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The History of Aquaponics

Aquaponics can be traced back to the Aztec Indians who raised plants on rafts on the surface of a lake around 1000 AD, however, as a modern agricultural technology, it is still in its infancy. Aquaculture and Hydroponics are relatively new industries, only gaining serious momentum over the past half century. The idea of combining the two is even more recent and has only been made possible as techniques for hydroponic farming and aquaculture have improved.

Aquaculture was traditionally carried out in large ponds, which consumed both large quantities of land and water. To address this issue, aquaculturists moved into Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS). Early on in research of RAS, experiments were carried out to determine how efficient aquatic plants were at filtering and consuming the nutrients in waste water from aquaculture farms. This research tested also terrestrial plants and these proved to be an effective method for water purification. The noted benefits of combining these two technologies then led to the combination of the aquaculture and hydroponics as an integrated industry.

Emerging Industry

Research into aquaponics commenced in the 1970's and is continuing with many universities across the world refining technologies to improve output. In particular, Dr. James Rakocy of the University of the Virgin Islands has been working to refine aquaponic systems over the past 25 years. Aquaponics has gained momentum over the past few decades. In the early 2000’s large commercial aquaponics operations were implemented and in-depth research into their productivity was undertaken.

Many believe that aquaponics is now probably one of the most profitable projects that new commercial growers can start in, be it large or small scale.

Would you like to learn more?

If you would like to learn more about aquaponics or other areas of the fish industry, we can help. We offer courses on Aquaponics, Fish Care and Culture, Marine Aquaculture, Marine Studies and much more.

All of our courses are studied by distance learning, and have been extensively developed by highly knowledgeable and experienced specialists. Our courses are available to start at any time. Students study the courses online or by eLearning and are supported in their studies by our specialist tutors. 

Take a look at the course listings and links to our course pages at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions, or would like help in choosing a course to suit your career or business goals, then you can ask our specialist Agriculture tutors. We look forward to hearing from you.

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