How Aquaponics is Changing Agricultural Practices

A key focus of my blog is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. All industries evolve and Agriculture is no different. “Aquaponics” is becoming a viable alternative to traditional terrestrial Agriculture. The following contributed post is thus entitled, How Aquaponics is Changing Agricultural Practices.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Agriculture is an industry under a lot of pressure. As the world population increases and the climate changes, there are more and more issues when it comes to producing enough food for everyone. Indeed, when you consider the number of people starving in some countries and the number of people dying due to conditions caused by overeating in others, there’s clearly a problem.

Luckily, there are plenty of scientists looking into new ways to improve everything from crop yield to energy and water consumption. One way that scientists and farmers are experimenting is through the use of aquaponics. This is the combination of fish farming and crop farming and though it sounds weird, there are plenty of advantages to consider.

Crops Meet Fish

When large farmers choose their crops, they tend to go for miles and miles of the same thing. This is fine in theory but it isn’t as good for crop yield as polyculture. If you want the best results from nature, you should look at what nature does well. There’s a reason that plants are literally growing on top of each other in the rainforest – the plants are helping each other flourish.

One of the main reasons that aquaponics and crops go so well together is that fish create a lot of waste that plants really enjoy. Plants need a lot of water to grow and, surprise surprise, fish are pretty hot on water too. When you look at the very basic needs of each, there is a remarkable amount of crossover – even where waste products are concerned.

Though fish obviously need a lot of water to survive, the water they use can be used over and again. Rather than using large hose pipes to push water out into the atmosphere where most of it will evaporate, this water is circled again and again between the fish and the plants. This idea is so simple that just a Shinmaywa 50cr2.75s pump would do the trick.

A Circular System

In order to survive, fish require plenty of fresh water. Unfortunately, fish excrete waste including ammonia which can have a devastating effect on the water they live in if it is not removed.

In order to survive, plants require plenty of water and nutrients. Luckily, one of the nutrients tomato plants particularly love is ammonia. In fact, for the tomato plants to thrive, they actually need the waste water the fish need to be rid of.

By combining the two problems, a circular system is formed. The plants filter the excess nitrates out of the water and ‘exhale’ clean water through their leaves which is collected on the ceiling of the greenhouse.

As our needs increase the pressure on our planet grows exponentially as a result of our activities, it is important that we can find better ways to produce food without having to damage the environment to get the results we want. There is always a solution in nature if we look carefully enough and, strange as it sounds, aquaponics could be just that.

Author: anwaryusef

Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath. Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.

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