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An Overview of Aquaponic Systems: Hydroponic Components
NCRAC Technical Bulletin Series (2017)
  • David A. Pattillo, Iowa State University
Aquaponics is the union of hydroponics (growing plants without soil) and aquaculture (farming fish or other aquatic organisms) for a fast, efficient method of producing both  plant and fish crops. Fish waste from the aquaculture portion of the system, is broken down by bacteria into dissolved nutrients (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus compounds) that plants utilize to grow in a hydroponic unit (Figure 1). This nutrient removal not only improves water quality for the fish but also decreases overall water consumption by limiting the amount released as effluent. Aquaponics shares many of the advantages that hydroponics has over conventional crop production methods including: 1. reduced land area requirements, 2. reduced water consumption, 3. accelerated plant growth rates, and 4. year-round production in controlled environments.This publication is part of an aquaponics series with information relevant to the NCR and will cover the five most common categories of hydroponic crop production techniques, controlled environments, and mineralization.

  • aquaponics,
  • hydroponics,
  • NCRAC,
  • aquaculture,
  • deep water culture,
  • nutrient film technique,
  • NFT,
  • DWC,
  • ebb and flow,
  • drip irrigation,
  • flood and drain,
  • vertical production,
  • mineralization,
  • controlled environments agriculture
Publication Date
Spring March 8, 2017
Citation Information
David A. Pattillo. "An Overview of Aquaponic Systems: Hydroponic Components" NCRAC Technical Bulletin Series Iss. 123 (2017)
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