What is Aquaponics & How Does It Work?
I occasionally have a visitor to the farm and one of the first things they want to see is the aquaponics system. My farm is not strictly an aquaponics operation. The main purpose of the aquaponics system with our beautiful koi and goldfish is simply to show our customers additional alternatives to a traditional soil-based garden.
What is Aquaponics?
The first question many people ask me is "What is Aquaponics?". This is a great question that can be answered in many ways. I try to provide a very simple explanation because aquaponics is a very complex system. Basically, aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (growing fish or other aquatic animals) and hydroponics (growing plants in a soil-less medium). Many people understand aquaculture and most people have heard of hydroponics. The trick here is putting those two systems together in such a way as to allow the fish to grow safely while providing enough nutrients to allow the plants to flourish.
How Does It Work?
The next question is "How does it work?". This question is where the explanation gets very tricky. The simplest way is to say that the fish are fed, they poop, bacteria converts the poop (actually the ammonia created from the decomposing fish waste and un-eaten food) and they poop out other things which the plants can absorb through their roots in order to grow. The kids really get a kick out of hearing the word poop.
Our aquaponics system is not a large system nor very complicated. The main purpose is to be an educational tool for our farm visitors. We encourage our visitors to the farm to think outside of the box and look at other alternatives to growing their own food at home. If you have questions about how I can help you setup your own aquaponics system please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by our farmers market booth at the Cotton Mill Farmers Market on Dixie Street in Carrollton GA each Saturday from 8am-12pm.