Hydroponics vs Aquaponics - Tech Talk 130
Hydroponics refers to using a nutrient solution to grow plants in a recirculating (closed) system. Open nutrient systems were used in the past but not much anymore. Two different ways hydroponic systems work are:
• Aggregate, which uses a solid medium (sand, Rockwool®, gravel, perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, coconut husks, etc.) for support of plant roots.
• Liquid, which uses no supporting medium for plant roots.
Aquaponics refers to growing a fish (or any aquatic animal) and plant crop together in a recirculating system. So aquaponics is really the marriage of aquaculture and hydroponics, aggregate or liquid, in a closed system.
Hydroponics and aquaponics offer these advantages over traditional farming: high productivity for the space used, conservative water usage, low environmental impact and the ability to grow plants out of season. The primary disadvantage to both is the high startup cost involved.