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In references to aquaponics there are contradictions. On one hand, it seems as though aquaponics is already a proven factor, and could be a viable solution. You feed the fish, the fish wastes feed bacteria, the bacteria feed the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish. Wonderful! Except that aquaponics is proving difficult to put into practice, since fish waste is not necessarily the correct NPK for plants, and plant waste is not necessarily fish food. Does anyone know how far aquaponics has developed, and if it really is, as yet, a good solution?

Offered by Helena.

I know there are a number of commercial operations that combine aquaculture and hydroponics, that produce lots of fish and bushels of veggies. Is it self-sustaining, probably not. I'm sure that some outside nutrients have to be added on occasion. I'm sure that fish poop does supply a lot of the Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K), that plants need, but maybe not all that's needed. This probably has more to do with growing the right number of fish in conjunction with right number of veggies. Certainly micronutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, etc might need to be added, in addition to NPK. The bottom line is you have to feed the fish and feed the plants, if you can feed the fish and at least partially feed the plants, then its worth it. Coming up with an outside source of nutrients is then the problem. Some fish will eat algae as a food source (Tilapia), and algae can be used to treat sewage. I know its not a appetizing solution but I think its the best one. After I get my hydro/aquaponics going I will look at ways of growing algae on some type of waste source.

Offered by Stan.