Today I want to write a little bit about hydroponics and compare or differentiate it with aquaponics.
What is hydroponics? How do I get started with hydroponics? Hydroponic production is soil-less plant production. Aquaponics is a form of hydroponics.
All aquaponics is hydroponics but not all hydroponics is aquaponics.
How Hydroponic Systems Work
Hydroponics is using a formulated nutrient solution. Instead of using fish waste in the case of aquaponics, we’re actually using fertilizer in hydroponics. We’re mixing fertilizer into our water at certain levels to keep our plant growth really cranking along.
Here is a hydroponic kit that we sell that makes hydroponics indoors easy. You can grow herbs, lettuce, tiny tomatoes, flowers or anything that can fit and flourish in this setup.This has its own height adjustable LED light source and a control panel that will inform you when to add water and nutrients.
Hydroponics Easier Than Auqaponics
In that regard, it is a lot easier than aquaponics. It can be much, much simpler than aquaponics because instead of dealing with fish, now we are just dealing with plants and the nutrient solution. We do not have to worry about keeping fish alive, fish temperatures, keeping stocking densities where they need to be, harvesting, all of that stuff.
All we are worried about is the plants. Plumbing these systems can be very simple, think of it just as an aquaponic system without the fish production element.
You have got a pump, typically, and then you have got your plant production apparatus, whether that is a grow bed, whether you are using towers or whether you are using a Recirculating aquaculture system or something else. Now it’s simplified in a lot of ways because instead of having to plumb in all of this fish production stuff.
Simple Hydroponics System
Now we just basically drop a pump in our sump tank, run tubing up to our towers and run nozzles off of our towers and by the way, we can run filters because unlike aquaponics, we do not have lots of solids circulating in our water.
We can take that water and we can filter it down with just a standard inline filter, run it up and we can actually run pressure compensating drippers.
Aquaponics Fitting Issues
In aquaponics, we are stuck mostly with straight fittings, fittings that do not have membranes or obstructions because the solids will clog those things up. In aquaponics, it is really nice because we can put in two gallon per hour drippers and we can know exactly how much solution we are delivering to each tower or kit on a hourly basis, daily basis, et cetera.
Springworks Microfarm Aquaponic Garden
Here is an easy to use home aquaponics system. You can grow herbs, lettuce, tiny tomatoes, flowers or anything that can fit and flourish in this setup. Just feed the fish and the plants will get their needed nutrients from the fish waste.
In that regard, it gets a lot easier because with off the shelf from Home Depot or Ace Hardware, you can plumb together a system that requires less maintenance, typically, and runs a little bit nicer than a traditional aquaponic system will.
Fast Growth in Hydroponics
Another benefit along those lines is that you do not need to cycle it. With the hydroponic system instead of waiting six weeks to get your system cycled, instead of waiting three to six months to have that real productivity bump that you see maturing aquaponic systems.
With a hydroponic system, we add our solution and things are growing as good as they are ever going to grow.
Wrapping up, hydroponics is much simpler and can be a little bit easier than traditional aquaponics for those of you that are already doing aquaponics.
For those of you that are just interested in getting started, hydroponics can be a very simple and inexpensive way to get started growing plants without soil.