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Aquaponics Gardening For Food, Beauty, and Serenity

Updated on April 20, 2018
Tricia Deed profile image

Aquaponic gardening is excellent for those who want a small garden, lack land space, or enjoy fish with their meals.

Lettuce Growing in Aquaponic System

Lettuce growing in supportive containers which are mounted in water fed by fish wastes which supply these plants with their nutritional needs.
Lettuce growing in supportive containers which are mounted in water fed by fish wastes which supply these plants with their nutritional needs. | Source

Benefits of Aquaponics Gardening

Aquaponics gardening may be done inside or outside of any building. It can be the home, garage, greenhouse, warehouse, or any other type of building. In the home people enjoy this system for three reasons; food, serenity, and living art.

Benefits:

  1. Natural greenery d├ęcor in your living quarters
  2. Colorful fish for quiet entertainment
  3. Convenient method of growing fresh vegetables
  4. No need for shoveling, hoeing, and raking the earth
  5. No insect bites, unwanted parasites, and other pests
  6. No sunburn or other skin irritants

The aquaponic system is based on raising fish in a tank or an aquarium. You can place your fish stands anywhere in your home or any dedicated space for this gardening method.

Equipment:

  1. Fish tank
  2. Fish food
  3. Specially designed netted pots for seeds
  4. A few other accessories will be needed

After the fish have provided the nutrients (approximately 30 days), plant the seeds, and then observe the seeds growing each time you pass by your tank or tanks. Every day you will experience the excitement of seeing the plants come alive and witness their daily growth.

The plants receive their nutrients from fish waste, The mature plants will keep the fish aquarium clean providing a healthy environment for the fish. As you feed and take care of the fish the results will be healthy fruits, vegetables, and fish. It is a good feeling to see your work enabling a quality produce garden. Eating the results is the added delicious benefit.

This type of water and fish gardening affords you the opportunity to grow crops year-round. You will have the convenience of harvesting your crops when it fits your needs to do so. Daily fresh vegetables, fruits, and fish are available on your menu. Who could ask for more?

A Meal of Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Fish

The delicious delights of fish and vegetables are the results of our gardening efforts. .
The delicious delights of fish and vegetables are the results of our gardening efforts. . | Source

Plants and Fish for Healthy Eating

People enjoy gardening because it is life-giving experience. Plants give us oxygen and we give plants carbon dioxide. These gases are the physical exchanges between people and plants. Both cannot exist without the other. The Aquaponics hobby continues to be popular for hobby enthusiasts who enjoy growing organic vegetables for self or family.

Plants have a positive effect on us. Not only do we benefit the oxygen for our breathing, but we also enjoy the beauty and nutritional benefits which plants provide. A three-bean salad, a garden salad, and other vegetable favorites delight our taste buds and quiet our hunger pangs. It has also been proven over and over again how plants can also change our emotional moods and add a sense of serenity to our environment.

Koi Fish

Koi fish are pretty and interesting to watch, but they are known to jump out of their pond.
Koi fish are pretty and interesting to watch, but they are known to jump out of their pond. | Source

Fish Choices

Fish can be harvested from local lakes, rivers, and ponds, or purchased from reputable fish nurseries.

Most Favorite Edible Choices Include:

  1. Perch
  2. Trout
  3. Bass
  4. Perch
  5. Catfish
  6. Tilapia
  7. Oscars

Koi and Goldfish are great to use but they are not recommended as being edible for humans. I haven't tried eating either of these fish because I consider them as pets and rather expensive. However, it is my understanding that they are edible but bony and difficult to prepare.

They are usually used as ornamental fish. These fish originate from the carp family and can become rather large. The Koi is a jumper and this behavior can produce problems. Research before considering either of these fish for your tank.

Traditional Gardening

Manual labor for hours at a time is one step towards acquiring a successful garden. Fertilizing, disease protection, and agreeable weather from nature are the next three steps.
Manual labor for hours at a time is one step towards acquiring a successful garden. Fertilizing, disease protection, and agreeable weather from nature are the next three steps. | Source

Traditional Versus Aquaponic Farming

Traditional Gardening
Aquaponic Gardening
Land
Water
Large space
Small space
Seasonal crops
Year round crops
Heavy and bulky tools
Slim and lightweight tools
Seeds or plants
Seeds or plants
Fertilizers
Fish waste
Pesticides, Herbicides, Insecticides
None
Hours of maintenance
One hour a day maintenance
Manual labor or machines
Automatic operating equipment
Nature's weather
Controlled environment
Eat fruits and vegetables
Eat fruits, vegetables, and fish
After experimenting with both types of farming it becomes a personal choice to continue working with only one method or working both. Overall, Aquaponic gardening is much easier and uses less land space and water.

Fresh Vegetables

Fresh vegetables will grace any meal table.
Fresh vegetables will grace any meal table. | Source

Advantages To Growing Plants Hydroponically

Growing plants with water and fish is much easier. This is a pleasant way of obtaining organic vegetables and fresh fish raised on the homeland with minimum effort.

Fish has become very expensive at grocery stores. If you enjoy eating fish this becomes more affordable than shopping at your local store.

Future farming techniques are studying, experimenting, and focusing on technology to help farmers produce more food economically.

This farming method:

  1. Requires less water than traditional farming
  2. Large supply of plants in small spaces
  3. No waste water is produced
  4. No soil eroding conditions
  5. No requirements for harsh insecticides
  6. Toxin free fish

This farming method also encourages vertical farming. A distinct advantage for growing more in less space. This helps to eliminate vast acres of land.

This type of farming coupled with fish farming has been done for thousands of years. Home growers have made great strides and the more ambitious gardeners are using abandoned buildings, such as warehouses, to build a commercial business. Once again, a hobby has become an entrepreneurs career.

Riverside Fishing

Fishermen delight in this hobby two fold; one for entertainment and the other for stocking their aquarium.
Fishermen delight in this hobby two fold; one for entertainment and the other for stocking their aquarium. | Source

Over 300 different types of plant seeds have been used in this system. As a general rule any fruit or vegetable which grows above ground is successfully grown with this method.

There are success stories of individuals experimenting and raising assorted citrus trees, figs, and bananas.

Many people have taken an interest in this farming method which has helped to advance growing techniques There is a a wide variety of foods which were not recommended in the past and now with the new advancements they are growing extremely well.

In addition gardeners are also growing a variety of edible and ornamental flowers.

Supplies:

  1. Equipment may be a do it yourself project or purchase kits
  2. Growing media
  3. Ph testing kit and Ph altering chemicals
  4. Accessories dependent on selected system
  5. Catch fish from local waters or purchase from reputable dealer

This hobby has expanded through the years and everything you may wish to have is available at local stores or online.

The fish choices are easy. Contact your local Fish and Wild Life Commission in your state and ask them which fish may be used. This will be a joyful trip for the fishermen in your family. The fish they catch will be free.

There are local as well as online sources for fish and shelled seafood which do well with this type of system.

Keep fish healthy. This is the magic which keeps plants healthy.

Are you ready to start or want more information?

There is a one-stop location which I recommend. It is a program on How To Do It Yourself. It is a free webinar for both hobbyists and commercial farmers. It is offered by The National Aquaculture Association, North Central Regional Aquaculture Center and United States Aquaculture Society. Their free webinar program will cover growing, equipment, systems, food safety, and more. Click https://www.ncrac.org/video/aquaponics-how-do-it-yourself

Aquaponics for Dummies - The Easiest DIY Indoor Aquaponic System

Aquaponics Anyone?

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