© 2016 by The Aquaponics Association of Southern Africa. 

Aquaponics SA

The Aquaponics Association of Southern Africa

The Aquaponics Association of Southern Africa

The Aquaponics Association of Southern Africa

What is Aquaponics

Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture in a recirculating system and hydroponics to utilise the nutrients released by the fish to grow crops in the same system, and the crops in turn clean the water for reuse by the fish.

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The global shortfall between the growing demand for seafoods (freshwater and marine) is being met through the farming of fish, or aquaculture.  Aquaculture in a recirculating system employs filters to removed the wastes produced by the fish so that the water can be returned to the fish tanks without polluting the fish.  This allows for the water to be heated or cooled cost effectively to the optimal temperature for good growth of the fish, but does result in the loss of some water as the dirt is washed out of the filters.

Hydroponics is the farming of plants in a soilless environment by providing the nutrients the plants require to the roots through the irrigation water.  These nutrients are from inorganic sources and the entire solution does need to be dumped from time to time to prevent certain components from exceeding the desirable levels for the plants.

 

There are many advantages of Aquaponics as compared to aquaculture, hydroponics or farming crops in the soil.  These include faster growth to market size, higher production levels, fewer disease issues, superb taste of the crops and shorter period to first harvest.  Furthermore, as Aquaponics is intrinsically a natural and healthy method to produce the crops, we have the opportunity to utilise soft and environmentally appropriate treatment methods to address the pest issues that affect the crops, thereby enabling us to produce a wholesome, organic product.  This last point, along with the distinctly more intense aromas and flavours of Aquaponically grown crops, is what drives the Aquaponics SA to want a clear distinction in the market place between Aquaponics crops and other crops.