Introduction to the Pros and Cons of Aquaponics
Before we begin, let us define the word “aquaponics.” Aquaponics is the fruitful marriage of two agricultural concepts. Aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics are two of them (soilless plant culture ).
Aquaponics was first used in the 1960s. However, due to widespread interest in local sustainable food initiatives, as well as the awareness among development agencies that aquaponics can allow for the production of both vegetables and fish in water- and soil-stressed areas, interest in this agricultural farming has skyrocketed in recent years.
As we all know, nothing fascinating is ever entirely one-sided, and aquaponics has both benefits and drawbacks.
Aquaponics Advantages ( Pros and Cons of Aquaponics )
Aquaponics is a form of sustainable agriculture that allows you to grow vegetables and fish at the same time. You’re still wondering how. So the basic idea is that the fish eat the food and excrete waste, which can be used as natural fertilizer for rising plants, and that as the plants absorb these nutrients, they help to purify the water the fish live in. Here are a few of the advantages of aquaponics.
1. Ecologically Sound
Aquaponics is a closed system that does not use contaminated manure that would otherwise pollute the watershed (similar to biomass). Farmers’ fish will perish if they use it. Farmers must also be completely truthful about this. It is more environmentally friendly than organic farming because, in order to maintain nutrient-rich soil, farmers use a large amount of composts, which have many negative side effects, although this is not the case in an aquaponics system.
Organic Fertilizer is a form of fertilizer that is made from organic materials.
Commercial farming requires a large amount of fertilizer, but aquaponics farming does not use pesticides or herbicides because these chemicals can kill fish. Fish feces, which is a nutrient-rich fertilizer for the plants, naturally fertilizes the plants.
3. Conserves water
Aquaponics can produce with huge water savings when compared to a garden grown on the ground (80-90c/o water savings) or even less water when compared to hydroponics or aquaculture in countries where drinking water is scarce.
4. Extensive Nutrient Use
Many aquaponics frameworks capture approximately 70% of the supplement contribution in the form of fish food, and the remaining solid waste is relatively easy to handle and can be later used to organic trees or conventional horticultural crops.
5. Reasonably priced
Since plants are naturally fertilized by fish manure, fertilizer costs can be significantly reduced. If you do this on a small scale, you won’t need to hire extra laborers, which will save you money on labor.
6. Simple to Maintain
It is simple to manage once the fundamentals of this system are grasped. It is manageable even by children. Indeed, several schools have completed an aquaponics installation as a practical assignment for core STEM subjects such as Math, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering.
7. Saves on space
An aquaponics system can be set up at any size. It can be as small as an aquarium or as large as a commercial greenhouse farm. It is being deployed even in places where the soil quality is low or in desert areas. It has grown in popularity as a method of cultivating in cities and other areas where arable land is scarce.
Disadvantages of Aquaponics ( Pros and Cons of Aquaponics )
1. There aren’t many crops available for Aquaponics.
Many crops cannot be cultivated using aquaponics. For example, some plant species, such as tuberous plants and root vegetables, spend the majority of their time growing in soil, while aquaponics uses water as a replacement for soil. Growing broad crops is also difficult because it needs a lot of water and nutrients.
2. Initial Investment
It is difficult to provide an exact cost since it will vary depending on the size of the device and its technical level. There are fish and plants to purchase, as well as a monthly energy bill to pay.
3. Excessive electricity consumption
Temperatures in fish tanks are expected to be maintained at specific levels 24 hours a day. Water pumps are also on 24 hours a day, resulting in heavy energy usage. It is also difficult to work in areas where electricity is not available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
4. Installation must be done by a professional.
The aquaponics system is a complex system that necessitates a great deal of expertise and experience to construct and maintain. If it is not constructed flawlessly, losses of fish and crop/plants occur which can waste your time and money.
Since aquaponics growers lack information about fish, bacteria, plants, and many other small components in the system, they make mistakes such as overcrowding fish tanks, using inappropriate pumps and piping, and not clearing waste on a regular basis.
5. Unanticipated Failure
Aquaponics is more complicated than other production methods since both plants and animals must be cared for. Fish will die if the proper conditions are not met, and plants are also susceptible to pathogens.
Conclusion ( Pros and Cons of Aquaponics )
Aquaponics is an intriguing choice for cold-weather countries or deserts, as well as cities and community growers. While it is gaining popularity, the full potential of aquaponics has yet to be realized, despite the enormous opportunity for optimization. There is so more work to be done!