An Overview of Aquaponic Systems: Aquaculture Components

Date
2017-10-01
Authors
Pattillo, D. Allen
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North Central Regional Aquaculture Center
Abstract

Aquaponics is an integrated production operation that encompasses recirculating aquaculture systems and hydroponics to produce fish and plants in a closed-loop system that mimics the ecology of nature. Simply said, the fish produce nutrient-rich effluent that fertilizes the plants, and the plants filter the water for the fish. Fish waste from the aquaculture portion of the system is broken down by bacteria into dissolved nutrients that plants then utilize to grow in the hydroponic component. This nutrient removal not only improves water quality for the fish but also decreases overall water consumption by limiting the amount released as effluent. The synergistic relationship of the fish and plants has created a popular perception of sustainability around aquaponics by the general public. Additionally, aquaponics can be scaled from a bench-top hobby unit to multi-acre commercial production facilities.

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