Aquaponics systems that makes you self sustained for food

How to cultivate food for 7.3 billion world population is always a perplexing question. Total agricultural land is getting depleted and majority of population is depending on food cultivated by less than 5% of total population. More over in-order to maximise the production, farmers from under developed and developing countries are using pesticides and fertilizers beyond recommended limits. Some developed countries have already given green signal for Genetically Modified (GM) crops. This is leading to dangerous and non curable health problems like cancer.

Do we have a solution for this problem? Can’t we produce our own herbs and vegetables? But in the absence of sufficient land space for cultivation, what can we do ?

Answer to all these questions is Aquaponics, which has many benefits. It is a symbiotic system which is very common in nature. It uses both aquaculture, which involves growing and breeding of fish and hydroponics (Here are 9 hydroponics systems to start an indoor garden.) which is cultivating plants in water without soil.

The following are the best indoor water gardens available at Amazon:

Small Size
Medium Size
Large Size
Product
Back to the Roots Water Garden
AquaSprouts Black Water Garden
Ecolife Aquaponics Indoor Garden
Image
Water Garden, Self-Cleaning Fish Tank That Grows Food, Mini Aquaponic Ecosystem (Great Gardening Gift & Family Project)
AquaSprouts Garden
ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Indoor Garden System with LED Light Upgrade
Size
13.4 x 13.4 x 9.5
28 x 8 x 17
24 x 12 x 20
Weight
7.4 pounds
24 pounds
20 pounds
Small Size
Product
Back to the Roots Water Garden
Image
Water Garden, Self-Cleaning Fish Tank That Grows Food, Mini Aquaponic Ecosystem (Great Gardening Gift & Family Project)
Size
13.4 x 13.4 x 9.5
Weight
7.4 pounds
Medium Size
Product
AquaSprouts Black Water Garden
Image
AquaSprouts Garden
Size
28 x 8 x 17
Weight
24 pounds
Large Size
Product
Ecolife Aquaponics Indoor Garden
Image
ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Indoor Garden System with LED Light Upgrade
Size
24 x 12 x 20
Weight
20 pounds

Lets take a look at the aquaponics cycle:

Aquaponics cycle diagram

As I explained before, this is a symbiotic relationship between fish, plants and micro organisms. Fish droppings contain ammonia, which is toxic for fish as well, if concentration exceeds beyond a limit. Plants cannot utilize ammonia as a fertilizer directly. But there are some micro organisms which can convert this ammonia to nitrites and then to nitrates. Nitrates serve as a good nutrients for plant growth and fish can live in this clean and aerated water.

A typical Aquaponics system block diagram:

How aquaponic system works

A grow bed is used to cultivate herbs and vegetables. This grow bed is used to culture micro organisms which then converts ammonia to nitrites and then to nitrates. You can choose the size of grow bed and aquarium depending on the quantity of herbs and vegetables you are planning to grow. If you choose a bigger fish tank ( mostly suitable for outdoors) you can grow different types of fish, that becomes a source of food as well.

What are the recommended herbs, vegetables and fishes for aquaponics?

The plants that can be grown in an aquaponics system are:

  • Leafy lettuce, Cabbage, Cauliflower
  • Herbs like Mint, Basil, Chives etc. Here is list a of 19 herbal plants which can be grown in your kitchen. You can also choose some herbs from this list for your aquaponics system after consulting an expert.
  • Veggies like Tomatoes, Cucumber, Peas, Beans  are also successful in this system.

Recommended fish varieties are:

  • Tilapia, very commonly available and used in aquaponic system.
  • Kio is best choice if you are looking for a colorful fish.
  • Salmon, Crap and Catfish , if you have a bigger fish tank and if you plan to use fish also as a food source.

Tip: Choose fish which is locally available so that it can withstand climatic conditions such as temperature and pH.

Also read about a complete list of plants and fishes recommended by Nelson Pade of Aquaponics.com

Aquaponic Systems and prototypes available in market:

1: EcoQube aquarium

This is a creation from EcoQube. They make small and decorative aquaponic systems for home, classroom and office space. The image shown below are white and black aquaponical systems from this company.

Decorative EcoQube fish tank

2: Neverland

The founders got this idea of using fish poop as fertilizer for plants, then they integrated this to their hydroponic system.

Poop from fish used as fertilizer

3: MarineLand

Aquarium with hidden filter

4: Prugna Wall-Hanging Fish Bowl

Wall-mounter planter with fish

5: Biorb Flow 30 Aquarium

Beautiful aquarium with LED

Reference:

  1. What is Aquaponics – from theaquaponicsource.com
  2. Evolution of Aquaponic – From Aquaponic Journals 2002 by Scott Jones
  3. For outdoor and large scale aquaponic cultivation, here is a patented  Clear Flow Aquaponic system from Aquaponic.com | Nelson Pade. This package involves commercial & home food production and social mission.

4 thoughts on “Aquaponics systems that makes you self sustained for food”

  1. Aquaponics is the new technology in home gardening system.You can grow vegetables,fish and fruits in one system.People are now involving this system .I like it very much.
    The article is really helpful to the people who are doing aquaponics.

    Reply
  2. Great list. Our plan is to grow herbs, salad greens etc. And if we aren’t being too ambitious maybe one day berries!
    We love the look of these premise systems but settled.on a #diy approach that ended up looking gorgeous. We are still in the beginning stages but loving every moment!!

    Reply
  3. The idea of creating awareness about aquaponics about the aquaponic system is a great step towards meeting food demand of 8 billion people. I do have created some aquaponic set up for the same purpose.

    Reply

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