Imagine purchasing healthy, fresh, fish and vegetables locally at a reasonable price. Now, also imagine you owning a business that provides this, all by using little resources and little employees, maybe even just family. This is possible with an aquaponics business. You could work in comfort of a small greenhouse while still providing a profitable resource to the local public.
Aquaponics is a relatively easy concept; simply put it is the combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. The plants are grown in a grow bed filled with a growing medium. Next, nutrient rich water from the fish tank is pumped to the grow bed. The plants absorb the nutrients, and as a result act as a natural filter for the water that otherwise would be toxic to the fish over time. Finally the plant-cleansed water is cycled back to the fish tank. Because of this recycling of resources “aquaponics uses 80 percent less water than conventional gardens.” (Centralian Advocate 16). That is a huge advantage in saving the cost and the labor involved in a traditional garden. The plants grow at a much faster rate; in a four week study done by the National Taiwan Ocean University, they reported “fish growth and plant growth increased by as much as 4.9% and 11%, respectively” (International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 693). Now we notice that aquaponics will produce a bigger product, and this will give you an advantage from conventional buying methods. This means a faster, bigger product with less expenses being put into it.
So we have seen how easy and productive it is, but will vegetables provide enough revenue? “Annual U.S. seafood consumption has increased by about 9.4 percent since the beginning of the decade” (Traffic World 1). That is a decent size increase, showing Americans are eating more seafood.
Now we narrow it down, what kind of fish would you put in this system. Tilapia markets for example, have grown tremendously “Tilapia continues to increase its market share every...