Hydroponics VS Aquaponics

Do you recall the words hydroponics and aquaponics during your botany class? Have you ever joined a planting activity in which you encountered the process of hydroponics or aquaponics? Do you remember reading all over google and facebook about hydro and aquaponics? If not, let me give you a brief background of these systems and how it actually work for our society.

First is the Hydroponic. This is a system or a process of growing plants without the need of soil. The plants grow through the intervention of nutrient solution. This solution consists of different minerals mixed with fertilizer and raw water. Minerals such as sulfur, magnesium and calcium are some famous example of the nutrient solution. The 3 procedures of planting using hydroponic system are as follows:

  1. Place the plant in a medium size container where the plant can fully catch the nutrient solution.

  2. The nutrient solution is directly injected in the root area of the plant. The plant will no longer be needing the soil to make it grow.

  3. Since the plant is grown using nutrient solution, it is advised to flush the hydroponic system on a periodical basis. This will avoid clogging or building up of nutrients

Hydroponic illustration

Hydroponic illustration

Second is the Aquaponics. This is a system which combines hydroponics and aquaculture. This kind of system is usually being practiced in fish farms. As illustrated in the picture below, aquaculture is the system or process of growing fish in an enclosed environment. Here is the detailed process of growing fish through aquaponics:

  1. The enclosed environment of the fish creates a closed circuit water way in which the waste of the fish is being pumped into the hydroponics plants beds.

  2. The fish waste encompasses nutrients and nitrogen which are used to nurture the plants. These nutrients are very beneficial to plants.

  3. The fish waste then goes to the plants and then being recycled again as purified water. The water goes back for the use of the fish. Therefore, aquaponics is simply a kind of system that constantly recycles water, waste, and food for the benefit of the plants.

Aquaponics cycle, as easy as it gets!

Aquaponics cycle, as easy as it gets!

So if you are to ask which system plays a more vital role? I am pretty much one hundred percent sure that you have an idea. The answer is neither.  Both of the systems has its own procedure and benefits. None is superior to the other. But how will you know which one you will be needing? You have to determine first if the goal here is either to grow plants or to breed fishes. If you are into plants, then hydroponic system is the right one for you. On the other hand, if fishes are your main objective to nurture, then go for the aquaponics.

Both systems can be used as a tool for gardening. It will also help in sustainable development. They have their respective advantages and disadvantages. But definitely, both are very ideal in breeding fishes and growing plants at the same time. Both methods, hydroponics and aquaponics, will grow abundant plant life.