Hydroponics systems need fertilizers purchased throughout the entire growing season to keep replenishing the nutrient solution. Disposal of this fertilizer-rich water into natural bodies of water or down the drain can have inherent risk; in aquaponics, the only component in the aquatic solution is the fish waste not broken down by the microbes and can be safely disposed of down the drain. An ecosystem is a community of interacting organisms, and the resulting environment created. However, certain stubborn pests can still be a problem in soil-less growing systems, especially when it comes to the likes of spider mites and thrips. On the other hand, Pythium is almost non-existent in aquaponics. Hydroponics typically utilize 6” deep grow beds as roots can easily spread out within the aquatic solution with little worry of root compaction. This may be one of the most attractive similarities between the two systems. Because these methods do not use soil, they can be set up and used indoors in places that have cold, harsh climates like Alaska. With aquaponics too, there is no need to flush and replace the nutrient solution because of its sustainability and naturally occurring processes that keep nutrient levels in check. When it comes to the question of whether an aquaponics or a hydroponics system is better, there isn’t a clear-cut answer. To do this, you will need to understand the advantages and disadvantages we talked about above. The addition of fish to the system generates nitrifying bacteria that break down the fish waste into a plant-usable source of nitrogen; this creates an almost entirely self-sufficient, utterly sustainable ecosystem. Aquaponics, on the other hand, needs an environment around the roots to harbor the beneficial microorganisms. In aquaponics, the microbes convert the ammonia from the fish waste into nitrites and then into nitrates. A lower water temperature and sterile environment helps to lessen the incidence but doesn’t eradicate it completely. There are also many other things to consider before you make your final decision. As a grower, you should choose which system based on your needs or sometimes your liking. However, the larger and more complex hydroponic systems can support a much wider variety of crops, making them more versatile in that sense. What is the Difference Between Hydroponics and Aquaponics? This still makes use of a nutrient-rich water composed of fish waste, but sends this in a continuous stream down growing channels, with plants suspended above so that their plant roots can soak up what they need from the constant flow of nutrients and water. Here’s everything you need to know about aquaponics vs hydroponics. This is because neither of them use soil, which is often where pests lay eggs and multiply. Likewise, the fish together with the bacteria create a cleaner, non-toxic environment for the fish to live in. Are you wondering what the difference is? In this article, we’re going to explain the meaning of each and make some helpful comparisons. And usable land for crops declines, growers are continuously looking for alternative and safer ways to grow plants while using less space. Let’s break it down nice and easy! Besides growing and harvesting fish for protein, one of the biggest advantages of aquaponics over other methods is that it is a necessarily natural and organic process. Two basic systems are popular amongst homeowners: hydroponics that solely grows plants within its contained and aquaponics which combines hydroponics with raising fish. This makes it a necessity to check EC regularly in hydroponics. Have you seen the words hydroponics and aquaponics thrown around? A major discrepancy lies in the start speeds between the two systems. Even though plants are grown directly in water in both systems, they use less water overall than traditional gardening because the aquatic solutions are recirculated and reused. Growing plants in soilless systems is becoming increasingly popular and provides the grower with many distinct advantages over traditional methodology. The second difference comes from the varying components. Pests are usually pretty rare in both hydroponic and aquaponic growing systems. Aquaponics is another innovative system of growing plants without any soil to support their root systems but is slightly different than hydroponics. Warm water is a perfect breeding ground for fungus, making it necessary to keep the aquatic temperature lower for hydroponic systems than aquaponics. Aquaponics vs Hydroponics (The Difference, and Which is Better) Phuong ; November 24, 2020 ; Garden General, Hydroponic; Tweet. Are you interested in growing your own food? However, they all require growers to mix up nutrient solutions and keep reservoirs topped up, while also regularly checking equipment. No spam, notifications only about new products, updates. It is achieved through a combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants). The aquatic solution doesn’t need to be refreshed/replenished due to increasing salt concentrations. At the forefront of soilless systems are hydroponics and aquaponics, both providing growers with many significant benefits to growing plants while minimizing potentially dangerous environmental effects. This extra oxygen stimulates root growth and encourages quicker, more efficient nutrient absorption. Since it’s your garden and completely under your stewardship it is easy to maintain the organic status by not applying any pesticides.