‘Aquaponics’

Context

Recently, a pilot ‘Aquaponics facility’ has been developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Mohali at Guru AngadDev Veterinary University (GADVASU), Ludhiana.

About Pilot Aquaponics Facility -

  • Aquaponics is state-of-the-art facility. It is the first of its kind in region. This facility is equipped with advanced sensors for monitoring and automated controls.
  • It has been developed with the funding support from Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of India.
  • This facility is nearly 100% organic, need much less land for a give yield of crop, consumes 90% less water, the fish and plants so grown are more nutritious.

What is Aquaponics

  • Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics in which both fishes as well as the plants are grown in an integrated manner.
  • Aquaculture is growing fish and other aquatic animals, and hydroponics is growing plants without soil.
  • Aquaponics uses these two in a symbiotic combination in which aquatic animals’ discharge or waste provides fertilizer for growing plants.
  • The plants absorb nutrients and filter the water. This filtered water is used to replenish the fish tank.
  • It is an environment friendly technique. It is a perfect collaboration between aquaculture and gardening.

Benefits of Aquaponics:

  • There is no need to use fertilizers because the fish provide rich nutrients for the plants.
  • It is water efficient process as less water is used for the crops. It uses 1/10th of the water you would use for soil garden.
  • Pesticides or other chemicals are not used because they would harm the fish. This results in healthier and organic vegetables.
  • There will not be any soil borne diseases in aquaponics because soil is not required in aquaponics
  • Plants can grow in very small space, and have a great harvest.
  • Plants grow fast because they get very nutritious substances from the fish waste.
  • Water is used in a closed system and circulated effectively, reducing the consumption and the water bills.

Disadvantages of Aquaponics

  • A lot of crops cannot be grown through aquaponics. For example, specific plant species such as tuberous plants and root vegetables perform most of their growth within soil and aquaponics uses water as a substitute for soil.
  • High Electricity Consumption-Fish tanks are supposed to be kept at certain temperatures 24 hours a day. Water pumps also run 24 hours a day and this leads to high electricity consumption.
  • It is a complex system that requires a lot of knowledge and experience to construct and maintain. If it is not constructed flawlessly, losses of fish and crop/plants occur which can waste your time and money.

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