is the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soilless 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 vermicompostthat that are food for the plants.
is aquaponics enjoyed by the home gardener. The subtle difference is that while a commercial farmer is interested in production and profit, a home gardener is more interested in flexibility around what plants and fish can be grown, and ease of setup and maintenance. A media based aquaponic garden gives you all these things and more. Because the media grow bed mimics an organic garden bed, complete with red worms and natural microbes and bacteria, you can grow just about anything in a media bed that you could grow in your dirt garden…without the weeds! Successful set-up is easy to achieve IF you follow some basic guidlines oulined in this book. And daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance is minimal, again, as long as some basic rules are followed.
Aquaponic Gardens are typically media based, although more extensive aquaponics systems can have a raft (or Deep Water Culture DWC) component to them. They can be set up in greenhouses, patios, basements or swimming pools. They can be as small as a storage tub on top of a child’s aquarium to an extensive system set up to provide healthy produce to a community, become a multi-disciplinary teaching tool for a school or become a vocational training center for physically or mentally challenged people.
Above all, aquaponic systems are self-contained ecosystems providing fresh fish and produce, life and fun, to all those who decide to make them an integral part of their home food growing environment.