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


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Comment by Margaret Beers Oliver on September 4, 2010 at 6:42am
Deciding that I am going to need to find someone that has some electrical expertise to get this system going. I am going to need some rewiring. House built in 1898 so it is just a bit of a challenge! I will keep an update going. lol
Comment by Margaret Beers Oliver on August 13, 2010 at 12:28pm
What a view!!! Look at the flat irons in the back ground! The basil looks wonderful also. I am hoping to start my aquaponic system indoors for the winter. Using my little gold fish pond as my tank. I have a large light fixture from my old shop that will get grow lights and another that is not so large that will provide side lights if not overhead support. I will be sending some pics in here as I start. I am so excited over it all.
Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on August 13, 2010 at 7:07am
Sounds great, Margaret! Would love to start seeing some photos on peoples systems in here! Here is mine from a couple days ago
Comment by Margaret Beers Oliver on August 13, 2010 at 5:02am
Alright... Greetings All. I am finally relocated and will be doing an indoor aquaponic set up in my basement for my winter months and hope that I can have some good tips happening. I will be posting pictures as I go along.
Comment by Ryan Watt on July 28, 2010 at 9:19pm
Thanks Earl
Comment by earl ward on July 28, 2010 at 8:27pm
From what I have read the microbes slow down at 45degrees F. They die at freezing temps.
Comment by Ryan Watt on July 27, 2010 at 8:45pm
Hello there, does anyone know what temp best suits the microbes. I heard if it gets cold it can kill them and stall the cycle resulting in amonia spikes?
Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on June 14, 2010 at 2:55pm
Hi Sarah. I'll send out a message to the group for you.
Comment by earl ward on June 14, 2010 at 1:55pm
In the U.S there is a place on the internet Called Billboard tarp warehouse. sometimes there are Phone numbers on the billboards themselves advertising agencys for the physical bill board.
Comment by Sarah Heeringa on June 14, 2010 at 1:26pm
I'm researching an article on aquaponics for Good magazine ( and I'd love to get in touch with anyone in Auckland who is doing it. Any suggestions?

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