Welcome to our ongoing series highlighting our Aquaponics Curriculum!
Over the coming weeks, we will be posting a series of articles covering the basics of each Curriculum Topic. Today, we are covering Topic 1, Lesson 2, Hydroponics, Aquaponics, Aeroponics. Each of these blog posts is aimed to give an overview of the subject and provide one or more critical thinking questions. You can find our first post in this series here. Enjoy!
Hydroponics is not a new technology. Both the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Floating Gardens of China employed hydroponic concepts. Hydroponics is the growth of plants without soil. Hydroponic plants are most commonly grown in nutrient solution, rock, sand, Rockwool, or a combination of these. Because the plants are grown in a liquid medium or a nutrient deficient substance, nutrients are supplied to the water or substrate as a supplement for plant intake. Hydroponic systems can easily be scaled up or down as the maintenance is relatively low. The components in the system are often automated from nutrient injection to drainage pumps. Generally the pH of the system does not change easily because the system does not decompose organic matter. However, many hydroponic systems do have algae growth which could attract insects and consequently viruses and diseases can be vectored to the plants. Additionally, hydroponic systems tend to accumulate salt deposits in the pipes that need to be flushed regularly.