Chapter 7: Recirculating Aquaponics or Not?

The majority of aquaponics systems are recirculating, which means the water that leaves the growing beds or pipes is pumped back to the fish rearing tanks. It’s not surprising that many people assume all aquaponics and hydroponics are recirculating. However, you can also design and install a non-recirculating aquaponics system that releases the waste water into the environment in some way instead. There are benefits to both kinds of systems, but for most commercial operations, the sheer volume of water released makes recirculating equipment necessary. Even with the best pumps, and an enclosed greenhouse environment, aquaponics systems lose around 1-2% of water per day due to evaporation. Thus, they need constant input of fresh and conditioned water to stay at the consistent water levels.

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