Fertilizer for Aquaponics


Aquaponics, an innovative combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, provides a sustainable way of cultivating both plants and fish in a shared environment. The fish excrete waste, which serves as a natural fertilizer for the plants. In turn, the plants clean the water, which is then recirculated back to the fish. While this symbiotic relationship can substantially reduce the need for external inputs, some growers believe that additional fertilization can further optimize plant growth. However, it is crucial to understand the right fertilizers for aquaponics and to be aware of scams, such as the “Friendly Aquaponics” scheme, which misled many aspiring growers.

The Role of Fertilizers in Aquaponics

In traditional soil gardening, plants obtain necessary nutrients from the soil, which is often supplemented with fertilizers to promote growth. In contrast, in an aquaponic system, the primary nutrient source is fish waste. As fish metabolize their food, they produce ammonia as a waste product. Beneficial bacteria in the system then convert this ammonia into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates, which serve as the primary nutrient for plant growth.

However, there are certain micro and macronutrients that might not be present in sufficient amounts in fish waste alone. This is where supplemental fertilization can come into play:

  1. Iron: This is a common deficiency in aquaponics systems. Chelated iron, which is iron bound with an organic molecule, is often added to ensure plants have enough of this vital nutrient.
  2. Calcium and Potassium: These elements are usually supplemented using calcium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. They not only provide nutrients but also aid in pH regulation.
  3. Magnesium: Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) can be used to rectify magnesium deficiencies.

While these supplements can enhance the growth and health of the plants, it’s essential to add them judiciously. Over-fertilization can harm both plants and fish.

Friendly Aquaponics Scam Features

Like many sectors, aquaponics has its share of scams. The “Friendly Aquaponics” scam stands out as a cautionary tale for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Below are some features of the scam:

  1. Misleading Claims: Friendly Aquaponics advertised itself as an expert in the field, offering training and courses at exorbitant prices. They claimed to have proprietary knowledge and techniques that could significantly boost production.
  2. Unverified Results: Their system allegedly produced more crops in less space and time than traditional aquaponics methods. However, these results were not scientifically verified nor peer-reviewed.
  3. Expensive Courses: Aspiring aquaponic farmers were lured into purchasing high-priced courses with the promise of achieving the same unverified results.
  4. Lack of Transparency: Details about the proprietary system were closely guarded, making it difficult for purchasers to discern the legitimacy of the methods.

Awareness of such scams is vital. Before investing time, money, and resources into any venture or course, thorough research and due diligence are imperative.


Aquaponics presents a promising solution for sustainable agriculture, seamlessly integrating fish and plant production. While the ecosystem provides a natural fertilization process, understanding the role and application of external fertilizers can enhance the system’s productivity. However, as with any rapidly growing industry, it is crucial to approach new methods and courses with skepticism. The Friendly Aquaponics scam serves as a reminder of the importance of due diligence. As aquaponics continues to evolve, informed decision-making and continuous learning will be essential to maximize its potential and avoid pitfalls.

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