Aquaponics is the growing of veggies and fish in a closed loop system and is perhaps one of the more efficient farming methods for growing your own food. It’s also scalable and can produce large amounts of food 10-20 times traditional row cropping when combined with vertical high density gardening.
The waste from the fish provides nutrients for the plants. The plants and grow media (gravel, expanded clay pellets, or other porous rock) act as a filtration system to clean the water.
This particular system uses goldfish, but typically an aquaponics setup uses tilapia or perch which are a fast growing foodstock fish very popular in the commercial seafood industry.
Tilapia can be harvested after about 6 months, and if you build an aquaponics system with multiple tanks, harvests can be staggered and you can harvest as often as you like. Larger systems can produce thousands of pounds of fish per year, and hundreds of pounds of fresh fruits and veggies.
This backyard aquaponics system was built by Rob Torcellini of Bigelow Brook Farm. Fair Companies tours this system in their video below.
“Rob Torcellini bought a $700 greenhouse kit to grow more vegetables in his backyard. Then he added fish to get rid of a mosquito problem and before long he was a committed aquaponic gardener. Now his 10 by 12 foot greenhouse is filled with not only vegetables, but fish. And the best part is: the poo from that fish is what fertilizes his garden. Aquaponics combines fish farming (aquaculture) with the practice of raising plants in water (hydroponics). ” – Kirsten Dirksen | Fair Companies
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