How does aquaponics work?


In a natural pond, fish consume food and excrete waste. Bacteria convert the toxic ammonia in fish waste into nitrate; a nutrient for plants.
The raw organic matter in the fish feces and old plants are transformed by microbes, insects and earthworms into humus; the heart of living soil. Humus is the best fertilizer there is for organic vegetables.

Organic aquaponics harnesses the relationships of natural ecosystems, combining:

* Soil, Earthworms and Microorganisms,
* Water, Fish and Microorganisms,
* Plants, Seeds, Sunlight and Air, and *People

' Their making more people every day, but they ain't making more dirt'

As our global population grows, people have forgotten how to work with nature to recycle waste, and have forgotten how to return their fooscraps back to the land through composting. 100 years ago half of the people lived on the land and were farmers. Today only 3% of people farm or garden. Ecological farming offers a life-sustaining solution to overpopulation, by restoring the ecological relations between people, fish, animals and plant and microbes. Even in a city, anyone can live ecologically by composting their foodscraps, and growing a garden and fish pond in their backyard or rooftop

Aquaponics is a farming method inspired by ancient farming systems from the Aztecs to Egypt, based on the recycling of nutrients in nature. In the aquaponic fish tank,, the fish consume food and excrete manure, algea grows in the nutrient-rich water, and uneaten fish food falls to the bottom. These unused nutrients would build-up and contaminate the fish tank, but instead are recycled as a liquid fertilizer for plants. The plants are a natural biofilter for the fish waste. Beneficial bacteria in the gravel and on the roots have a key role by recycling the wasted nutrients into food absorbed by the plants, while cleansing and purify the water. Wthout these microorganisms the whole system would stop functioning. Uneaten food and foodscraps from people are also recycled back into the system. Earthworms metabolize the fish waste solids, old plants and food scraps from your table. The waste products of each organism, fish, plants and people, becomes food for another in a continuous cycle of life. There is no waste and no pollution.

Basic Principles:

1. Complex biological diversity integrating sunlight, fish, plants and earthworms with ecological niches for beneficial microbial activity, the heart of the aquaponic foodweb.

2. Nutrient cycling occurs through biological water filtration that transforms waste nutrients from fish and converts it into a usable form for plant uptake.

Red wiggler earthworms metabolize foodscraps and plant matter, producing fertile, vermicompost that suppresses disease in the plant trough and fish pond.

Duckweed and algea use the remaining nitrogen in the fish wastewater and convert it into a protein-rich plant food for the Tilapia fish.

3. People are a key species in the 'total aquaponic ecosystem'. We contribute the waste products of human ecologies, such as foodscraps or greywater, and our caring energy. The aquaponic products of fish, organic vegetables, ornamental plants, duckweed, earthworms, vermicompost, plus new knowledge and skills, generate income which supports a local economy within an urban greenhouse foodweb.