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Growth of Human Populations

Human population is growing at a more than exponential rate, which is the result of advances in agriculture, industry, and medicine.

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Credit: Laura Guerin
Source: CK-12 Foundation
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Aquaponic gardening is a more sustainable way to grow fish and plants for food. There are many advantages to feeding yourself with aquaponics.

Why It Matters

  • Aquaponics combines aquaculture, or raising fish, with hydroponics, or growing plants without soil.
  • Bacteria and worms are important parts of this system too.
  • Only 10% as much water is used as in an outdoor garden.
  • Aquaponic gardens are four to six times as productive per square foot.
  • Credit: Justin Leonard
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scrap_pile/3771093856/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    An aquaponic system [Figure2]

  • The fish and plant crops are organic.
  • The system needs only a small amount of energy for a pump and aeration for fish.

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With the links below, learn more about aquaponic gardening. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Hydroponics is a relationship between plants and fish that is beneficial to both. What does each provide to the other?
  2. What would kill the fish if they were left in a tank without any way of cleaning the tank?
  3. What happens to the nitrogen in fish waste as it cycles through the system? What is used as fertilizer for the plants?
  4. Why does an aquaponic system use only 10% as much water as an outdoor garden?
  5. Why doesn’t aquaponics need pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Laura Guerin; Source: CK-12 Foundation; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Justin Leonard; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scrap_pile/3771093856/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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