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Aquaponics 4 You - A Sustainable Food Source For Your Home Or Business

June 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 177

Aquaponics 4 You is a methodology of empowering the average person to create and run their own sustainable, organic food production system by utilising a self-sustaining natural cycle involving plants and fish. Aquaponics teaches us there is an eco-friendly solution to the mainstream farming techniques both in agriculture and aquaculture, which both use large amounts of land, power and water. As human encroachment reduces still further the undeveloped parts of the world and destroys the rainforests, we need to start adopting efficient strategies to reverse this trend.

Aquaponics is a cross between Aquaculture and Hydroponics, which is the intensive rearing of fish for food stocks and the growth of plants in closed water systems. The two systems combine by creating a relationship between the fish and the plants. Fish are reared in a tank and their excretions in the form of solid waste sinks to the bottom of the tank. Here it sits in the gaps between the stones/gravel/sand and the process of nitrification takes place. This occurs by chemical process, when bacteria are introduced into the chain of events.

Three stages of bacteria break down the solid waste, which includes uneaten fish food, firstly into ammonia, then nitrites and finally nitrates. It is these nitrates that the plants take their nutrients from. Once these have been removed from the water by the process, the cleansed water is pumped back to the fish and the cycle starts again. In effect, the fish get their water cleaned and the plants get a food source for their efforts. Without this cleansing, the water in the fish tank would quickly increase in pH level to a level of toxicity which could damage the fish stocks.

The benefits of aquaponics systems are numerous and include:

They use a fraction of the water of traditional farming methods, sometimes as low as 2% and the water loss is minimal, only requiring a top up to replace natural evaporation, transpiration and rainfall overflow.

Land usage is reduced, which benefits the environment, brings down costs and allows for smaller plots to be farmed upon. This brings aquaponics into the realm of homeowners, who can set up their own sustainable food crop systems and rear fish into the bargain. The space required means aquaponics systems can be set up on a large or small-scale and on domestic or business premises.

The dangerous pollutants which can escape from traditional farming fertilizers and which can damage water supplies if they run off into river systems are not used in the aquaponics model, so vegetables and fish are produced organically with all of the associated positive effects and none of the negative issues such as pathogens. Aquaponics models still need careful monitoring and regulation though, as the bacteria used in the nitrification process can create problems if not managed professionally and with proficient knowledge.

Steven Bourne is a writer with personal interests in the renewable energy sector and his hobbies are centered around the great outdoors and DIY.

His latest website is Aquaponics 4 You Center, where you will find buying advice and further informative articles on Aquaponics including Aquaponics how to.

Source: EzineArticles
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