How Aquaponics Work - the combination of indoor aquaculture (fish farming) with indoor agriculture (hydroponics)

by | Dec 16, 2010 11:26 AM ET

The big trend in fish farming today is doing it indoors. Indoor fish farming saves water, eliminates weather concerns and leads to a very pure and reliable product. Here is an example of how advanced indoor fish farming has become:

See also: Virginia Farm Bureau - Indoor Aquaculture Farm

The big trend in produce farming is to move it indoors and grow the plants hydroponically. This offers the same kind of advantages in terms of water consumption, weather and consistency, and also opens up the possibility of urban farming. Here is an example of an advanced hydroponic lettuce farm:

What if you combine these two activities? Both systems use a lot of water, and the fish produce waste that is beneficial to the plants. Combining the activities therefore can lower the costs. The combination is called aquaponics. This video explains the advantages of aquaponics and describes a small-scale system:

See also this description, which shows how to build your own small system:

Barrelponics is another option - her description is quite helpful.

What does aquaponics look like at a commercial scale? In the following video the narrator talks about income from a hydroponic lettuce farm, and also demonstrates the difference between deep water culture (DWC) and nutrient film technique (NFT). The farm he describes produces 1,000 heads of premium lettuce per week at $1.50 per head, grossing $1,500 per week (Australian dollars and U.S. dollars are roughly equal right now). The money generated by the fish takes longer but would add to that figure:

More info:

- Aquaponics—Integration of Hydroponics with Aquaculture

- How Hydroponics Works

- How Organic Farming Works

- An amazing fresh lettuce factory for a restaurant

- DIY – Grow your own fish for food at home

If you would like to follow Brainstuff on Twitter or Facebook, here are the links:

More To Explore