What are pros and cons of an aquaponics system?
Aquaponics growing of plants and breeding fish has many advantages but also some disadvantages. Are you interested what positives an aquaponics farm brings and which negatives to look out for? We have made detailed comparison for you.
Advantages of aquaponics systems
Advantages of an aquaponics system against ordinary growing in soil medium are (according to external sources):
- More than 90 % less water consumption during plants growing than growing in a soil medium.
- 4-10x larger production of plants on area unit (different growers show different results).
- It is possible to reach total absence of artificial fertilizers (in many cases it is required to supply the system with some microelements).
- Operation is environment friendly (aquaponics doesn’t burden nearby surface waters with waste from aquaculture).
- American growers say that they need about half time to harvest vegetables (primarily thanks to larger plants production to area and time unit).
- Less pest occurrence, especially of those that are bound to soil.
- Usable in every climate zone. The system is very adaptable.
- Highly modular system that allows many different configuration and „turnkey“ building.
- System is suited for whole year growing of plants and breeding fish, even in areas where there is a lack of water or appropriate soil.
- System works the best in environment of controlled greenhouses, where growing is possible during whole year without regard for climate zones.
- The big heat capacity of water can partly heat a greenhouse during winter months, where is it possible to grow other than only aquaponics plants.
- Growing and selling products from aquaponics sounds like interesting investment and can bring the grower into spotlight with his customers and even attract new ones.
Disadvantages of aquaponics systems
- The need of electric energy and having a backup generator for water pump and airing (if present).
- Building and successfully running an aquaponics requires certain „know-how“ and relatively big initial investment.
- In some cases it is needed to supply some nutrients for a healthy plants growth (mostly iron – Fe and calcium – Ca, eventually potassium – K). Quality of plants nutrition is based on quality of fish feed.
- The need for additional heating of the greenhouse in winter in colder climate zones.