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Reminder: aquaponics is supposed to make farming easier

Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.

Mason Cooley

CVQ barbados aquaponics

The concept of aquaponics

As a concept it says if we create an ecosystem in a container we can control the input and the outputs to our advantage as what goes in must come out. To say aquaponics is not a different concept from its parents is to lose out on a lot, aquaponics is different and should be treated as its own subject. We are using hydroponic and aquaculture techniques but the underlying engine of growth is completely different. When you realize this then the usage of aquaponics can be adjusted to suite your individual needs and the undesirable parts of farming can be designed out leavening only the fun parts for the operator to enjoy.

Young woman on aquaponic diet

Stand back we are doing science

Civilization started with aquaponics, all major civilizations where close to rivers not only because ships could sail there but because crops were grown close to rivers and the plants were fertilized with nutrient rich water. Modern aquaponics uses science to replicate the ideal plant growing conditions at the river side and replaces the water cycle in nature powered by rain with a small water pump. With modern Aquaponics you get complete control over the water cycle and the amount of nutrients in the water.

clear water in red tilapia aquaponic tank

The elephant in the room

To say that aquaponics uses no soil is to not understand aquaponics, soil is a media like every other media, water, Perlite, sand; expanded clay balls and water itself are all Medias. And any diseases that are found in soil can be found in any other media; after all they attack the plants not the media so once plants are there the possibility exist. Soil use as a media in aquaponics solves a lot of problems and makes in so much more practical for my situation. If you want to grow lettuces then Deep water culture is for you if you want to grow nutrient dense food than soil is for you.

heairloom corn seed in hand

No land no problem

A five year least is easier than a 25 year least, in Barbados farming on land is difficult and we often end up having to move after building up the soil as an organic farmer only to see the land bulldozed and covered with concrete. With aquaponics you are not tied to land and can remain profitable while moving.

wicking bed of coco coir with okra plants

No protective gear needed

If you ever grown indoors you know that it’s a pain trying to keep your conditions sterile best practices are so much a hassle it is often easier to enter the grow room and don’t leave for the whole day, with aquaponics it’s a lot easier because you are working with nature and not constantly fighting it so you can be more free to come and go on the farm as you see necessary. The procedures for aquaponics is general cleanness not has mat suits and gloves.

wicking bed of sweet pepper

Monitoring

Monitoring your system is a 24/7 job any unnoticed water or power outages can prove fatal. Money is well spent on monitoring equipment so you can safely stay away from the system as long as possible. Feeding fish 3 times a day means you going to be grounded close to your system, consider automatic feeders, you took this job to free up time, not to be constantly checking on your system parameters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Equal parts technology enthusiast, carpenter, kitchen designer, farmer, capitalist, domesticated father and tree-hugger, I dissected and negotiated myself into a life that brings me both pleasure and pain upon coming to the realization that I cannot save mother earth from Human nature and my only recourse is to do more good than harm through Aquaponics. All of my work can be found here in these 12 main and the supporting pages I use to valiantly put forth this hypothesis.

Damian HInkson