Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture, raising aquatic animals, and hydroponics, soil-free method of farming. Plants and fish are raised in a symbiotic environment in aquaponics where the excretion of the aquatic bodies is fed to the plants and the plants naturally filter the waste water for the aquatic animals.
Aquaponics requires about only one-tenth water of that used in traditional soil-based agriculture. It is organic agriculture. Plants and fish could be raised on rooftop, veranda or spare places in the city and the rainwater can be used.
For the plant all you need is a plastic tank, brick chips or gravel, electricity, a pump and the aquatic animal's tank. Used plastic bottles can be used again for plants. An electric pump is used for siphoning. Another water pipe releases the filtered water from the plant bed into the fish tank.
Tomato, lettuce, strawberry, mint, okra, different types of spinach, papaya, eggplants, gourd, 'potol', cucumber, broccoli, pumpkin, spinach, beans and many more could be farmed in this method.
Among the fish, tilapia, catfish, koi, pangas and other local varieties can be bred. But tilapia is less stressed by environment, and can grow at the normal pace, making it a favourite with farmers.
The main difference between soil-based and the soil-less farming is the environment-friendly recycling options.
In an aquaponics farm the harvest of plants and vegetables is continuous. Once the tomato or okra yield fruit, new stems would sprout and later provide more.”
As the farming is carried out in an organic method without pesticides, it is organic and healthy. You can plant decorative plants too.
The joy of farming is an added beauty to your urban life. You can have greenery on your rooftop garden. The pleasure of the new buds will enliven you every morning.
Prothom Alo captured different segments of an aquaponics plant from Bangladesh Agricultural University in Mymensingh on 31 May.