We are building our first aquaponic system – after testing in 2020, we are already starting the cultivation this year. There is a fish tank, a large expanded clay trough for the main crops and vertical pipes for herbs and … strawberries!
What is aquaponics?
An aquaponic system is an example of an integrated growing method in which the by-products of one production process (in this case, fish farming) serve as a nutrient for another part of the system – the hydroponic cultivation of plants.
Hydroponic cultivation in a recirculating aquaponic system uses the nutrients from fish faeces as fertilizer thanks to nitrifying bacteria, which improves water quality. The treated water is returned from the plant beds to the fish tank through a system of pipes.
Unlike other cultivation systems, aquaponics reduces water consumption and at the same time eliminates the need for synthetic plant fertilizers. It also allows the construction of organic farms in areas where this would normally be difficult: contaminated soil, urban areas or barren areas. The presence of fish, vegetables and nitrifying bacteria in one ecosystem requires the creation of an appropriate balance in which all these organisms will find favorable conditions for their development.
Why aquaponic farming?
Aquaponics is a sustainable and self-sufficient ecosystem.
Water savings of up to about 90% compared to traditional methods of plant cultivation and fish farming. As the water is constantly treated in aquaponics, installations can be adapted in areas with little water and where there are droughts
Spatial efficiency of soilless cultivation – the aquaponic system can be set to any scale and configured according to the available space. Such cultivation can arise in big cities, so that fresh food can be produced locally and supply the local market all year round.
“Clean farming” – in the case of aquaponics, you cannot cheat that 3 different types of organisms (fish, plants and bacteria) can coexist in one ecosystem, we cannot use any chemical pesticides or antibiotics without harming one of them and thus the entire system.
Organic Aquafarm – they are enthusiasts of sustainable consumption, they deal with integrating fish farming with plant cultivation using the hydroponic method in recirculation systems, i.e. aquaponics. The aim of the action is to popularize aquaponic crops, share knowledge and technology for small and medium-sized aquaponic systems that will be used, among others, in home greenhouses, winter gardens, attics and residential buildings.