I garden both in the ground and with aquaponics. My system has had fish for only 4 months so I can't speak to it with any great authority. However, I've already seen some vegetables grow as well as those in the ground and a few varieties (especially lettuce) which performed better than those in the ground. I'm really looking forward to comparisons after a year or so when the system is mature. There is a lot to be said for plants you don't need to water, fewer pests and planting beds at waist height. The setup costs alone will ensure that aquaponics doesn't replace ground gardening anytime soon. If you are a good ground gardener, I expect your aquaponics results will be less dramatic than someone else who may not have been all that good of a conventional gardener. Gardening in aquaponics seems quite a bit easier to me with less ramp up time. It takes longer to build fertility in soil than in aquaponics, in my opinion.
This thread is very interesting. Is aquaponics hype?
Thanks Carey Ma. My dome is going to be underground. Do you think you can do AP without electricity in an underground dome?
Curious and more curious!! I want to know all about your plans and systems. This project of yours seems to be the type of challenge I live for.
Actually yes! If money is no object, one can grow underground without light. Is the entire dome underground? What you need in this case would be solar collectors/ concentraters (mirrors) and fiber optics. Discards/ defective fiber optic cables are a lot cheaper and since we aren't sending messages, they will work fine for our use. "Solar tubes" would also be very helpful and used in conjunction. The down side is that you probably won't be able to grow fruit bearing crops like tomato very well. At this point in time, supplemental lighting would be advised. Again, IMO LED lighting is NOT mature enough to warrant their use. Personally I would stick with tried and true 1,000 W Metal halide or High pressure Sodium.
That's a complex question and there will be a lot of opinions on it depending on who you ask.
I could write a lot about this but it's easier to say 120 square feet per meal for each healthy person just for the veggies. And that also depends on what you like to eat.
Those dome's look cool btw.
I saw a documentary today that you might want to check out: POWERING THE PLANET - EARTH - THE OPERATORS MANUAL
It includes a segment featuring a place in Alaska using LED lighting to grow vegetables indoors and they are growing more than lettuce - they're growing summer vegetables.
There is also a documentary called: EARTH - THE OPERATORS MANUAL, which is not the one.
This is an interesting idea you have and I hope you continue to pursue it. My system becomes more productive all the time and it's only 4 months old. I picked lettuce and a beet today - it was the one and only beet that I transplanted from the ground. It did far better than those in the ground, both in root and foliage production. The strawberries we planted three weeks or so ago look great compared to how they looked when I planted them and they are producing already. I'll cut kale tomorrow - it has been producing well as those planted in the ground but no better.
Thanks all. I'll post a link to the webpage on my dome idea soon.