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Tilapia is a popular fish species grown in aquaponics systems. They are known as one of the toughest fish, able to adapt to changing environments and survive in a wide range of water conditions. This popular fish species isn't just good for fish fillets; it's also one of the best fish for aquaponic gardening, particularly for beginners.

In this post, we will give you an overview of the aquaponics system at RAS Aquaculture. In addition to mud crab and shrimp farming, we have a small aquaponics system here where we grow both plants and tilapia fish.

Aquaponics is the cultivation of both fish and plants in recirculating systems. Tilapia are popular in the aquaponics industry due to their low cost, robustness, and rapid growth rate. Tilapia fish eat a lot so they produce a lot of waste which is beneficial for the plants. In our aquaponics, we have lettuce or we call salad leaf, and Khai Choy/Chinese mustard.

Lettuce in our aquaponics

So, in aquaponics, the waste from the fish is recycled to cultivate and grow the plant, and there is also a filtration for the water system. Aquaponics systems involve the cultivation of plants as well as the raising of fish with the assistance of beneficial bacteria. These components work together to form an efficient aquaponics system. How the aquaponics work? For aquaponics, we have the plant’s grow bed and the fish tank. Fish will produce waste, and beneficial microbes will convert the ammonia in the waste into fertiliser. The plants will then absorb these fertilisers and nutrients to aid in their growth. In exchange, the plans clean and filter the water. The clean water is then recirculated back to the fish tank, where the cycle begins again. The water in the fish tank will usually become clear due to the filtration system used. In the grow bed, there is a filter to filter the big particles from the fish waste.

Basically, aquaponics gives you a win-win situation where it gives you both benefits of raising fish and healthy organic vegetables together at the same time. Plus, you would not have to worry if the water will become dirty, because the plant will do its job to absorb the fish waste. Unless your pump is broken or turned off, then the water will become quite cloudy as the system cannot run. It is also efficient, sustainable and productive because it uses less water compared to traditional agriculture.

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