What a strange sensation I had today. Scrolling through some of my social media links, I came across a post on aquaponics – “10 rules of” no less. It was by Dr Rakocy from UVI. I will state upfront that the papers from this individual initially got me interested in aquaponics and I have used his detailed work a great deal since. I am therefore comfortable with attributing my entry into aquaponics to a large extent to UVI and Dr Rakocy. Many people on this forum can say this. Whether it was a Nelson and Pade rendition or a Friendly aquaponics simplification of its design, we owe a lot to this system. A lot, but not everything.
On the other side of the world the Australians were hard at work developing simple, media based systems. Some came with ugly acronyms, but all are simple and productive. We owe a lot to this crowd as well. A lot, but again, not everything. I will repeat what I said in one of the threads where credit due to the pioneers were discussed previously: We do not give credit to original coachbuilders such as Mercedes Benz every time we slap four wheels on a car, and in this spirit, I do not think that we need to owe to, or be restricted by, the original concepts. If we were to do this, our cars would still resemble the first ones that came out over a century ago.
Back to my irrational anger this morning. The post was perfectly logical, but the laws were applied to “aquaponics”. Not “the UVI system” or “High density Raft style Aquaponics” or anything defining like that. Just aquaponics. Sorry, but then I am a rule breaker and what I do no longer can be called aquaponics. Either that, or the author of the document refuses or neglects to acknowledge that aquaponics has grown beyond his system. Making sweeping statements about using media and having to remove solids, needing complex multi-stage filtration and all the other management aspects peculiar to the UVI system, and posting these under “rules for aquaponics” does not sit well with me. If you were in advanced automobile design school, and your lecturer instructs you to take a vehicle fuel tank and drill a hole in the fuel tank at the 50% level and fit an overflow, would you instinctively follow the instruction? What if you are just starting out and have no experience?
I have the same reaction when I go to some of the other aquaponic forums. Gospel issued with a hand grenade most of the time. Do this or die. These are the ten commandments of, wait for it, AQUAPONICS.
I wish sincerely that all these gentle people that believe in or are familiar with only one type of aquaponic system would not make the repeated assumption that theirs are the only way to go and thus also the best (as it appears from the mere fact that they categorize how their unit works as how aquaponics is supposed to function). As I have said so many times – There are a million ways in which to make aquaponic principles work and it is up to all of us to make sure that all of these get developed and exposed. Some grow lettuce better. Some use more power than they have to. Some produce more fish than others. These qualities make them different, not ranked from best to worst.