If you are planning to raise crops soil-free you pretty much have two options: hydroponics and aquaponics method. They are actually both quite similar methods, but the small differences can make eventually a huge impact.
So in this article my mission is to explain bit about the cost differences of these two, which one is more efficient and final verdict that will include what type of system is actually better. So without further intro, let`s get started.
How They Differentiate From Each Other
Simply said hydroponics alone is just a system of growing plants in a nutrient solution instead of in soil. That means the plants are growing in water where necessary nutrients are already added in.
Aquaponic system however consists of plants and animals growing in water. The difference is that the fish is the nutrient generator this time, hence why they are necessary in this plant cultivation system. This time the nutrients (food) is being fed to fish and plants convert and use the energy from the fish waste.
The Practical Differences For Potential Owners
Now we know how these systems are theoretically different, but how does it help you with choosing? Not much.
So, now I list the differences that are going to help you with choosing the right plant cultivation system.
- Understand this. There is a significant amount you have to spend on nutrients every year. Would you like to buy hydroponics nutrients for about $7 a pound or a fish food about $1-2 a pound? Choice is yours, but latter definitely sounds better.
- In hydroponic system replacing water from time to time is must, because chemicals that build up can be eventually dangerous to plants. This can be very complicated and time consuming process, where you will dispose all the waste water?
However, aquaponics system maintains a natural eco-balance thus there is no need to change the water.
- Aquaponic bio-filter is proven to be much more efficient in plant grow rate after the bio-system gets fully working. In short time frame ( about year) hydroponics provides faster growth rate, but after than aquaponic system beats it hands down. At the end, we are creating these systems for long term use! Study: http://www.aquaponicsjournal.com/docs/articles/Greenhouse-Aquaponics-Proves-Superior.pdf
- Aquaponic system has a natural eco-system going on for it which will make it way more resistant to diseases and plant illnesses. With hydroponic system there is no one resisting the diseases so change to have your all plants infected, remains high!
Like you can already read, the aquaponic plant growing system beats hydroponic in almost every category. That means if you are looking for long-term, cost efficient, organic and stable results without worrying about potential diseases and crazy-high nutrient rates then aquaponic system will fit your backyard perfectly.
Hydroponic system may look like good choice at first, but most of the time everyone will sooner or later switch it for aquaponic. You have a change to do the right thing first time!
At the end, there is nothing better than eating a fresh and clean, chemical free, homegrown plants and fish, is there? It is our hope that we have clarify the difference between hydroponics and aquaponics.