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PBS television answers the question: Aquaponics farming saves water, but can it feed the country?

    AQUAPONICS …is a branch of Permaculture that may be conducted on a small scale such as a 10-gallon aquarium and a two-foot long planter in your kitchen or living room or out-of-doors, and up to commercial systems covering acres of land. The benefits of this food growing system are multiple. Here are some of the benefits:

Aquaponics can be conducted on a small scale - a 10 gallon aquarium and a two-foot long planter in your kitchen or living room - up to commercial systems covering acres of land.

The benefits of this food growing system are multiple.  Here are some of the benefits:
  • Water Conservation:  Aquaponics uses 10% of the water that ground agriculture uses for growing fruits & vegetables;
  • Organically grown:  the plant food produced from Aquaponics uses no chemical fertilizers or pesticides because the fish produce the fertilizer and pesticides would be harmful to the fish;
  •   You know exactly what's in your food because you grew it yourself - home-produced organically-grown food fresh from your backyard;
  • Reduces Your Carbon Footprint:  Since you are growing your own food, it doesn't have to be produced using large, fossil-fuel consuming machinery, transported by train or truck from long distances, and it lessens your trips to the grocery store;
  • An Aquaponics System can be set up outdoors or indoors.

    To quote our favorite Home Aquaponics expert,Sylvia Bernstein, "The simplest definition is that it is the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system.The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. The third participants are the microbes (nitrifying bacteria) and composting red worms that thrive in the growing media. They do the job of converting the ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, then into nitrates and the solids into vermi-compost that that are food for the plants. In combining both systems aquaponics capitalizes on the benefits and eliminates the drawbacks of each."  Read more at The Aquaponics Source.
Aquaponics has been practiced for centuries in various parts of the world, especially Asia and South America. Read a brief history of Aquaponics.
  • The famous chinampas near Mexico City antedated the Aztecs by at least 1,000 years.
  • Modern commercial Aquaponics utilizes computerization and is often indoors, expanding year-round production in any climate and allowing for better pest control.
  • A small modern backyard system on a deck.
  • A small modern indoor system that could fit in an apartment.
  • Rice Paddies in Asia have produced food and fish for ages. 

The Simplicity of
the Aquaponics Cycle

  • 1. Fish produce Waste
  • 2. Microbes & Worms Convert 
  • 3. Waste to Fertilizer for Plants
  • 4. Plants Filter Water that returns to the Fish