As the sustainable agriculture movement gains momentum, so do the efforts to maintain the status quo of the factory farm methodology and its environmentally disastrous effects. This means that advocates for green living need to come up with numerous weapons in the fight to advance a healthier, more responsible food system.
An aquaponic setup uses vegetable plants to clean the water in a fish tank. The fish that are grown in the tank are typically a species like tilapia or perch, which are easy to raise and popular for eating.
Such a system follows a step-by-step process that recycles water and nutrients while providing fresh, predictably and responsibly grown vegetables and seafood:
- Fish raised in a tank produce ammonia-rich toxins that must be filtered out of the water in order for them to survive.
- Bacteria within the water and the plant bed above it take the toxins produced by the fish and break them down into nitrites and nitrates.
- These substances are used by the plant roots as food and nutrients, thereby filtering them out of the water and making it safe for the fish.
- Water is fed back into the tank from the plants, newly filtered and safe for the water culture.
- Air is pumped into the tank to re-oxygenate the water.
Adopted on a wide scale, aquaponics could create a sustainable system in which water is recycled and food is grown locally without the use of pesticides. Furthermore, it requires very little space and can be set up within a home or greenhouse.
For more information on how aquaponics could transform the country's food system, keep checking back with LifeIsGreen.com