So then, what is the question?
“How does a person garden effortlessly for fruit, veggies, and fish?”
The simplest definition of aquaponics is that it is the joining of raising fish and the soil-less growing of plants in a shared environment.
The fish waste provides organic nutrition for the growing plantsThe microbes and composting red worms that thrive in the growing media do the job of converting the ammonia from the fish waste into nitrates and the solids that feed the plants.The plants provide natural filtration and aeration for the water the fish live in.
Issues with traditional gardening
Monitoring the individual needs of the garden plant is a quandary for most people. There are issues of
Where to put the garden to give the best sun/shade quotient
Knowing how to balance your soil to produce the most food and not just leaves.
Heavy digging and mixing of organic ingredients; accompanied by back strain and sore knees.
Which plant needs more/less water and the sun.Determining what a ‘plant’ is, and what a ‘weed’ is that needs evicting from this prime real estate.
Critters from insects to deer helping themselves to your bounty
Most gardening issues do not exist with hydroponics, though hydroponic gardening has other challenges.
Customary hydroponics depend on mixtures of costly, synthetic nutrients that are a chemical cocktail with added salts and trace elements.
(In aquaponics your fish are fed inexpensive fish feed, food scraps, and food from your garden.)
The strength of this chemical cocktail and pH is consistently controlled, with expensive equipment made solely for this purpose.
(In aquaponics, you watch your system carefully for the first month, to establish a foundation then you just check pH and ammonia levels once a week unless you notice a problem.)
The salts and chemicals build up in the hydroponic system, which becomes toxic to the plants and needs replacing. This creates the issue of the disposal location of this toxic wastewater and the cost of setting up gallons of fresh chemically balanced water for your plants.
(In aquaponics, you only add water as it evaporates.)