Your children will have probably learned about photosynthesis and the ecosystem by the time they are in third grade.
Ranging from traditional farming practices through nature conservation - they sure will learn a lot!
However, there is much more your children can learn from nature.
And being a nature-friendly parent can be quite a struggle if you're living in an urban setting.
But, what if there was a way for you to incorporate nature into your parenting regardless of living environment?
Here are 5 mind-blowing things aquaponics can teach your children.
Farming can be soilless
Aquaponics is the combination of raising fish and growing plants without the use of soil. Unlike traditional farming, the fusion of aquaculture and hydroponics provides us with a promising solution to growing our own herbs and vegetables.
Fact: Aquaponic systems can use 10% of the water required to grow the same volume of food as traditional soil gardening.
With aquaponics, you conserve water and recycle it. You no longer have to worry about dirt-borne diseases and contamination.
But wait, how does the plant grow without nutrient-rich soil?
The waste produced by the fish becomes the organic food source for the plants to thrive. The plant roots simply grow in nutrient rich water and acquire energy from light sources.
Ecosystems can be as simple as two organisms
Your fish and plant can thrive together like in their natural ecosystems!
Aquaponics allows both of these organisms to exist symbiotically.
The fish feces are sources of ammonia, which were later on converted into nitrites by a bacteria called Nitrosomonas. Later on, Nitrobacter bacteria convert nitrites to nitrates. These nitrates are consumed by the plants to carry on their photosynthetic process together with the aid of light.
On the other hand (or should we say fin), the plant gives off oxygen necessary for the fish to breathe. This lets both of them benefit from one another, supporting their survival.
Photosynthesis happens where there is light
''The sun is a major source of energy.''
We might hear this sentence during biology class.
And it definitely rings true for plants. In fact, plants in your aquaponics system only need nutrient rich water and sunlight (or in modern systems, external light source).
You can place your seed beds where they can receive about 5-6 hours of sunlight to hasten up its growth process. Keep in mind that extreme sun exposure can make your tank a breeding ground for algae. Algal bloom causes oxygen depletion that can hamper your ecosystem's liveability.
Because of the need for light, modern aquaponic tanks have their own built-in LED light that imitates sunlight. These lights let your plants facilitate their photosynthetic process needed to feed and grow themselves. This also helps you control algal bloom issues using lights that can be turned on at a whim.
Although an aquaponics system may now come with its own lighting system, you'll probably still want to keep your system away from other plants that shed to avoid decaying plant material. These decomposing materials can affect the water quality within your tank.
Not surprisingly, plants that live in this environment grow 2-3 times faster than traditionally-farmed crops as they are receiving the right amount of light without the issues of oxygen and nutrient depletion.
Play Farmville While Saving The Environment
Let's take you back to a time when everyone loved taking care of their virtual crops (when Farmville was at peak popularity).
Well, aquaponics lets you grow your own veggies and herbs without 'harmful'' human intervention - just like in the game!
Oftentimes, humans may cause environmental destruction by using pesticides across large plots of land. But aquaponics lets you grow your own veggies and herbs without harmful human intervention by consuming 10% less water and raising plants without chemicals.
The art of soilless farming can be practiced even inside your own home.
This revolutionary method of urban farming lets you grow your own plants without the use of pesticides, GMO, and herbicides.
How about having some home-made TLC sandwiches or some garden salad with your favorite dressing?
You can have a dual garden & fish pond - in a tank!
You don't need to build a greenhouse or set up a fancy landscape for your backyard.
If you wanted to relive your childhood dreams of having an aquarium in your living room, you might as well enjoy indoor aquaponics.