What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics is an almost completely closed, sustainable organic ecosystem using fish and plants. For understanding, one could say that aquaponics is similar to hydroponics without the problems of disposing of the waste water. Yet aquaponics is a far more brilliant design. The fish create wastes (poo), which becomes a natural fertilizer in the bio-filters which convert the ammonia and nitrites to nitrates which the plants thrive on.
So what we have are very large fish tanks. The water goes from the fish tanks through filters including a bio-filter. The bio-filters use friendly bacteria to convert these undesirables into a nutritious fertilizer. From there the water enters the grow beds. The grow beds are giant troughs with from 9 inches to 12 inches of water, on which float Styrofoam panels. These panels have holes through them and plants in the holes. The roots go down through the holes into the nutrient rich water. The plants take the nutrients out and the water is pumped back to the fish tanks to start the cycle all over again.
What will make aquaponics successful is in providing high quality "organically grown" produce and fish, year round. If we have an adaquite facitity, we can harvest produce 52 weeks of the year. Since we grow indoors, we harvest year round. Take for example lettuce, which we can grow to maturity in about 30 days. We plant weekly so we can harvest weekly for family, and for sale such as farmers markets, etc.