What is the best way to grow soilless, Hydroponics or Aquaculture?
For a basic overview of both hydroponics and aquaponics, I was told I go into too much detail and can bore some people with all of the
The term hydroponic is an overarching term that refers to a wide variety of soilless gardening systems; hydroponic systems use other mediums to support the roots of plants and supply them with nutrients. Aquaponic systems are a type of hydroponic system that rely on water-based systems to get nutrients to the plants.
There are a wide variety of soilless gardening systems, from aquaponics to aggregate systems that use rocks, sand, wood chips or some other supporting system to grow plants. Hydroponic systems rely on nutrient mixes to transport nutrients to the roots of the plants, and systems of flushing the aggregate with a nutrient mixture are used. The various types of hydroponic systems are modified and changed to support different types of plant growth and accommodate different growing locations.
Aquaponics are a branch of hydroponic growing that rely heavily on placing the roots of plants directly in water to supply them with nutrients. Nutrient mixtures are added to the water that is circulated over the roots, which ensures the plants have faster access to the nutrients they need to grow. Some aquaponic systems include aeroponics, in which plant roots are suspended in a nutrient-enriched mist, and gravity-based systems, in which nutrient-rich water flows through angled troughs.
Some aquaponic systems approach hydroponic growing through a cooperative system, by pairing plants grown in water that also supports a fish population. For example, the University of Arizona website describes a system in which hydroponic plants receive nutrients from fish effluent, in a practice referred to as aquaculture. Aquaculture mimics the natural system of plants and animals and creates a symbiotic system that keeps fish and plants productive. The effluent provides the plants with nutrients, which also removes nitrates from the water, which keeps the fish healthy.
Provided by Ehow at http://www.essortment.com/aquaponic-vs-hydroponic-107530.html
To Give you an idea of what type of training is available. I will include some information about Cabrillo Community College Horticulture studies. This is just one possibility for some college credit if you are just starting out in hydroponics.
There is also a Aquaponics course and they do have online classes also. They are located at in Aptos California and you can go online or check them out. They have some pretty creative ways to grow different plants, and I ever heard that one of their innovative hydroponic greenhouses produces aroung 300 pounds of tomatoes per week!!
For over thirty years the Horticulture Program has served both career students and home gardeners.
The do offer a diverse range of programs, including
- Basic Horticulture
- Business Aspects of Horticulture
- Crop Management & Nursery Production
- Edible Landscaping
- Greenhouse Operation and Design
- Sustainable Landscaping
- Landscape Design
- Landscape Restoration
- Native Plants
- Organic Agriculture
- Pest Management
- Plant Material
I have looked at their website, it is somewhat informative of all of the things they do, but if you are in the area, I highly recommend going and visiting at the least. You can get some great ideas for what you want to do to increase your output and possibly add new techniques that will make your life easier!
My opinion, is that Aquaponics is the best way to grow soilless crops. The reason I say that, is because of the lower costs of purchasing special nutrients. The Aquaponics system will be more expensive to start, but after automating the majority of the work, it will cost less in the long run in manhours. Aquaponics also has the advantage of having a second added crop: Fish!
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