In this article, we are going to see the Difference between Hydroponics-Aeroponics-Aquaponics
Hydroponics uses liquids, sand, gravel, and other materials to grow plants away from the soil. The roots of the plants get their nutrients from the water, which is enriched by liquid plant food.
Hydroponics is significantly better than conventional farming methods because the basic needs of the plant are few – water, sunlight, and nutrients. In the hydroponic system, the plant does not need a comprehensive root system because it does not need to use energy to search for nutrients as it does when growing in the soil.
By applying nutrients directly to the roots, plants can be planted in a small space and will grow twice as fast as those planted in the soil. The small space allows the plants to be concentrated, which allows for more production. When the root system is contained in a closed channel, there is less evaporation and water consumption.
Many plants can be grown hydroponically, but the most common are lettuce leaves, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, watercress, watery leafy vegetables, and certain herbs. The method of growing these plants consists of a deep bed (18-24 cm) of sand, pea stone, or a rock held in a hole, which tends to extract any excess nutrient solution. A minimum angle of 2% is recommended. The seedlings are placed directly in this way and watered several times a day with a nutrient solution.
Growing lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers open or close plastic containers. Rhinos are often filled with peat moss, vermiculite, or perlite with the right nutrient solution. PVC 3-inch-by-3-inch PVC pipes with holes 6 inches in the center are used for the production of lettuce leaves. The tanks are mounted on rollers or moving racks, which are used to move the pipes from the growing area to the packing room.
In addition to a plant support system, tanks, pumps, and controls are required. Tanks made of concrete, plastic, or fiberglass. Sink pumps are used with chemical solutions as fertilizer salt will damage the water pumps. Controls can be simple timepieces and manual changes, or computers automatically adjust the chemical content of the component.
See also: Farming Tips for Beginners
Aeroponics is a method of planting plants in a humid environment. Plants are suspended in a fenced area and water, mixed with plant nutrients, is sprayed on the roots. Aeroponics systems are usually housed in a fenced area like a greenhouse so that temperature and humidity can be accurately controlled. Although sunlight is the main source of light, additional light can also be added.
In the aeroponics system, plant roots are affected by nutrients, water, and oxygen. Using a closed-loop system, less than 95% of water is used for wild farming and 40% is less than hydroponics.
LED lights are used to create a specific light formula for each plant, giving plants the exact range, intensity, and quantity of plants that need photosynthesis in a highly energy-efficient way.
With aeroponics, a farmer can take the same seed directly from the field and grow it in half as a traditional farmer, resulting in 390 times more production per square foot than a commercial farm.
Using aeroponic technology, researchers have found that the yield of cultivated plants is greater than 30% on average. For example, red kale has a 65% increase, iron peppers have a 53% increase, cucumber size is 7%, and squash is 50%. Both aeroponic and soil augmentation techniques produce an equal amount of healthy food.
With traditional methods of growing in soil, more space is needed. The problem is that we have less and less, and we are losing about 3,000 hectares of farm improvement every day. But the growth of aeroponics consider requires only 10% of the domestic demand for traditional farming.
Aquaponics is not the same as hydroponics and aeroponics. Aquaponics uses a combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics.
By adding fish to the equation, there is a natural habitat, where fish, plants, and bacteria thrive. The waste from fish and live bacteria in the aquaponics system delivers all the nutrients that plants need. Fish and bacteria create a clean, non-toxic environment for fish to live in. This also eliminates the need for a nutrient solution combined with chemicals.
Aquaponics systems operate using fish waste to naturally provide nutrients to nearby plants grown in the water. Similarly, wild fish provide nutrients for plants in an ecosystem. Suppose the aquaponic set includes tilapia or shrimp grown in one tank. The water and nutrients from this tank are transferred to the biofilter in another tank, which converts fish waste (ammonium and urea) into fertilizer. This is then transferred to the lettuce tank.
One advantage is that producers grow plants and fish in a closed system, where water circulates in the middle of the system with very little loss. Therefore, no chemical fertilizer flows into nearby streams and aquifers. Aquaponics allows the product to be grown locally, leaving the natural environment untouched.
About 2 liters of water is needed for each pound of fish. The fish will be living in the tank area. Therefore, in order to thrive, fish need to be able to survive in dense conditions. Fast-growing fish are good, as plant growth depends on the waste disposal from the fish.
Tilapia meets these specific standards. They grow fast. They can live in a very dense area and can thrive in a tank area. Other common aquaponics fish are perch, catfish, trout, and hybrid strip bass.
One of the most important benefits of aquaponics, in addition to planting and harvesting protein fish, is that it is a natural and organic process. Aquaponics is proven to achieve healthy growth, stress levels, and minimal care.
Because hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics do not use soil, they can be established indoors in locations that have cold, severe climates. These growing methods can also be used in localities that have poor, sandy soil. Water farming could be the way that we feed our growing population.