Submitted by Ready done
Aquaponics is the food production system the world is upgrading to from conventional industrial farming. The major problem it solves is that potassium fertilizer taken from mines and used to help crops produces 40% more fruit. It has worked well for the last 100 years but it is a finite resource and will be exhausted soon enough. When it is gone we will see a 40% drop in food production. The world will be a changed place.
Aquaponics does for fertilizers what biofuel does for gasoline. It fast tracks the potassium cycle from taking 1000’s of years to form underground then to be extracted to mere weeks from fish food. Aquaponics in its simplest form is watering your potted plants with aquarium water and letting the water drain back into the aquarium. This plant/fish relationship held and controlled in manmade containers takes excellent care of both the fish and the plants because the fish manure contains nutrients which the plants use. This is good news for anyone wanting to grow food who has never kept fish. The water begins in the fish tank and drains back into the same fish tank therefore only what the plant needs is taken. The rest of the water goes back to the fish and when the plant uses up the fish waste the water gets clean so you don’t have to clean your aquarium no matter how much you feed the fish. The water is not allowed to get stagnate and is kept moving with a small pump to put in oxygen that is needed to keep plant roots and fish alive.
On all accounts Aquaponics is a better way to grow food domestically because this is a closed system and you have no losses to nature. Farmers currently have problems with heavy rain fall washing away fertilizer before plants can take advantage or in the dry season. They are not sure how much fertilizer to use because when it is dry the fertilizer doesn’t spread out enough creating hot spots which kill plants if new fertilizer is applied and the old one is not used up. The surrounding earth absorbs the water you put to your plants making very large water bills Aquaponics takes away all that guess work. And fish don’t need as much time and care as conventional pets. No taking for walks or washing down pens. Fish are also silent and don’t smell, they really are the least socially disruptive animal that can be domesticated and this is only made possible with recent advances in cheap plastics and low energy water pumps. This is probably why our culture never kept any tilapia even though we have advantages in our rain fall patterns because in the dry season we get enough rain to sustain the small needs of an Aquaponics system. We also have the constant temperature needed for optimal fish growth. This means Aquaponics should be a permanent fixture in your household income revenue stream the modern equivalent to a kitchen garden.
The science behind a well designed Aquaponics system is enough to fill 20 text books but luckily it is a natural living system and gives us clear signs as to how its working, just like how the weather changes before it rains if you know the signs you can maintain your system with the ease of leaving home with a umbrella. Anyone can keep fish alive long enough until the inconvenience of cleaning the tank outways the usefulness of having the aquarium. With Aquaponics the aquarium becomes self cleaning. So the question is not if you have the knowledge to operate an Aquaponics system, the question becomes if you have the time to learn the sign of the Aquaponics system. Knowing that a well designed Aquaponics system is basically a self cleaning aquarium means your time will be most efficiently spent in the design phase. A poor design will cost you much more time and money in maintenance.
The internet has all you need to know but for practical local knowledge, it is better to learn from someone locally familiar with the process. It helps to visualize the cost involved in the maintenance of an Aquaponics system by comparing feed consumption to the average 40 pound Akita dog that eats about .75 pounds of dog food every day at average of 200 pounds of dog food every 9 months. An Aquaponics system using the same amount in 9 months will produce 200 lbs of fish to eat and an extra 150 lbs of parsley @ $10 a pound. The cost to run the pump is $2500/9months. Do Aquaponics right and a backyard system could pay for itself in under 2years.