Cover pic credits:Instagram: Top: Agri Joy Bottom: Pindfresh

Are you baffled by how most gardeners cultivate a thriving oasis without the use of soil?

Enter hydroponics and aquaponics that are changing the game when it comes to soil-less agriculture.

While both are incredibly beneficial and simple, which one will suit you best? Through this piece, we list the benefits of both and help you make up your mind.

1. The nutrient system

Hydroponics involves placing plants in a growing medium, with a nutrient solution containing essential minerals pumped directly to the roots of the plant.

In aquaponics, the plants are placed in a tank setup, which also has certain species of fish. The ammonia in the fish waste is released into the water, prompting the growth of bacteria. The bacteria convert the ammonia into nitrates and nitrites, which then become nutrients for the plants.

2. Temperature and sterility

Since hydroponics works to inhibit the growth of bacteria, the temperature of the set-up is lower and the setup is sterile.

Since aquaponics depends on bacteria for the plant to get its nutrients, the temperatures are such that the growth of the bacteria is encouraged.

3. Speed

Hydroponic systems are faster. Aquaponic systems are slower as it takes a month for the nitrifying bacteria, which are integral to breaking down the fish waste, to develop.

4. Price Point

Hydroponic systems are more cost-effective compared to aquaponic systems since the former does not require a growing medium while the latter involves the cost of purchasing fish and growing beds.

5. Hassle 

Since hydroponics involves chemical nutrient beds, the system needs to be unloaded from time to time due to the chemical buildup.

Aquaponics does not require the water to be changed frequently as the system deploys natural nutrients.

6. Beginner-friendly

Hydroponics systems are more beginner-friendly. Aquaponics systems require close monitoring to maintain the fine balance between the fish, bacteria and the plants.

7. Disease prevalence

The chance of the plants being affected by root rot in hydroponics systems is more common. In aquaponics, the growth of microbes provides immunity to the plants and thus prevents the growth of fungus on the roots.