Aquaponics system is the most sustainable food production system in our world today. Aquaponics in a dynamic, natural, pond-type eco-system, produces both fish and organic vegetables; thus producing 2 streams of income. Aquaponics systems provide controlled environment where aquaculture (fish breeding/growing) and hydroponics (soil less plant growing) is integrated together in a symbiotic habitat. It is composed of a water re-circulating environment where the fish and plants live symbiotically. Both light and temperature are carefully controlled in an aquaponic system.
Diversified farms with a variety of protein and vegetables are more likely to survive disease events in one species and economic difficulties in general, as compared to farms that monocrop or only have a couple of vegetable crops. Sustainability means being in business year after year.
Even people NEW to growing fish or vegetable can profitably produce lots of food with wisely designed and maintained Aquaponics systems. Like driving a vehicle does NOT knowing how to build engines or transmissions; the information available from many sources makes it easy and economic to build and operate aquaponics systems. Aquaponics also empowers experienced farmers to include these systems along with their other farming experiences to expand huge benefits to both the local community and society in general....
Aquaponics produces about 8 times more organic produce than on the same area of ground. Aquaponics allow vegetables to grow much faster with greater density, without depleting nutrients. Aquaponics can be done successfully on sand, gravel, or rocky surfaces in container systems placed where there is no competition with fertile soil or foresty.
Aquaponics uses about 2 percent of the water in-ground farming does, less if area has plenty of rain. Since water is recycled through the system, a grower is not dependent on large amounts of water. If water is or becomes scarce, productively continues. This benefit allows food production in areas without sufficient water for in-ground farming.
Food production doesn’t require as much land, perhaps one-fifth to one-tenth as much for the same production level. Ability to grow produce and fish placing containers on cheaper unfertile land, and use much less of land to grow more food, opens up many new possibilities. These benefits of Aquaponics combined could make our current land inventory last forever.
Produce grown in aquaponic systems is guaranteed organic because aquaponics must be naturally organic to keep the fish ALIVE... Aquaponics cannot cheat; the fish DIE IF any chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers are used. Fish act as the "canary in the coal mine" test, that force aquaponics operators to be honest.
As consumers become educated about aquaponics they will realize aquaponics farmers can’t cheat. As consumers realize the ecology and economic advantages, the produce is healthier, and costs the same, they will eagerly switch to aquaponic raised produce.
Barrel-ponics is another word for aquaponics in a barrel. Low cast aquaponics using barrels is a viable option to grow vegetables and at the same time aquatic lifestock. This system is good especially for backyard hobby gardens, in areas with low soil quantity or quality, and where weather does not permit growing outdoors since these systems function very efficiently when placed indors in a controlled environment. A single barrel-phonics system consists of three barrels that are 55 gallons in size has its own functions. One barrel is for fish, another is cut in half lengthwise and laid down for the plants to grow in, and another is for water return maintenance. Piping and pumps work in tandem to make this whole system work in a closed re-circulating system, along with lighting and controlled temperatures.
Do Google search on topic of barrel aquaponics as there is an ever growing library of videos and articles. This is a fun family project with many opportunities for developing a variety of skills, thinking, and learning, limited only by imagination.