Aquaponics is one of those hobbies that take root from two unrelated undertakings that you can seamlessly integrate into a single passion for hobbyists.
The term is a portmanteau of hydroponics and aquaculture. The latter is an umbrella term that covers the hobby of cultivating water-based creatures. Of course, the most common of these is fish keeping, which by itself is a broad term. There are various strains of fish that one can take care of, and each kind requires different techniques to keep them alive.
On the other hand, hydroponics refers to a form of gardening that eschews the use of soil as a growth medium. Instead, people who practice hydroponics rely on water, or any liquid medium, to feed plants the nutrients that they need.
Aquaponics brings together these two disciplines into one setup. It requires the water where the fish manure and by-products are to be continuously cycled and distributed to the plants. You use the plants as a natural filtration system instead of biofoam filter in a box, and experts derive the nutrients from the waste excreted by the fish.
Why Is Aquaponics Becoming Popular?
Aquaponics is fast becoming a popular hobby for those who are both into gardening and aquaculture. It offers a lot of advantages, which include:
- Less complex setup. While there are complicated setups done by hobbyists who have an impressive eye for detail, the basic structure for aquaponics is effortless. All one needs are an adequately sized garden potting table, a set of pots for the plants, a fish tank, a water pump, and a pipe system to distribute the water.
- Less maintenance. An aquaponic culture is self-sufficient. The plants more or less grow on their own with minimal human intervention. An enthusiast only needs to feed the fish and periodically clean the water to get rid of excess waste, both of which don’t require much effort on their part.
- Faster yields. According to EasyPonic, hydroponics boosts plant growth. One doesn’t have to wait a long time before results from the planting are visible. If pursued as part of a business, aquaponics can make possible a good return on investment.
Some Concerns before Starting an Aquaponic Hobby
While the hobby is generally less labor-intensive, there are some concerns you need to keep an eye on.
First, one has to keep an eye on water quality. Water quality is vital for the health and well-being of the fish. There should be close monitoring of the water’s pH level, the amount of waste in the tank, and its clarity. Periodic testing and water changes are required.
Second, the setup needs to be sturdy so that frequent replacement of parts is not required. For instance, the garden potting table must be durable and robust enough to sustain the weight of water and the plants.
Fortunately, taking care of that second concern is a breeze, thanks to companies like Gardener Supplies Online that sells high-quality potting tables and other supplies necessary for the hobby.