The Art of Aquaponics

Hey, everyone!  Yoko here!  As I was flying to the credit union today, I noticed that almost all the houses I passed had some sort of vegetable or fruit garden growing in their yards.  Some gardens looked different from your typical garden, and I remember Kalea telling me about them before.  He called those gardens “aquaponics”.  I couldn’t remember what else he said about them, so once I got home, I decided to do some research.  Here is what I found about aquaponics:

Aquaponics, simply put, utilizes fish waste instead of soil to grow crops.  It’s a method that has been used for centuries; evidence of these methods were found in various parts of Asia and as far as ancient Aztec civilization.  The aquaponics that we know today uses a closed system of tanks, tubes, and pumps to cultivate both fish and crops.  It doesn’t require a lot of room, and some systems can be stackable.  Whether you live in an apartment or plan to build a system in your yard, anyone can do this anywhere!  The aquaponics system sustains itself with little effort on your part.  Once your system is running and stable, all you really need to do is make sure the fish are fed regularly.

 

Here’s how it works:

aquaponics

I learned that most vegetables can grow in an aquaponics system.  Some of the easier ones to grow are salad greens, such as lettuce, spinach, and kale.  Bok choy, watercress, and even tomatoes grow well too.  This is really great because Kalea and I love eating all types of veggies!

As for fish, if you plan on cultivating fish for the dinner table, many local aquaponics growers use tilapia.  They are a sturdy fish that is raised practically all over the world, and they’re delicious too!  Other fish used around the world include trout, catfish, perch, and bass.

Not planning to eat the fish or want to utilize the fish you already have in your tank?  Goldfish, guppies, tetras, pacu, oscars, and other tropical and ornamental fish can be used in your aquaponics system too!

All of this reading up on aquaponics really makes me want to try it out for myself.  My garden will look great next to my hot tub!  Feel free to share your experiences with an aquaponics system.  Hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to share some of mine too!

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