What’s the Difference Between Hydroponics and Aquaponics?

If you are planning to enter the world of gardening, or you want to create a more yielding home garden, as well as learn about something more interesting than finding the right potting mix for your container gardening, you may want to get informed about aquaponics and hydroponics. Both of these are technics for growing plants using water without soil. They both have their advantages and some challenges, regardless of whether you have an indoor or an outdoor garden, and both are better and more suitable for different people or circumstances.

Aquaponics anh Hydroponics
source: hydromo.in

Hydroponics and aquaponics can both give you organic plants, but they are two different technics. This is why many people have a hard time choosing between the two. Simply put, if you choose aquaponics your plants will get their nutrients from organic matter produced by fish, whilst if you go for hydroponics, your plants will get the nutrients mixed in the water that you use for your plants. In other words, the difference is whether there are fish involved or not.

Find the More Convenient Option 

These similar, yet quite different technics can confuse any non-professional easily. Because of that, before looking for the appropriate garden kits to help you get started, you should learn about their differences and similarities to find out which one is right for you.

Aquaponics kit
source: woodvalefishandlilyfarm.com.au

And though there isn’t really a foolproof way to claim that one is better than the other, there are things that can help you choose. Basically, instead of trying to find out which is better, you should focus on which is better for you. Nevertheless, both hydroponics and aquaponics can be a great addition to your home, and a great way to create a small home garden. They can both be a great hobby for you and your family, and a nice way to spend time together, while also giving you the opportunity to teach your kids about nature, organic products, biology, etc.

Aquaponic gardens are amazing, and for most people, they seem like a more interesting idea, since they give you an opportunity to keep pet fish while also constantly having fresh veggies or fruits. They can even be used for large scale farming; they can help rebalance the ecosystem and restore degraded areas.

However, for a lot of home gardening enthusiasts, setting up and taking care of an aquaponic garden may be much more complicated than a hydroponic one. While aquaponics can be more fun, mainly because it includes fish, hydroponics can be more attractive to a beginner gardener, because it will most likely give results faster, it is easier to use, and on top of that, it’s cheaper.

Hydroponic kit
source: growhyve.com

Of course, when it comes to businesses, aquaponic systems can be more beneficial, since you can double your business, by serving both fresh veggies or fruits and fish. And, also, aquaponic systems can look quite beautiful.

The Difference in Ease of Use and Maintenance

One way to choose is according to how complicated it is to use them. And if this criterium is important to you, a hydroponic system is the right choice. Hydroponics is much more popular, especially amongst hobbyists, probably because it’s simpler, easier to set up, and the garden planter kits include fewer objects.

Furthermore, hydroponics is a more reliable technic, and they give you more control over your gardening and the growth of your plants. The crop yield is also higher than with aquaponics. A hydroponic garden can provide you with full crops much faster than aquaponics, within approximately six weeks to two months. 

source: pinterest.com

Aquaponic system on the other hand is much more complex to set up, and more importantly, it requires constant maintenance, such as cleaning the filter, feeding the fish and so on. Furthermore, with aquaponics, you’ll need to wait a while before seeing some results. This is because getting enough food from the fish, which will provide the plants with sufficient nutrients to grow will take some time. 

Furthermore, aquaponics garden kits include fish tanks, air pumps and filters. This also means that they are more complicated to understand since you’ll also need to learn about the balance of the ecosystem, as well as how to take proper care of the fish, fish diseases, etc. 

Differences in Size

Because there are fish tanks, if you want to choose an aquaponic system you’ll need more space. This is one of the reasons why aquaponics is considered to be better suited for businesses than for home use. 

Mini aquaponics
source: i0.wp.com

On the other hand, with a hydroponics garden starter kit which you can purchase, not only can be easily built, but it will also be much easier to fit anywhere in your home or your outdoor area, even somewhere in a small corner. Furthermore, for your hydroponic garden, the water tank can be small, or just big enough to hold enough water to mix the nutrient solution for your plants.

Differences in Price

With their more complex kits, aquaponic systems are pricier than hydroponic kits, which have much simpler elements. Also, because, unlike aquaponics, they don’t need too much maintenance and ongoing care, they are also more affordable in the long run.