Aquaponics, a form of agriculture that combines water based planting and fish cultivation, has become popular lately among kitchen garden owners and environmentalists in the US and other parts of the world; particularly in Australia, where the droughts have made aquaponics very appealing as it requires up to 90 percent less water than conventional growing methods.
Leading aquaponics experts in the US believe that it is catching up here with around 800-1,200 aquaponics set-ups in American homes. Earth Solutions, a company which sells aquaponics kits, reported that they sold several hundred units over the last year.
One of the experts in building a DIY aquaponics system is Travis Hughey, who shows how the system can be built out of three 55-gallon barrels, a pump, a wooden frame and some easily available hardware. One barrel sitting on the ground holds the fish, while another, split in half and filled with gravel, holds the plants. The third barrel is mounted above the other two like a toilet tank. The system is ready to use now; effluent-rich water flows from one receptacle to the next, flooding the plants with nutrients and then trickling back into the fish tank.
A range of vegetables from radishes to papayas can be grown using this mode of farming.
[via NY Times]