Aquaponic Gardening A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together by Sylvia Bernstein is a book on aquaponics worth recommending. This book does a great job of describing what aquaponics is, which is essentially growing both plants and fish together in a symbiotic relationship that makes the two both cost effective and efficient. It is the perfect union of organic hydroponics and aquaculture. The author does a good job emphasizing the benefits of aquaponics over either of those systems alone.
The book brings up the difficult to ignore statistics of an ever-growing world population and the inherent food and nutrition needs that such a scenario will involve. Aquaponics is mentioned as an excellent tool towards the solution to that problem. Sylvia goes on to mention how aquaponics is even more environmentally friendly if you incorporate renewable sources of energy to run the few pumps and heaters required by the process. After reading this book it really seems like aquaponics could be the magic weapon to help ease global food shortages. Aquaponics is even well suited for urban locations. The book mentions that the amount of food that can be harvested is around fifty-thousand pounds of fish and one-hundred-thousand pounds of vegetables per year just on one acre worth of space. This is very compelling.
You learn from this text what aquaponics is capable of on a larger scale which gets you excited about aquaponics. The real benefit of this book however is in the practical information for the home gardener. It provides you with all the information you need to setup your own home aquaponics system and begin to benefit from this elegant food producing technology. You will learn:
- Many ratios and calculations for proper sizing of systems and stocking of fish tanks.
- Recommendations on growing media use and its benefits over media-less systems.
- Plumbing considerations and product recommendations used for building your own system.
- The proper PH for an aquaponics system as it is a bit higher then typical hydroponics.
- Many excellent pictures and diagrams to help a person get started and stay successful.
- Information on properly cycling an aquaponics system to maintain the needed beneficial bacteria and proper system levels.
- Info on system maintenance broken down by what needs to be done daily, weekly, and monthly.
There is a excellent amount of information in this book for anyone considering aquaponic growing. The book even wraps up with info on trouble shooting your system and some considerations for commercial operations. If you don’t know where to start with aquaponics, try picking up a copy of this excellent book.