Yes, I know that this post’s title is cheesy. But regardless of my bad puns, I think I see several potential problems in trying to replace conventional farming with aquaponics.
In most of the articles and videos that I read and watched, I noticed that aquaponic farming seems unpractical without copious amounts of money. While aquaponics can produce excellent plants, its success can require extensive electrical wiring, plumbing, and cash flow for equipment and fish. A greenhouse is necessary which itself is costly. Another possible problem can be maintenance; monitoring water, chemical, temperature, and food levels for the fish requires around-the-clock care which might require more employees (assuming a business situation).
While conventional farming relies on chemical and fossil fuels for energy, Aquaponic farming only uses electrical power. That can be a bonus if the operation can afford alternative energy systems (such as solar, hydro, or wind power) but otherwise it can have a large eco-footprint. There is also the problem of possible crop production. While aquaponics are known to be able to produce a wide array of crops, other staple vegetables like potatoes and carrots often can’t grow or grow into peculiar shapes.
I see a future in aquaponics on a small-scale. Plenty of health nuts start their own aquaponic garden to provide food for his or her family. But to forsee widespread aquaponic factory farms is out of the question, unless someone like Bill Gates would bank roll it.