Yesterday I spent some serious time making an entertaining video on the problems with aquaponics:
Believe it or not, I actually dialed back my criticism of the method. The clips from aquaponics gardeners really drive home the point, though: aquaponics is simply a big, complicated way to kill fish.
Aquaponics: over-complex, unsuitable for survival gardening as it relies too much on electricity and external inputs; labor-intensive, NOT cost-effective. Is it a “hippie gardening” idea – inspired by pot farmers? 🙂
nah… not mad… just disagree… not disagreeable or however you say it.
Not a pot farmer or user by the way.
It does not have to be complicated. My system was quite simple… I will do it again…. spoiler alert… all my fish died this winter…. ha… proves your point!! no not really…. lots of my garden died too… it was a bitter winter here in Deland.
My system was up and running for 5 or 6 years… it was tons of fun… I had a system where I had swamp plants filtering the water… like swamp hibiscus…edible water celery….other water intensive edibles… and flowers..(outdoor swimming pool….my”lake”, and my river returning to the pond….mostly done through gravity…but also using a cheap pump).. I had success with greens… I never had to check my ph…. or other stuff.. I never babied the fish… they were tough as nails….until this winter…. a simple solution… next time I will have an inground pond and I will get enough heat from the ground to keep them warm for most winters …including the last one.
Bottom line… in my experience…. fun hobby…. doesn’t need to be expensive…. as productive garden wise…food production wise… probably not….. but I had a ball doing it…. and will trying again… a fun experiment…. if you don’t try to overcomplicate it.
and….ah not a hippie…. more of a punk rocker….clash…ramones….that kind of thing….Oii!
Anything but a hippie! When I had my band we used to cover “Anarchy in the UK.”
IAVs is a good compromise (http://iavs.info/) for those like to try something new without a lot of complexity. It uses a sand bed technique that have been in use since the 1940s. Just a pump and an timer. Water is introduced 2-3 times a day. No filters, no bioballs, even no air pumps are possible.
The Auzzies seem to have some success with aquaponics as a commercial enterprise. But they have professional management and use automated dosing equipment to control parameters. Arid regions will be where aquaponics acquire a following due to excellent water use.
I would also point out that plain ole dirt farming has its issues as well. Nematodes, poor tilth, nutrient loss, lack of water, etc. Folks have to pick the method that the local conditions dictate as the best approach.
“Folks have to pick the method that the local conditions dictate as the best approach.”
I’m glad somebody finally said it. I know one guy who successfully grows lettuce in his refrigerator using water and nutrients, but he’s mostly an exception. And the results are in small quantities: not sufficent for a family. I think all your points against aquaponics are very good.