Aquaculture = the farming of fish and other marine life
Hydroponics = growing plants in nutrient solutions in water, without soil
Aquaponics = Aquaculture + Hydroponics
We know that healthy fish need constantly filtered, clean water. And we know that plants, just like people and animals, need nutrients to grow. In aquaponics, fish and plants grow within the same soil-less, integrated system, and the Museum has recently built an aquaponics system in our Sea Lab exhibit. Here’s how it works: we feed the fish (blue tilapia), the fish waste provides a food source for the plants, and the plants provide a natural filter for the water in which the fish live. This system produces safe, fresh, organic fish and greens, which are then harvested to feed other animals in our Wildlife Center. As the Earth’s population grows, we need to use the resources that we have in smarter ways, and simple but innovative ideas like aquaponics can help create a more sustainable environment – it can be used to grow fresh greens and fish in a small backyard space (or at a school), or can be used to sustainably raise fish and vegetables in a large commercial enterprise. That sustainable environment is possible.