I read this article, in which a person claims that Aquaponics bring crop quality down by having more water than actual nutritional value.

I have read many other sources that say the opposite. Can anyone guide me towards the research that says that aquaponics/hydroponics yields crops with lower nutritional value? I couldn't find open access peer reviewed articles that say as much, but maybe I left a stone unturned.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ this is a type of question that is a litle off topic not only here but probably on biology too,a good answer will involve a lot of things,if aquaponics is done right it is probably equal to traditional farming.it is easyer to measure the nutrient content in water then in soil,in soil you need to use more fertilizer then the plants actually need,in water culture one can measure what nutrients that needs to be added.less pesticides neds to be used in aquaponics too. $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2017 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ I did some research and can't find anything substantive either way. There are a variety of peer-reviewed sources that demonstrate that aquaponics are better nutritionally than hydroponics; also one paper that showed that aquaponic animal feed is nutritionally inferior to regular feed (though, not the same plants) but I couldn't find any direct comparison between aquaponic crops and soil-grown crops. I'll have to side with John's assessment of unable to refute such a broad claim. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:26

2 Answers 2


First look at the article, is cites no sources and is not written by an an expert. It is written without peer review and does not seem to understand how to measure nutritional content (brix is only a measure of sugar not minerals) or what controlled conditions are. No methodology for collection, type of hydroponics, sample size, or anything else is given, this is important becasue many many thing unrelated to the farming method can effect Brix. So you can safely ignore the unscientific claim of the article and go with scientific ones, which show no difference when tested.

First always look at the source of a claim and when in doubt search google scholar first.

This is clearly editorial click bait.

  • $\begingroup$ i dont think one can test only tomatoes nutrient content one have to compare several types of plants to be able to compare nutrient content in soil vs aquqaponics $\endgroup$ Commented May 4, 2017 at 19:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ except you are not comparing the contents of the soil you are comparing the contents of the final product, in this case tomatoes. since the original claim is baseless and you have a study showing no difference in a major hydroponic product you can safely assume no difference. More studies would be better, but that is always true. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ @john.i do sort of mention this in my comment to the question so i do agree whith you,one gets out what has been put in to the system. $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2017 at 4:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The article makes such a broad sweeping claim completely refuting it is impossible, If you try hard enough I am sure you could grow a plant poor in some nutrient hydroponically just as you could in soil, use nutrient poor media for instance. this is why the burden of proof would be on the claimant since they are making such a strong an broad claim. I used tomatoes because that is the only product the article actually names and it is one of the more widely cultivated hydroponic crop so it makes a good reference. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 4:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If your actually looking papers on factors that effect nutrients in hydroponics you might start with papers on "response to variable nutrient media". But again each will be species or at least crop specific, since different plants need/tolerate different nutrient levels $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 1:36

There's no reliable evidence indicating hydroponics are less nutritious than soil grown crops. Because organic and inorganic techniques are applicable for hydroponics, any attempt to dismiss nutritional value requires analysis of the individual plant and the methods grown. Second Hydroponics isn't widely adopted agricultural method; it is however adopted where soil quality or outdoor temperature do not permit conventional crops desired from being grown; so ask what's the nutritional quality of a crop they never had to begin with.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.