What is the difference between Hydroponics and Aquaponics?
In both systems, hydroponics and aquaponics are both soilless growing systems. In both systems the roots of the plants receive their nutrients directly from water without soil. What most call growing in water.
Hydroponic growers add their nutrients directly to the water from bottles. Some use organic nutrients while many use chemically derived nutrients or a combination. Hydroponic growers must constantly add nutrients and at higher levels because there is nothing else providing the nutrients. Hydroponically grown produce speaks to the way in which the produce was grown. Hydroponic growers are free to choose methods using petro-chemicals or organic.
Aquaponic systems use fish to provide a continuous supply of nutrients. As the fish eat, they are breaking down their food into ammonia, minerals and solid waste. After the solid waste is filtered out, naturally occurring bacteria consume the ammonia converting it into Nitrite and eventually into Nitrate which is what the plants need. The only additions needed in an authentic aquaponic system may be additional minerals, depending on what produce is being grown in the system.
Beyond the presence of fish and bacteria providing the nutrients, aquaponic growers like Backyard Farm Express can’t use petro-chemicals like pesticides or artificial growth aids as the presence of these chemicals will kill the bacteria and possibly the fish, rendering the system dead. Therefore, authentic aquaponic growers must grow organically, or clean, in order to maintain their healthy systems.
Both systems are fantastic ways to grow quality produce. Authentic aquaponic systems have been shown to produce higher quality produce in which you can see and taste the difference. At Backyard Farm Express, we applaude all who are growing clean produce locally, as Local, Clean, Picked Fresh produce is a huge health benefit to our community.