Aquaponic Gardening

Aquaponics is the marriage of organic hydroponics and aquaculture. Fish waste becomes organic plant food; the plants filter the water for the fish. Interested in learning more?

Members: 87
Latest Activity: Jul 30, 2016

What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the marriage of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soilless growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in. The third participant is the microbes (nitrifying bacteria) that thrive in the growing media. They do the job of converting the ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, then into nitrates that is food for the plants.
In combining both systems aquaponics capitalizes on the benefits and eliminates the drawbacks of each.

How Aquaponics Changes the Game

- Waist-high aquaponic gardening eliminates weeds, back strain and animal access to your garden.
- Reuse resources currently considered “waste”. There is no more toxic run-off from either hydroponics or aquaculture.
- Uses only 1/10th of the water of soil-based gardening, and even less water than recirculating aquaculture.
- Watering is integral to the system. You can’t under-water or over-water.
- Fertilizing is also integral to the system. You can’t over-fertilize or under-fertilize.
- Gardening chores are cut down dramatically or eliminated. The aquaponic grower only does the enjoyable tasks of feeding the fish and tending and harvesting the plants.
- Instead of using dirt or toxic chemical solutions to grow plants, aquaponics uses highly nutritious fish effluent that contains almost all the required nutrients for optimum plant growth. Instead of discharging water, aquaponics uses the plants and the media in which they grow to clean and purify the water, after which it is returned to the fish tank. This water can be reused indefinitely and will only need to be replaced when it is lost through transpiration and evaporation.

Discussion Forum

Would you like to become an aquaponic gardener? 12 Replies

Tips and advice on where to find resources and how to set up your first aquaponics system.  It's not that hard once you follow a few simple rules...

Tags: instructions, howto, aquaponics

Started by Sylvia Bernstein. Last reply by Teiny Winehausen May 28, 2013.

Are you an aquaponic gardener already? 1 Reply

If you already have an aquaponic garden, tell us about it!Mine is currently in my 12' x 20' greenhouse that is being entirely run by the "waste efforts" of about 120 voracious tilapia.  You can see…Continue

Tags: greenhouse, aquaponics

Started by Sylvia Bernstein. Last reply by Stephan Neff Jan 9, 2013.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Aquaponic Gardening to add comments!

Comment by Favourite Aunt on June 2, 2013 at 5:01am

Hi Charis

Thanks for your comment. I've started to put bits of vege in the tank. I've read they like wilted lettuce so I started with that. They also take well to cooked pumpkin and potato, I've not tried raw, but not carrots. They also eat the duck weed which is great because that requires zero effort on my part.

Comment by Charis on June 1, 2013 at 8:29pm

Hi Favourite aunt, Im in a similar boat, Ive been using flakes for my fish, someone told me the adage of Garbage in Garbage out applies to fish so thinking of moving to include veges in thier diet, afterall they are growing them only fair they should take thier share :) 

Comment by Favourite Aunt on May 16, 2013 at 8:22pm

What is the most economical way to feed my goldfish? I've just started my system and I've never kept fish so its a really steep learning curve. At the moment I'm using flakes from the pet shop as the safest option in the short term but I think it would be good to mix it up a bit.

Comment by Charis on April 8, 2013 at 6:14pm

Awesome thanks Shaun will do :) 

Comment by Shaun on April 8, 2013 at 6:27am

Who else wants to show what they are doing

Comment by Shaun on April 8, 2013 at 6:26am

Looks great nice and simple. Check your water does not go down too much at the flood stage or the fish may go into shock. A bigger holding tank would be better, if you can manage it, about six times the amount of water taken out whilst flooding, preferably one with a lid or partial lid if using a smaller tank. This will limit the amount of evaporation and stop ammonia condensing and becoming toxic too quickly. Don't forget it takes a few months for the system to balance so starting with just small lettuce or herbs is a good idea. Keep us up to date with your achievement's. 

Comment by Charis on April 7, 2013 at 6:20pm

So just finished my little start off setup - currently testing the media so I wont put the fish in until Tuesday if all goes well.  Since Im starting off Im doing the goldfish route until I've got my system sorted.   

Comment by Charis on March 24, 2013 at 9:51pm

Hi, loving the info on here.  Im looking at aquaponics and finding the information on here excellent.  Im starting off small (to get a feel for things and tweak my systems) before increasing.  Any tips or advice greatly welcomed, loving whats on this thread so far.

Comment by Shaun on March 22, 2013 at 6:43am

There are two main places to check what is acceptable to use in your region, your local DOC and Primary Industries office. In Dunedin its gold fish or fresh water cray

Comment by Sydney Grace on March 21, 2013 at 5:54pm

It seems that there are  only a few choices of freshwater fish allowed for aquaculture in NZ. Trout is not listed at all. Tilapia and Koi are also not listed as acceptable (they are noted as being "unwelcome"). Grass carp and White carp as well as Red Finned Perch are possibilities. Grass carp seems to make the most sense in that it is primarily a herbivore. It is interesting to note that Grass carp are noted as a threat to habitat. Does anyone know anything about the tilapia restriction? All three of these possibilities have a far longer growth curve with some fussy breeding issues. We are in the planning stages and fish choices determine many structural and hardware choices.


Members (86)



  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2022   Created by Pete Russell.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service