What is Aeroponics?

Aeroponics is technically a branch of conventional hydroponics, so named for its method of delivering nutrient-rich grow solution to suspended plant roots via fine mist nozzles. This delivery method allows for large volumes of crops to be cultivated with significantly fewer volumes of the nutrient solution compared to methods such as Deep Water Culture (DWC) beds. Additionally, increased exposure to ambient air has been shown to aid plant growth.

It should be noted that the sustainably sourced nutrients solutions produced by the INTAG patented biodigestion process can be utilized in a wide range of growing equipment, including conventional hydroponic methods such as Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) gutters, Deep Water Culture (DWC) beds, Media Beds, and Aeroponic Delivery Arrays.

What is the difference between organic and synthetic chemical fertilizers?

Simply put, organically sourced nutrients and organic fertilizer come from natural sources such as manure, animal processing bioproducts, consumer waste, and plant biomass. The nutrients contained within these sources is broken down via a range of biological processes, and become available for plant growth. The diversity of living bacteria, microorganisms, and mycorrhizal fungi within organically sources fertilizers aids in nutrient uptake and plant health.

Synthetic fertilizers are manufactured nutrients such as ammonium nitrate (N), ammonium phosphate (P), and potassium sulfate (K). Chemical fertilizer solutions are typically denoted by various NPK values. It is important to note that many chemical fertilizers on the market may lack appropriate levels of micronutrients, though these can be dosed into growing systems as additives or supplements. Unlike the biologically active fertilizers produced by the INTAG patented biodigestion process, chemical fertilizers are typically sterile solutions, devoid of beneficial microbes, bacteria, and fungi.

How does it work without soil?

An INTAG system uses various methods, such as stone beds and floating rafts to give plants access to nutrients that are naturally balanced throughout the water. Replicating natural processes ensures that nutrients and even microbial life are prevalent in the system which is beneficial in creating healthy plants.

Food from a well designed aquaponic system has all the macronutrients and micronutrients that food grown in typical soil does. In many cases, aquaponic produce has even more nutrients than soil-grown produce. This is due to farmland having so many nutrients gradually depleted from the soil through planting and harvesting over time.

Aquaponics vs. hydroponics

Aquaponics is a specialization within the field of hydroponics. The short, and simple, way of explaining the differences between the two is: aquaponics uses fish that provide the nutrients to the plants, and hydroponics uses a chemist to add the nutrients for the plants.

Plants need 16 different nutrients to grow. In hydroponics, these 16 nutrients, along with over 15 other ingredients, need to be mixed by a chemist to create a solution. In aquaponics, all 16 essential macro and micro nutrients and everything else the plants need occur naturally (with the exception of adding iron) by replicating processes from nature. The result is superior nutrient quality and better taste from a well-designed aquaponic system.