What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a soilless growing system much like hydroponics, but with a number of added benefits. An aquaponics system grows nutrient rich healthy vegetables by sharing the water system with fish. The fish produce waste that in turn feeds a microbiome which produce nutrients for the plants, which in turn filter the water for the fish. It is a wonderful example of a symbiotic relationship and mimics our planets natural water environments.
How does it work? The fish are raised in tanks, and their water passes through a series of filtration and treatment processes. The nutrient dense water is circulated through-out the facility to help plants grow from seed to harvest faster than traditional growing methods.
There are a number of ways to utilize the nutrient rich water to grow plants. A combination of methods facilitate the most efficient yields. For example, our test facility uses media beds and raft beds to create an efficient system.
Media beds are deep basins filled with gravel or clay. Nutrient rich water pumps through the media to stimulate roots and allow rapid plant growth. Media beds are great for growing mother plants for cloning.
Deep water culture raft beds allow hundreds of plants float on rafts like a conveyor belt down a channel of water to grow from seedling to harvest. Once the plants are ready to harvest, the raft is removed from the water, allowing the next raft to take its place during its final growing stages.
What aquaponics system works for you? Garden City Aquaponics can work with you to design a facility that meets your needs. Your design will depend on a number of factors – including what and how much you want to grow. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our facility, food, or design services.