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Aquaponics is the combination of Aquaculture and Hydroponics to create a controlled ecological loop where the fish provide food for the plants while in return the plants use the nutrient rich water to feed and grow and help keep the water clean for the fish.

Having a passion for fresh tasty produce I have found that a lot of food locally is very low in variety. Many times I have looked for certain products, especially some varieties of herbs and salad ingredients, only to find they aren't stocked in any supermarket or produce store. Then comes the question of what fertilisers, hormones or pesticides may have been used in the growing process.

Keeping fish is something I have done throughout my life, and it is because of my passion for the hobby and the enjoyment I get from keeping fish and growing aquatic plants that has sparked my interest in aquaponics. 
I currently have several aquariums housing many different species. I also breed some of my fish, mainly guppies, platys and more recently I have started to try and breed Red Cap Orandas (a type of fancy goldfish).

At this point in time I am unemployed but studying full time to get my Diploma of Horticulture, and living in an area where the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country. Despite efforts to find work I have had little to no success, and because of this I am looking to find a way to support my families needs, as well as hopefully creating a business that may support my family financially.

I am building my system with a very low income, and as yet have only a few parts to get my system in place. One of my largest challenges is lack of money to gather materials in order to construct and complete my project. I am currently growing all my stock in pots and gardens until I can get my system built and running

I am working on building a system that incorporates three growing methods, Trickle, Deep Water Culture, as well as Flood and Drain Beds. Certain plants prefer different conditions to grow. Where some can grow with partial or complete root immersion, some need support for best growth.

By using these different growing methods in a single system I can maximise not only the variety of produce I can grow, but also provide great fresh produce without the introduction of chemical fertilisers or hormones.

When in full production I predict to be able to grow salad greens and herbs, as well as some exotic and hard to find fruits and vegetables. I hope to make my products readily available to cafes, restaurants and most importantly those looking for fresh organic food to enjoy.

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What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the combination of two different farming techniques, aquaculture and hydroponics.

Aquaculture is keeping and raising fish, usually for consumption, and hydroponics is growing plants in a soil free media. Both of these processes alone create waste water that would generally be dumped as the toxins created by the fish, or nutrients deplete in the respective systems.

Aquaponics is a closed loop that creates a symbiotic environment where the fish provide waste that is converted to nutrients for the plants, whilst the plants absorb the nutrients removing toxins before the water is returned to the fish.

Check out the video as Murray Hallam explains  how aquaponics works and reduces environmental impact.