Aquaponic has potential for local food production in large urban centres as it requires no soil for vegetable production. Systems can be installed on paving or on structurally strong rooftops.
Systems can be scaled-up, with perhaps the greatest barrier to their deployment as commercial systems being up-front capital cost.
There are few in community gardens around Australia. Perth City Farm installed a larger system some years ago and there is a small demonstration unit at Alexandra Community Garden, in inner-urban Sydney, that is used to educate visitors about the principles of aquaponics and does not produce table fish.
Vegetables are held in a gravel matrix and circulating water trickled from polypipe onto this.
Australian freshwater table fish are yet to be added at the time of writing.
Randwick Community Organic Garden has been developing an aquaponic system using salvaged bathtubs as vegetable growing containers.
A rectangular galvanised iron rainwater tank has been sunk into the sandy soil to hold the water for the fish. Reinforcing across its width was necessary for strength. A cover was installed for gardener and public safety.
AQUAPONICS — it's way to grow vegetables and fish together, without soil.
Aquaponics is a closed-loop system of hydroponic food production in which water is pumped through vegetable growing containers, through a tank holding edible fish and back through the growing containers.
The water makes waste from the fish tank available as it irrigates the vegetables and delivers waste nutrients from the growing containers to the fish. Supplementary feed is usually provided to the fish to ensure a nutritionally balanced diet.