Comparing Different Indoor Growing Systems: Hydroponics, Aeroponics and Aquaponics


different indoor growing systems

Due to the enormous demand for water supplies and subsequently food supplies, many new trends have emerged in innovative farming methods, including a complex agricultural production system. Hydroponics is the art of soilless farming that involves growing plants in a soilless medium or in an aquatic environment such as an aeroponic cultivation system. Hydroponic grow systems use mineral nutrient solutions to feed plants in water using soilless media.

While aquaponics is the integration of aquaculture and hydroponics, many studies of hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic production on a commercial scale have shown the potentially positive role of these new technologies in sustainable food security. Those agricultural farming systems could be a sustainable alternative to provide different types of products that require less water, fewer fertilizers, and less space, increasing yield per unit area.

The main advantage of these modern agricultural systems is the conservation of water and the less or no use of agrochemicals that are dangerous to the human body when applied and especially when ingested through food.

1. Hydroponics

Hydroponic gardening is performed when a liquid nutrient solution is used in growing plants. Hydroponic gardening involves growing plants without soil. The plants are grown with a nutrient solution instead of soil. Remember that plants can only survive with their roots in:

hydroponics

Hydroponics is now popular for its number of unique benefits to gardeners. Save money first as the gardener can recycle the used water. Additionally, since the nutrients are effectively absorbed and controlled by the gardener, the cost of the fertilizer is significantly reduced. The yields of plants are also quite high and stable in hydroponics.

Other than that, you will have less of a problem with plant pests and diseases as most plant pests and diseases are associated with land use. Water, oxygen, minerals, light/sun, and carbon dioxide are basic requirements for all plants; plants grown in hydroponics get some of these needs, but in a very different way than plants grown in soil.

Perhaps the best benefit of hydroponics is the fact that it can be practiced indoors, meaning your gardening isn’t limited by season and climate. That is why you can grow strong and healthy plants in the winter.

Pros and Cons of a Hydroponic System

Pros

Hydroponics has been around for a long time. Actually, it is the indoor standard. In fact, it is a widely accepted standard for indoor gardening. It adapts to large-scale cultivation and is practically the most “battle-tested” system for growing indoor plants.

Hydroponic crops use a small amount of water that circulates in a closed-loop system, allowing the water to go straight to the roots of the plants. Climate dependence is kept to a minimum and water consumption is reduced by up to 70 percent. Hydroponics has the potential to solve many of the world’s water problems.

Food grown hydroponically does not require large acres of fertile land. Plants are grown close together and crops can be grown in stacked systems, which save space by growing food vertically.

Cons

The disadvantage of hydroponics is that it requires an enormous amount of chemical inputs. This also takes energy to reach the plants.

There are many calculations and adjustments to make the system work. It is a very sensitive system. If the PH or water temperature, or some other critical factor, is not right, your yield may not be optimal.

Also, start-up costs are high, a seed pack and shovel can get you backyard gardening, but you’ll have to invest some green spines before seeing hydroponic green shoots. You must invest in plant equipment if you want hydroponic gardening to work for you. You will need to purchase a lamp, containers, a pump, and nutrient solutions.

It can be relentless – If you put a vegetable garden in your backyard, you have a little leeway. If you forget to water on Monday, you can water on Tuesday. If you don’t feel like weeding this weekend, next weekend will be fine. If you are the type of person who needs this leeway in terms of gardening responsibilities, you may have a problem with hydroponic gardening. If you grow plants in nutrient water, they must have that water and nutrients or they will die. Your own survival depends on your timely and reliable commitment.

2. Aeroponics

In aeroponics, plants are hung in a semi-closed or closed environment and then the roots of the plant are sprayed with a nutrient-rich water solution. While the roots of the plant are below the plant’s support structure, the crown and leaves of the plant protrude above it.

aeroponics 1

Aeroponics offers a different approach to gardening compared to the traditional way of growing your plants with soil in a bed where it receives nutrients. In this technique, the plant is hung in a container under which the root of the plant is hung. At this point, nutrient-rich water is sprayed through a pipe system to the roots of the plant. This provides nutrients, life, and nutrition to the entire plant through the root without having to go underground.

The rapid growth of plants in an aeroponic environment makes them disease-free than if any other medium were used. However, aeroponics is usually combined with a hydroponic system as a backup in case the aeroponics system falls short. Because of this process, it doesn’t have the potential threats associated with traditional gardens. In aeroponics, there is no shortage of water, no damage to the plant from exposure to pests, no root rot, or even soil diseases. All you have are completely healthy plants that produce healthy fruits and vegetables.

Just because it sounds technical doesn’t mean it is. It’s a simple process that can be done anywhere. It can be done in greenhouses, your backyard, and balconies. You don’t need years of experience in gardening to practice aeroponics. It is a process that can be learned by anyone or anyone eager to learn the technique and produce healthy fruits and vegetables.

The flexibility of this process is unmatched and can be achieved without the hassle your crops can take away from you. If you think aeroponics sounds like a great garden system, give it a try and enjoy the many benefits attributed to it. Not only is aeroponics a great process for those interested in growing tasty and healthy crops, but it is also very easy to practice in any climate. With this garden system, you can grow tasty and healthy plants in any climate and at any time of the year.

The pros and cons of aeroponics system

Pros

The best thing about aeroponics is that it is a very fast and comprehensive culture system. It is also very efficient because the water it uses is dosed in such a way that it saves a lot on water costs.

The maintenance requirements for aeroponics are minimal because manufacturers do not use the growing medium in aeroponics, the maintenance requirements for this system are minimal and affordable.

It is also possible to achieve higher yields with aeroponics if you compare plants grown in aeroponic systems with those grown in a garden or traditional soil, this system will yield a yield that can be up to three times higher. It also creates fruits and greens with a richer flavor profile due to the lack of an intermediate medium.

Also, modern aeroponics doesn’t need much space to produce high performance.

Cons

It’s an expensive grow method at first – a do-it-yourself aeroponic system can cost a grower a few hundred dollars if they know what they’re doing. If you want a build that offers automatic nutrient monitoring and backup power, you can pay over $ 7,000 for a single unit.

 In addition, it must have a certain level of technical knowledge, as it requires producers to have a certain level of technical knowledge in order to be successful in this. Builds must follow a specific setup process because there is no growing medium available to absorb excess nutrients. It is up to each grower to know how much each plant needs on a daily basis to produce the maximum amount of fruit or vegetation. Giving plants too little or too much water or nutrients can lead to undesirable results.

Another downside to aeroponics is that it requires a huge amount of technology. We are talking about all kinds of switches and controls.

If there is a glitch in the control system, your entire courtyard garden is at risk. You can basically kill all your plants in the whole system because of a faulty centralized control panel.

The solution to this, of course, is to locate the controls in sections using a modular aquaponics system. It can reduce the risk of system failure on specific modules. This way you will not endanger the rest of the plants you are trying to grow if any part of your system is down or malfunctioning.

3. Aquaponics

Aquaponics is derived from the word “aquaculture” which means the farming of fish or other aquatic animals. This garden system combines life in the water and in agriculture. It uses a water pump system that supplies both the plants in the breeding beds and the fish in the tank with water.

aquaponics

Aquaponics uses fish or aquatic animals and land plants to create an independent and controlled environment where fish, proteins, and vegetables can be harvested. A great source of nutrients in this gardening system is obtained from fish waste material. This nutrient is enough for plants to grow and survive healthily.

So how do plants and fish work together to produce aquaponics?

Well, it’s easy enough, fish produce essential nutrients from their waste, which therefore nourishes the plants; Again, the plants feed the fish, and finally the bed filters the water through gravel or sand before sterilizing it. This chain creates a self-sufficient environment for growth and development. It is convenient and effective because such an environment does not require much space or water. Both fish and plants flourish and growers or farmers make harvesting easier.

Aquaponics works in the same way as nature does; it takes the water from the lake or pond and pumps it into a tank where the water is screened with sand or gravel looking for solids. The filtered water is then pumped through trays to where the fish grow and then to the fish, where the water gets the nutrients. This gives the fish food and the fish can supply the plants with nutrients and the cycle starts over and over. Usually, a little water must be added to offset the plants’ water consumption, but with everything taken into account, aquaponics is an effective way to grow nutritious, local food.

The pros and cons of aquaponics system

Pros

No floor needed; in many places the quality of the soil is poor. This prevents the collection of good quality products. Aquaponics is an interesting alternative for areas. That is with soil problems and for desert areas. It is also a system that can be of great importance for growing in cities. Somewhere arable land is practically non-existent.

The aquaponics system is a great way to grow fish as well as plants. It also uses a medium of water, so cleaning both growing sections is a breeze. It also provides a fairly controlled flow of nutrients.

The best thing about this system is that the water filtration process is built in so you don’t have to remove debris from the system. Instead, it is used as a fertilizer.

In aquaponics, fish waste is a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants. In this way, it is possible to significantly reduce the cost of fertilizer salts. Better yet, some of the organic product certifications can be passed, if the aquaponic system is properly managed.

Produces the highest yield in a field; you probably know from the aquaponics description that you can use the same land for production farming and fishing. That means it can yield the highest on your land.

Cons

Success without a guarantee – we know that no production system has a perfect success rate. In thе саѕе оf аԛuароnісѕ, thе реrсеntаgе іѕ ԛuіtе ѕmаll. The point is many systems are largely standardized. In hydroponics, for example, there is a lot of information about it. It is not the same with aquaponics, a lot of research and standardization is lacking.

The initial cost of setting up aquaponics – starting an aquaponics project has a relatively higher initial cost than other production methods, such as home gardens. However, it is not possible to give a concrete figure. It depends on the size of the system and the technological level. Keep in mind that pumps and plumbing supplies are required.

Another drawback to aquaponics is that it must be designed correctly. It can be quite expensive. Even if you live in a very cold part of the country, your aquaponics system may fail for some time. Otherwise, you may have to spend a lot of money on heating costs.

Differences between hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic

Growth

Hydroponics – grows plants in water, hydroponics uses water to transport nutrients, as it does not require soil for its growth and development. Plants can be grown with sand, gravel, or liquid. In hydroponic gardening, water provides the source of nutrients to the root system.

Aquaponics – grows plants in water and raises fish, aquaponics brought together fish farming to provide nutrients to growing plants. This makes aquaponics a balanced and controlled ecosystem that is mutually beneficial to fish and plants.

Aeroponics – grows plants in water, aeroponics uses an air or mist environment to grow plants. The plants are grown without soil in a moist environment and these plants can be grown in tubes.

Bаѕісаllу, аеrороnісѕ ѕuѕреndѕ thе рlаnt іn a semi-closed оr сlоѕеd environment аnd ѕрrауѕ nutrient-rich wаtеr оn thе roots. A disadvantage of this system is the exposure of the roots and pest problems if it is not well insulated.

Pests and diseases

Another difference between aquaponics, hydroponics, and aeroponics is the environment. While in aeroponics the plants are grown in a semi-closed or closed space, with hydroponics the plants are grown in a closed (indoor) space. In aquaponics, the plants are grown in a settling tank where fish are grown.

This setup makes hydroponics free from pests and diseases. Thе unrestricted environment іn аеrороnісѕ mаkеѕ thеm vulnеrаblе tо pests аnd dіѕеаѕеѕ. The presence of fish or other aquatic animals can also predispose aquaponics to pests and diseases.

Nutritious

In hydroponic gardening, carbon dioxide and oxygen are supplied to the nutrient solution to improve nutrient absorption by the root systems. This promotes healthy and faster plant growth.

Unlike the conventional way of growing plants, the root system of hydro and aeroponic plants does not have to search for minerals and nutrients in the soil. All the necessary minerals and nutrients are available to be sprayed or delivered to the root system.

However, the water supply must be provided with liquid fertilizers in sufficient quantity to feed the plants carefully and regularly. These fertilizers are quite expensive because they are made from extracted minerals that are not renewable.

Aquaponics has a complex and difficult approach. You must feed the fish before the fish produce waste which in turn feeds the plants. This is why one of the biggest problems with aquaponics is removing fish waste and providing enough fresh water for fishing, as dirty water could be a home for disease contamination. Fish are also exposed to harmful chemicals in the water; this makes it difficult to change the parameters of the water or the use of drugs.

Support (Growing Medium)

Growers usually keep hydroponic plants in trays or net pots filled with rock wool, gravel, sand, or perlite. This medium is a lot like Earth, but these mediums don’t provide nutrients, they are there to provide support!

The aeroponic system does not require media; they use plastic clips, foam boards, or shelves to hang the plants in the space and expose the roots.

Media is not used in aquaponics because the source of nutrients is in the tank.

End product

The end product of hydroponic and aeroponic garden systems is nothing more than plants, healthy and strong. But with aquaponics, you get twice the benefits of harvesting healthy plants and fish / aquatic animals.

These are the main differences between hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic garden systems.

Comparisons with conventional agriculture (geoponics)

Because these three innovative methods are soilless, controlling the amounts of nutrients plants receive can be accurate and much more efficient. They do not depend on the quality of the soil like crops on traditional agricultural land. Plants use less water because their roots feed directly on the solution. Hydroponics, for example, uses an average of 10% of the water required for conventional plantings.

Most of the water is also recycled within the system. It translates into significant water savings and savings in irrigation costs. It also greatly reduces the use of fertilizers, so that excess waste does not end up in rivers or pollute the groundwater that people use.

The use of harmful insecticides is also decreasing sharply because indoor plants are less susceptible to pests and diseases. They are also not exposed to harsh elements outside. Thе іdеаl tеmреrаturе range саn bе mаіntаіnеd wіthіn thе еnсlоѕurе, ensuring thе mоѕt орtіmаl соndіtіоnѕ аt аll tіmеѕ.

Conclusion

Aeroponics, hydroponics, and aquaponics are not very different from each other. Well, these types of indoor gardening are different from each other, and it all comes down to how the nutrients get into the root system of the plant. In aeroponics, the roots are exposed to nutrients in clean air. There is no medium around the roots. No soil, no composites, and certainly no water. All nutrients in high-volume liquid form are sprayed or sprayed onto the roots of the plants.

Hydroponics, on the other hand, involves very specific and measured exposure to a very calculated mix of nutrients. This is given to the roots using a wide variety of artificial and non-artificial materials such as Styrofoam, certain types of plastics, even PVC. The key is to keep the roots in some sort of standardized medium to maximize their intake of carefully calculated nutrient solutions.

The choice between aeroponics, hydroponics, and aquaponics basically comes down to factors such as cost, infrastructure, types of crops you want to grow, and geography. Dереndіng оn whеrе уоu аrе іn thе соuntrу, аеrороnісѕ, hydroponics, оr аԛuароnісѕ (not necessarily іn thаt order) mау bе оut оf thе ԛuеѕtіоn. That’s why you need to consider all these different factors so that you can make a truly informed and effective decision.

Lindsey Glenn

I've been learning about gardening since 2015, helping friends and family to grow their trees. I am passionate about trees and love sharing everything I learn about them.

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