Aquaponics- A Sustainable Farming Method for the Future

Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics.  Fish and crops are raised in a symbiotic relationship with one another.  Aquaponics systems mimic natural systems.  Water from the fish tank is filtered by the plants. Fish waste, algae, and decomposing fish food (which would prove toxic to the fish )  is used by the growing plants as liquid fertilizer.   Aquaponics systems, done well, can save money on fertilizers, compost and water, as well as  lessen the burden on the world’s oceans and depleted fish populations.

Chinampas and Aquaponics in History

“Chinampas” were built by the Aztecs in Mexico City.  These were known as the floating gardens and had high crop yields.  Chinampas were built as island plots or rafts  in the lakes surrounding the city and fertilized with nutrient-rich lake water and mud.  As the plants on the rafts grew, their roots would dangle in the water.

In  China, some farmers grew aquaponically, using ducks, finfish, catfish, and raising rice and vegetables in a flow-through system.

In Peru, geese were used instead of ducks.

The hanging Gardens of Babylon are now believed to be an example of Aquaponic farming.

Aquaponics Today

Whether you’re doing a commercial Aquaponic farming venture or you just want to put something together in your own back yard, you will be richly rewarded with this fascinating subject.  Enjoy!