The combination of aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment is known as aquaponics.
In this setup, the plants are fed with the aquatic animals excreta or wastes that are broken down initially by nitrifying bacteria into nitrates. These nitrates are utilized by the plants as their nutrients. Thus, the wastes are utilized in this system, and the water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
The setup used in aquaponics consists of two main parts. They are as follows:
- Aquaculture for raising aquatic animals and
- Hydroponics for raising plants
Green leafy vegetables like chinese cabbage, lettuce, spinach, basil, coriander, parsley, and vegetables like tomatoes, capsicum, chillies, bell peppers, sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli and eggplant can be grown in aquaponics.
Advantages of aquaponics:
- Both fishes as vegetables can be cultivated at the same time using aquaponics.
- This method prevents the usage of fertilizers, as in this method, and the fishes provide rich nutrients for the plants.
- Healthier and organic vegetables can be produced.
- A great harvest can be obtained even the plants are grown in a small place.
- In this method, plants grow fast due to the nutritious substances obtained from fish wastes.