What is the difference between aquaponics and hydroponics?

We regularly talk about the benefits of farming with hydroponics (for example, faster plant growth and year round growing ). We often get questions about the differences between hydroponics and aquaponics, the two main farming methods that use water without soil.

Hydroponics is a farming method that relies on plants growing in nutrient-rich water instead of in soil. In our Agrow Cube, we use the nutrient film technique, where a continued flow of nutrient-rich water flows across the plant roots.

agrow-cube-hydroponics-water-pipes-water-tank
An employee connects the water tank to the pipes. Each hole in the pipes represents a spot for a plant to grow.

Aquaponics is very similar to hydroponics; it is still a water-based farming method, where water runs over the roots of the plants to bring all the necessary nutrients. The only difference between aquaponics and hydroponics is that in aquaponics, you do not add nutrients to the water. Instead, there are live fish in the water tank! The fish waste produces the nutrients the plants need, making a sustainable ecosystem. The nutrient-rich water that results from the fish provides the plants with a natural fertilizer, and the plants purify the water for the fish. Together, the fish and the plants create an efficient system.

img_33541
In aquaponics, plants take their nutrients from fish waste.

Therefore, the main difference between hydroponics and aquaponics is the presence of fish in the water tank. Hydroponics doesn’t use fish, but required nutrients are added to the water; aquaponics use fish to naturally provide nutrients to the plants.

agrow-cube-cabbage-roots-hydroponics
In both hydroponics and aquaponics, the water is running under the roots of the plants, through the different pipes in the Agrow Cube.

We use a hydroponics system inside the standard Agrow Cube, but have an aquaponics system inside the test box set up at our headquarters. Agrow Cube’s hydroponics system has shown great results with strong plant growth that is faster than traditional farming. Agrow Cube brings a steady supply of food all year round by combining hydroponics with our insulated box.  For more information about year round farming with Agrow Cube, visit our related post. 

To learn more about Agrow Cube, visit our website www.agrowcube.com, email info@agrowcube.com, or call today at (800) 356-8351.

Follow us on social media to see Agrow Cube in action and to receive regular updates   about what we’re doing and where we will be: FacebookTwitter Instagram.