Aquaponics and hydroponics are somewhat related to each other simply because these systems both focus on using water to grow plants. However, their similarities do not go far because these two systems use different principles, and they use other methods.
In general, Aquaponics focuses on the hydroponic system where plants are grown without the use of soil. However, it also takes advantage of the water and plant’s relationship with fishes. Since both can benefit from each other through the water, Aquaponics creates a system where both can thrive.
On the other hand, hydroponics will focus only on growing the plants without the use of soil. This is done by creating a controlled environment that provides the plant with all the nutrients it needs for growth. It does not deal with fish, and it focuses mainly on how the plant can grow faster for harvest.
Aquaponics VS Hydroponics: Which One Is Better?
Which One Is Better?
Determining which system is better will depend primarily on what your needs are. If you love caring for plants and have an aquarium at home, you might want to try out Aquaponics, mainly because you are familiar with how the mechanics of taking care of plants and fishes work.
But if you are more into plants, I highly recommend focusing your time and energy on hydroponics. This is because you will need to spend on many materials, and you will also need to know a bit about how it works from a technical perspective. Nevertheless, the results can be gratifying.
These two systems do have their advantages and disadvantages. What makes one better than the other depends on personal preference and needs. Both systems also have their proponents and advocates as they are known to provide many benefits to people in their own right.
Which One Is Better In Terms Of Cost?
Both hydroponics and Aquaponics will require you to build a system using pretty expensive materials. Many of the parts needed for these two systems are similar simply because Aquaponics borrows them from hydroponics. What makes Aquaponics unique, however, is its use of fish feed.
In hydroponics, the user will need to buy a nutrition solution each year. These chemical nutrients can be costly, mainly because they are getting harder to find. With Aquaponics, on the other hand, you will have to use fish feed both to make the fish grow and to give nutrition to your plants.
Although hydroponics will only need very little water, the water needs to be unloaded from time to time, especially when there are too many chemicals in it. This can be costly, especially for those who own large hydroponic systems. In Aquaponics, the water is never replaced, only topped up if evaporation occurs.
Which One Can Be Easily Maintained?
Although you do not have to weed your plants if you use hydroponics, you will need to check their electrical conductivity almost daily. But because you are making a miniature ecosystem in Aquaponics, all the elements will balance out. Maintenance checks will be done only once per week.
Plants grown in hydroponics will avoid soil-borne plant diseases, but certain diseases can run rampant in hydroponic systems. Because it is a sterile environment, there are no microbes to combat the disease. Contamination can therefore cause damage to the entire system.
With Aquaponics, on the other hand, bacteria are present in the entire system. This, however, is what will help make the plants resistant to diseases. The water used in Aquaponics can also be easily discarded if necessary. Wastewater from hydroponics contains a lot of chemicals and should be disposed of properly.
Which One Can Produce The Best Results?
Both Aquaponics and hydroponics can provide you with fast-growing plants. This means that you can quickly get more harvest cycles each season. Both systems also boast of being able to produce healthy fruits and vegetables. Proponents of Aquaponics, however, say that they can grow plants faster.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Aquaponics, you will have to wait for several months before the bio-filter stabilizes. Unless this happens, the plants will not grow as fast as you want them to. Once the system is built in hydroponics, you can quickly grow plants at amazing speeds right away.
Of course, while hydroponics will only allow you to get fruits or vegetables during harvest season, in Aquaponics, you can get fish as well. This means that you will also be able to serve meat on the table after a year or so for all your hard work and patience.
When it comes to Aquaponics vs. hydroponics, you need to understand that both systems will require you to put in a lot of hard work before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. When using hydroponics, you will be limited to growing only plants in a sterile environment using expensive chemical nutrients.
On the other hand, with Aquaponics, you can quickly grow both plants and fish simultaneously. Although it uses fish food instead of expensive chemical nutrients, you will need to wait for the waste to break down in around six months before you can expect fast growth from your plants.
With that said, both systems are more efficient than traditional methods of growing plants. Finding the better one should not depend on which one is cheaper or which one can produce better crops. This is because both systems rely heavily on the user’s passion for sustainability.