the Virgin Islands have discovered and experimented with a break-through new way of growing plants organically. Now it's available for making your own home Aquaponics system. You can buy the complete Do it Yourself Manual Here.

Selections from the Northern Aqua Farms Store

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