Connect with us

aquaponic hydroponic differences

Hydroponic vs Aquaponic Grown Vegetables: Biggest Differences

The post Hydroponic vs Aquaponic Grown Vegetables: Biggest Differences appeared first on TopGrows.



Hydroponic vs Aquaponic Grown Vegetables: Biggest Differences

Farming is one of the most ancient production methods and incredibly essential in the survival of the human race.

It was the fundamental aspect that allowed humans to leave the Nomadic lifestyle and become Sedentary, creating villages and societies.

Now, being around for thousands of years, it’s no surprise the large number of technological and operational advances it has suffered throughout history.

Even though its roots also date far way back, two increasingly popular systems for producing food, nowadays, are hydroponics and aquaponics.

Both remove the soil aspect in terms of solid material and substitute it with water. The plants’ roots grow underwater, getting all the nutrients they need from it, making the vegetables, fruits, herbs, or greens to grow faster, healthier, tastier, and larger than regular farming methods.

Now, even though the outcome between these two methods isn’t that different, the process sure is, so we’ll start by explaining a bit on what hydroponics and aquaponics consist of.


Farming 101


Hydroponic vs Aquaponic



With arguments explaining its advantages, hydroponics dates as far back as 1627, with “A Natural History” – a book written by Francis Bacon.

The idea is that, by removing soil and letting the plants grow in the water there’s a better precision with the type and quantity of nutrients they’re receiving.

Now, those nutrients don’t appear naturally, so there’s a need to use nutrient solutions in a water solvent.

The roots can stay only surrounded by water or can be physically supported by an inert medium, like perlite or gravel.



Aquaponics is an artificial cycle, inspired by Nature. In it, you combine aquaculture – the process of raising aquatic creatures, such as fish, crayfish, prawns, and others – and hydroponics.

With various individual components, you should be able to create this symbiosis: the fish, in a water tank, eat and breed, creating excrement. This would normally raise the water toxicity, but by introducing nitrifying bacteria to the environment, they’re able to transform the ammonia of the fish excrement and turn it into nitrites and, consequently, nitrates.

Then, the water is pumped into a regular hydroponics farm, where the plants will take advantage of that nutrient-rich water. They will also fill it with oxygen, so when the water is pumped back into the fish tank it creates a healthy ecosystem.


Ups & Downs

With just a quick search on Google, you’ll see a large number of growers and farmers in forums arguing which method is better, without a clear winner.

The main argument revolves around this: aquaponics draws you in with the raising of living aquatic creatures, while hydroponics offers you great precision and control.

Even though there haven’t been that many studies that compare the product created in terms of biology and overall quality, we’ll get into what we know, as well as other aspects, regarding the overall practice.


Overall Practice



  • Marketing Tool – The fact that you’re using live animals as part of the process, it creates an exciting component, bringing more customers, curious with the outcome. We’re also living in a time where “organic” is such an important word – how can a symbiosis cycle be more organic? This a marketing technique realized and put in practice by dozens of Upstart Farmers.
  • Rewarding – Raising animals, be which kind they are, and growing plants are two completely different things. Even in terms of emotional investment, the first will offer you a greater and more fun experience. Not only in raising them but everything that comes with it, be it tours, educational programs, or recruit training.
  • Additional Food Source – While relying on fish sales for income is only possible for large scale aquaponic farms, we can’t deny the advantage of having a natural way to bring food to your dinner table and feed your family. Who doesn’t love a nice Tilapia or a delicious catfish?



  • Complex Building Process – This is probably the largest disadvantage of the whole method, as it is tricky and a bit costly to collect all the individual components you need to create the farm (typically, 30% – 50% costlier than a hydroponics farm). With the fish tank, the actual plant’s farm, the plumbing systems, and all the living components, besides cost, space can also become a bit of a problem, if you don’t have the right location. Despite all that, there are a few cheap, DIY aquaponics farm techniques that can help you. If you wish to know a bit more about that, you can click here to learn more.
  • Cycle Time – Remember those bacteria we’ve talked about previously? Well to reach a state where the microbial community is healthy enough for the nutrient cycle it can take a while. So, you should wait 6 weeks before you place the fish and the seeds, and, for the first 18 months, you won’t see that many results. But trust us, after it’s stabilized, it’s a beauty!
  • Less Room for Errors – We recommend studying the system thoroughly before you put it to the practice, as a few minor errors can mess up the whole farm. It’s a steep learning curve. A fish death can affect the health of the other living beings and troubleshooting has to be on point.




  • No Price Surprises – This type of farms, when compared with aquaponics, have a more predictable and consistent price tag, that will depend on the size, management, and sourcing. This is important for farmers, as they’re able to create financial stability, while easily managing accounting and ordering.
  • Simpler Overall – Since you’re removing a few components from an aquaponics farm, it will always be a simpler and easier process. Not only for the farmer who owns it but, if he chooses to expand, it will also be easier to train recruits.
  • Easier GAP Certification – Because fish and fish waste is out of the equation, the steps to achieve a GAP certification are fewer, as the opportunities for system contamination are also fewer.


  • Harder Organic Certification – It’s not all perfect. On one side, it’s easier to get the previously mentioned GAP certification, but when we’re talking about the organic one, aquaponic farmers are favored. It’s all based on the fact that hydroponics uses a nutrient solution, rarely considered an organic process.




differences betweed Hydroponic and Aquaponic


Now, as we’ve said before, there aren’t that many studies that compare produce grown in aquaponic farms and hydroponic ones, so it’s still a fairly tough decision to make. Despite that, aquaponics has shown a small advantage in size and taste – the last one being fairly subjective.

In terms of biology, typically, plants grown in aquaponic systems have leaves poorer in phosphorus, but richer in calcium, potassium magnesium and sodium, when compared with the same species in hydroponic farms.

In a study made in 2007 by Savidov (among others) the yield of aquaponic tomatoes and mini-cucumbers were a bit larger than the hydroponic ones, but when they looked at lettuce, cucumber, and eggplant, they were very similar.

Regarding the growth rate, the same study showed that hydroponic lettuce grew faster but, because of that, had fewer nutrients and a more unbalanced physiological constitution.


Final Thoughts

The answer to the question: which system is better? It doesn’t have a clear answer. It’s up to you to analyze the ups and downs of each one and transport them to your personal case.

In spite of all that, there’s something we know for sure – when compared with regular, soil farming, these two methods have enormous advantages and can turn a farmer’s life to a better path.

Thanks for reading and get to it!

The post Hydroponic vs Aquaponic Grown Vegetables: Biggest Differences appeared first on TopGrows.

Continue Reading

aquaponic hydroponic differences

15 Best Weed Strains | 5 Best Marijuana Strains of each Kind

The post 15 Best Weed Strains | 5 Best Marijuana Strains of each Kind appeared first on TopGrows.



15 Best Weed Strains | 5 Best Marijuana Strains of each Kind

top weed strains

The best marijuana strains may belong to the same plant species and family; however, different weed strains properties and effects will differ because of their genetic makeup.

One of the joys in trying out top marijuana strains is discovering which cannabis strain our endocannabinoid system will prefer.

The strongest marijuana strains are divided into three categories, i.e., Indica, Sativa, and hybrid.

Indicas have potent sleep-inducing properties, while Sativas are famous for their energizing effects. Moreover, hybrid strains offer both Indica and Sativa.

There are currently 1762 plus more strains; therefore, it’s quite hard to select from the top marijuana strains. So, which best weed strains should you go for?

We have isolated the top 15 weed strains plus some more for you! It’s time to look at the top weed strains.


Indica Strains

Indicas are bushy, short plants having wide leaves. They have a significantly higher yield and grow faster than cannabis Sativa.

Indicas do not grow taller than six feet. They take about nine weeks to mature, and they resemble pine trees.

Indica, one of the strongest marijuana strains, causes couch-lock, and has sedative properties. Consider Indicas like sleeping pills!

Furthermore, Indica strains are popular because they have higher CBD levels. Other typical qualities of Indica include

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Mental relaxation
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Decreases chronic pain
  • Decreases nausea
  • Nighttime usage

Narrowing down from the vast list is quite hectic! Some of the best cannabis Indica strains are as follows:


1. Granddaddy Purple

GDP or Granddaddy Purple is the famous West Coast strain created by Ken Estes. This highly mentally and physically relaxing strain is a cross between Big Bud and Purple Urkle.

GDP blooms in deep dark shades of purple and has a sweet, berry flavor and pungent aroma. Moreover, it makes your body and mind high like you’re floating euphorically.

This strongest weed strain has 15 to 19% THC levels, which is excellent for relaxing muscles, easing pain, and treating insomnia and stress.


2. Northern Lights

Northern Lights – a celebrity strain – is well-acclaimed for its delicious resinous buds and pungently spicy and sweet aroma.

It is one of the most famous and best weed strains because NL has produced several famous hybrids such as Super Silver Haze and Shiva Skunk.

Furthermore, NL’s 14 to 18% THC levels give a dreamy euphoria and make your body blissfully lazy.


3. Zkittlez

This strain is a combination of Grapefruit and Grape Ape. This new candy strain is the award-winner because it gives a berry flavor punch and emits a fruity, tropical, and sweet smell.

Surprisingly, the effects of this cannabis Indica is uplifting and very soothing. It leaves consumers happy, alert, and focused.

Moreover, its 16 to 21% THC content provides a massive entourage effect. Therefore, it is not recommended for beginners.


4. Purple Punch

It is made by breeding two sedating and sweet cannabis Indicas Granddaddy Purple and Larry OG. Its astonishing and delectable trichomes emit tart Kool-aid, blueberry muffins, and grape candy aroma.

This delicious dessert cannabis strain is suitable after dinner because it gives a tremendous relaxation dose.

It is one of the top weed strains that have excellent sedative and pain-relieving qualities. Moreover, its fragrant, big, dense purple buds provide mind-boosting effects.


5. G13 

G13, one of the strongest weed strains, is also called the “Government Indica strain.” This super strain is known for its relaxing and happy high and can put you in a better mood in a short time.

G13 super earthy and piney taste is ideal for those who love herby and natural tasting strains.

If you’re looking for a strain that does not cause couch-lock but delivers a euphoric high, do not look beyond G13 cannabis Indica.


best marijuana strains


Sativa Strains

Cannabis Sativa is a giant in comparison to an Indica. These strains are significantly taller, have thin leaves, and long flowering cycles.

If you look closely, Sativa plants have a light green shade. They can grow beyond 12 feet and can reach up to 25 feet. Moreover, these strains originate from Thailand, Columbia, Mexico, and Africa.

Sativas have higher THC content and produce stimulating effects, boost energy, and increase creativity and focus. Other significant qualities of cannabis Sativa includes:

  • Alleviate chronic pain
  • Anti-depressant
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Mood stabilizer
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Treats insomnia
  • Daytime usage

Choosing the top weed strains from the vast number of great Sativa strains is always the most challenging part; however, some of the best marijuana strains are as follows.


1. Sour Diesel   

Sour D or Sour Diesel is a legendary strain descended from Super Skunk and Chemdawg 91. This strongest weed strain has about 16 to 20% THC content and delivers dreamy cerebral effects.

Moreover, because of its diesel-like aroma, this notorious and fast-acting strain is named Sour Diesel.

This potent fuel provides long-lasting relief from chronic pain, stress, and depression. Plus, it is a top cannabis choice of several medical patients.


2. Jack Herer

Jack Herer, a crowd-pleaser and several times award-winning cannabis, is named after a legendary marijuana rights activist and the famous book author “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.

It is a cross between Haze, Shiva Skunk, and Northern Light #5. Furthermore, its spicy aroma delivers a wonderful sensory treat and blissful happiness.

This 55% Sativa hybrid creates creative and clear-headed effects, and it is incredibly soothing.


3. Super Lemon Haze 

If you prefer sweet, tart, citrusy, and zesty flavors in your weed, you should go for this energetic and lively Sativa!

Super Silver Haze and Lemon Skunk are the parents of Super Lemon Haze. It is a multi-colored and kief-caked wonder.

It has a lemony and sweet flavor, but it is not so sharp. Furthermore, this perfect daytime outdoorsy strain induces a wide array of pleasant and soothing effects.


4. Green Crack 

It does not taste anything like crack cocaine; therefore, do not let this name fool you! Snoop Dog’s a big fan of it. He named this strain Green Crack because it delivers sharp, energetic, and electric mental buzz.

This 75% Indica strain is exceptionally refreshing, and it has descended from Skunk No. 1. Furthermore, this ideal daytime strain gives minor psychedelic effects, and it has sweet earthy, fruity, and tangy flavor.


5. Purple Haze    

This Classic strain is a cross between Haze and Purple Thai. It is named after the popular Jimi Hendrix song.

Purple Haze is famous for its blissful contentment and psychedelic experience. It has an earthy and sweet flavor with sharp spice and berry undertones.

Its high THC content delivers cerebral elevation and a burst of dreamy euphoria that will brighten up your day!


best weed strains


Hybrid Strains

When different weed strains – usually Sativa and Indica genetics – are combined, exciting things occur.

This combination allows you to enjoy the benefits of Indica and Sativa in one strain. Indicas are sedative, while Sativas have more energetic and uplifting effects. Therefore, the impact of a hybrid strain is more balanced throughout the body.

Moreover, hybrids are ideal for those who want a balanced high. They are neither psychedelic nor produce cerebral effects. Plus, they won’t put you to sleep.

The ideal way to find what works best for you is to experiment. Here are some best weed strains, and if you use these incredible tools correctly, they can combat mental struggles and physical ailments.


1. OG Kush

Originating from Florida, the Kush strain was first cultivated in the early 90s. Its origin is still a mystery, but there is a popular myth that the Hindu Kush and Chemdawg are its parents.

The name OG is referred to as the original gangster, ocean grown, and overgrown. However, cultivators still dispute over its name.

Furthermore, people love OG Kush because it can instantly crush stress as it delivers heavy euphoria.


2. Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)

GSC is a crossbreed of Durban Poison and OG Kush. This hybrid strain became more popular than its parents’ strain because of its euphoric high and potent pain-relieving and relaxing properties.

Its sweet taste and floral aroma are similar to freshly baked cookies. Plus, you will detect menthol, spice, and lemon undertones when you’ll smoke.

This fiery orange hair, purple leaves strain also treats appetite loss and severe nausea.


3. GG4

GG is also called Original Glue or Gorilla Glue. Do you know why it is named Original Glue? Because this potent hybrid strain makes you glued to your couch.

These resin-covered buds deliver extreme relaxation and heavy-handed euphoria. This strain inherits the earthy, pungent, and sour aroma from the parent strains, i.e., Sour Dubb, Chocolate Diesel, and Chem’s Sister.


4. White Widow

White Widow – an old hybrid – produces a reliable and smooth high. This Dutch Coffee Shop’s favorite strain instantly intoxicates you with an energetic euphoria.

It is relaxing, uplifting, and a great social strain. As it triggers creativity, it is ideal for creative individuals who seek inspiration.

This South Indian Indica and Brazilian Sativa Landrace cross boost conversation by sparking cerebral effects.


5. AK-47

Do not let this intense rifle name fool you because not every cannabis name will make sense. This hybrid strain gives a clear-headed feeling, and it delivers mood-brightening and bold effects.

This South American, Afghani, Mexican, and Thai cross delivers a long-lasting and steady cerebral buzz. Hence, it will keep you mentally alert and engaged in social or creative activities.


strongest weed strains


Wrapping Up with the Best Weed Strains

I hope you find this piece awesome to learn about the best weed strains available!

Some individuals do not like marijuana because of how it makes them feel, i.e., too sleepy, paranoid, and anxious.

Therefore, before selecting any weed, it is crucial to check whether your weed is Indica, Sativa, or hybrid, so you will know what to expect from marijuana – in terms of its texture, taste, aroma, psychoactive, and therapeutic effects.

If you are worried about the terrible pharmaceutical drug side effects or are entirely fed up with using it, opt for marijuana. These strains might help you with your eating disorders, chronic pain, and depression.

Before buying marijuana strains, it is better that you discuss it with your healthcare provider first.

“When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission”

The post 15 Best Weed Strains | 5 Best Marijuana Strains of each Kind appeared first on TopGrows.

Continue Reading