Backyard Aquaponics: Bringing Food Production Back Home


Update: Joel from Backyard Aquaponics informs us that issue two of the magazine is nearly ready, and issue three is on its way. We'll keep you informed!

The concept of aquaponics certainly seems to be capturing folks’ imaginations right now. Only yesterday we were reporting on Growing Power’s experiments in urban aquaponics and community farming in Milwaukee, and that in itself was a direct follow up thanks to Luke’s comments about our post on the proposed Urban Aquaculture Center. But Luke wasn’t alone in turning us on to new resources about this fascinating mix of hydroponics and fish farming. Dylan also chimed in, drawing our attention to Australian company Backyard Aquaponics (who were briefly mentioned in our original post on the subject) and their PDF magazine entitled Backyard Aquaponics: Bringing Food Production Back Home. The first issue is available free online, and includes an excellent introduction to the field:
“Aquaponics is essentially the combination of Aquaculture and Hydroponics. Both aquaculture and hydroponics have some down sides, hydroponics requires expensive nutrients to feed the plants, and also requires periodic flushing of the systems which can lead to waste disposal issues. Re-circulating aquaculture needs to have excess nutrients removed from the system, normally this means that a percentage of the water is removed, generally on a daily basis. This nutrient rich water then needs to be disposed of and replaced with clean fresh water.

While re-circulating aquaculture and hydroponics are both very efficient methods of producing fish and vegetables, when we look at combining the two, these negative aspects are turned into positives. The positive aspects of both aquaculture and hydroponics are retained and the negative aspects no longer exist. Aquaponics can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it…

Other articles in the issue included a review of both tanks and pumps, and information on the nitrogen cycle, as well as recipes and advice on raising perch. Unfortunately we can’t quite tell if the magazine itself made it past it’s first issue (we’ve emailed the editors to find out and will update this post when we have more info), but it is still a valuable resource. And the Backyard Aquaponics main site still hosts a lively forum, as well as providing instructional books and DVDs and relevant hardware for setting up your own system.

::Backyard Aquaponics:: via tipster Dylan::

Tags: Agriculture | Appropriate Technology | Cities | Fish | Food Miles | Milwaukee | United States

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