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What is aquaponics?

Time:2020-05-18  Read:481
What is aquaponics?
May. 18th, 2020
 
Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrifying bacteria initially into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates that are utilized by the plants as nutrients. Then, the water is recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
 
As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponic systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponic system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline.
 
Aquaponics is (almost) a closed loop, soil-less farming method that can be done anywhere, all year round, producing both plants and fish. The system recirculates water and nutrients, making it about 90% more water efficient. Nutrients are also prevented from leaching:
        ►There is no chemical run-off because it doesn't use any chemicals
        ►There is no soil degradation or diseases because it doesn't use soil
        ►It uses natural biochemistry in its purest form- bacteria that doesn't need to be introduced by humans

Aquaponics is very space efficient, allowing the opportunity for re-wilding formerly intensively cultivated land. 
Aquaponics consists of two main parts, with the aquaculture part for raising aquatic animals and the hydroponics part for growing plants. Typical components include:
        ►Rearing tank: the tanks for raising and feeding the fish;
        ►Settling basin: a unit for catching uneaten food and detached biofilms, and for settling out fine particulates;
        ►Biofilter: a place where the nitrification bacteria can grow and convert ammonia into nitrates, which are usable by the plants
        ►Hydroponics subsystem: the portion of the system where plants are grown by absorbing excess nutrients from the water;
        ►Sump: the lowest point in the system where the water flows to and from which it is pumped back to the rearing tanks.
 
Many have tried to create automatic control and monitoring systems and some of these demonstrated a level of success. For instance, researchers were able to introduce automation in a small scale aquaponic system to achieve a cost-effective and sustainable farming system. This control system can monitor and control critical parameters such as liquid temperature, flow rate, tank levels, oxygen levels, pumps and other critical parameters.
 
Gentos has cooperated with international aquaculture, and aquaponic companies to provide equipment for flow measurement. Our compact clip-on type meter series has the advantage of fast and convenient installation, with WiFi communication function, data can be uploaded to the cloud server, users can use PC or removable device to connect to the cloud, check and download data. Further, customers can customize the version that connects to their own cloud system or intelligent management system, realized unattended and unified administration.
 
Sustainable applications for urban agriculture may be one of the most important ways we feed our cities in the not-so-distant future. With the right support, these systems can successfully address the food related problems that are affecting us right now. With the use of aquaponics, we will have access to organic food that’s also grown in any space in our own community. In the future, people will no longer have to rely on food that’s travelled a great distance before reaching them. Unlike conventional agriculture, manual watering of plants and a lot of space is not necessary, which is why aquaponics have the potential to be a major player in the future as areas become more water stressed and sustainable agriculture gains more support.
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