Aquaponics VS Hydroponics

To discuss the topic we need to know what makes these soilless agricultural systems differ from each other.

The market size of aquaponics and hydroponics is estimated to account for a value of USD 14.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.4% from 2020, to reach a value of USD 24.8 billion by 2026. Factors such as the higher yield, controlled environment farming with limited land resources, are some of the key factors driving the growth of the farming technology market during the forecast period.

Many new urban farmers are torn between two techniques: aquaponics and hydroponics, Because of the growing demand.

HYDROPONICS

Hydroponics is a process of growing a variety of vegetable and fruit plants with the utilization of mineral nutrient solutions in liquid, sand, or gravel while discarding the use of soil, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides. Hydroponics forms part of hydroculture and is a modern, eco-friendly farming and agricultural practice. The yield rate is very high and plants grow at a faster rate as compared to soil plants.

Water scarcity:

Hydroponics uses up to 90% less water than traditional farming. Sustainability has always been a word bandied about by hydroponic farmers: the promise that what you do today will not endanger future generations. Putting together a hydroponic system isn’t cheap. 

Maintenance:

Constant monitoring is required Hydroponic systems are vulnerable to power outages. In the event of a power outage that outlasts your generators, you will be manually watering your garden.

There are many advantages to hydroponic gardening. For instance, all the required elements that influence healthy plant growth can be easily controlled and maintained. This includes factors such as light, temperature, humidity, pH levels, nutrients, and water. The ability to control these elements makes hydroponic gardening easier and less time-consuming than gardening with soil.

Investment:

The investment in hydroponics is 10X times more when compared to traditional soil farming. Working capital is 0.5 times additional.

Limitations:

Hydroponics is not organic.

AQUAPONICS

Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture, which is growing fish and other aquatic animals, and hydroponics which is growing plants without soil. Aquaponics uses these two in a symbiotic combination in which plants are fed the aquatic animal’s discharge or waste.

Maintenance:

Aquaponics is a completely natural process that mimics all lakes, ponds, rivers, and waterways on Earth. The only input into an aquaponics system is fish food. The fish eat the food and excrete waste, which is converted by beneficial bacteria to nutrients that the plants can use. You cannot use herbicides, pesticides or other harsh chemicals in an aquaponics system, making the fish and plants healthful and safe to eat.

Limitations:

Most systems rely on importing fish food which means both constant expenses and questionable sources. Most fish food comes from wild fisheries. While the feed is an issue that can be addressed, because it creates more complexity that humans must control, a sustainable solution isn’t often the approach taken. Aquaponics Can be expensive to set up as the system requires pumps, tubing, and tanks/beds. 

Investment:

Investment in aquaponics is 15X times more when compared to traditional soil farming and working capital is similar.

Aquaponics involves growing fishes and plants together within the same environment, which is considered to be a sustainable process. On the other hand, Hydroponics is a gardening method that allows for plants to be grown without the use of soil.  There are a plethora of facts and opinions out there. Unfortunately, many of them use blanket terms and generalizations to rate each type of growth. Each technique has its potential. aquaponics draws you in with the allure of living creatures, and hydroponics with its precision and control. Both aquaponics and hydroponics have clear benefits over soil-based gardening: lessened, adverse environmental impacts, reduced consumption of resources, faster plant growth, and higher yields.

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Abinash Patra

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