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?

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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


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Comment by Margaret Beers Oliver on May 29, 2010 at 5:39am
ummm... looks like we are being spamed.
The tarp idea is a good one. How do you suggest someone find them?
Comment by steve william on May 26, 2010 at 2:29am
thanks for that billboard tarp idea Earl! i'll have to get on the phone and find out where i can source one. failing that i could always organise a night-time guerilla mission!
Comment by earl ward on May 17, 2010 at 3:15am
I dont know where you are but here in the USA used bilboard tarps make good liners and keeps them out of a land fill. Many food companys have IBC totes these make great tanks.
Comment by Ryan Watt on May 14, 2010 at 2:15pm
Hey Steve, thanks for the info. I saw some fellows on youtube making a tank from plywood, lined with pond liner membrane. Perhaps an old chest freezer from the dump could be lined depending on how big a tank you wanted? Might also help with water temp fluctuations with it being ready insulated.
Comment by steve william on May 14, 2010 at 3:17am
what are some cheap ways to make a pond membrane?
Comment by steve william on May 14, 2010 at 3:17am
Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on May 11, 2010 at 1:36pm
Hi all. Just wrote a new blog post on the relationship between aquaponics and permaculture that you might find interesting

Ryan,I can't imagine why eels wouldn't work....sounds like they'd be great, in fact.
Comment by Ryan Watt on May 11, 2010 at 11:42am
Anybody tried using eels for aquaponics in New Zealand? They dont mind poor water quality, low oxygen levels and will eat just about anything. I would have thought they would have been a good choice but have never heard of them being used.
Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on May 4, 2010 at 1:33pm
Hi Aquaponic Group! Here is a tip I passed on to the Aquaponic Gardening community today...

Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics puts out a terrific newsletter with informative articles on aquaponics. I really look forward to seeing this in my inbox. This most recent issue had articles titled "Salt in an Aquaponics System. Is it useful or necessary ?" and the first in a two-part series titled "Aquaponics System Operating Methods." Here is the link -
Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on April 30, 2010 at 1:05am
Hi David. When you say you have seen the UVI technology I'm wondering if you have been to their short course? It runs June 13 - 19 and is supposed to be excellent. I'm linking here to their where you can get more information. Nelson and Pade are a consulting team in the US that have been trained by Dr. Rakocy at UVI to continue his work. They hold 2 day workshops monthly in Wisconsin, and they are also an excellent, reputable resource. They are currently building a large system in Haiti and have worked in many other international locations. Your cheapest option would be the set of commercial plans from Friendly Aquaponics, but I have honestly heard very mixed reviews about these. Hope this helps

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