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 Theresa Dewse on April 27, 2010 at 11:15pm
Funny you should mention Backyard Aquaponics in Perth as this is where I get my supplies and they are very helpful people. Thanks for starting the group. I inherited my system from my Son who has now left home so my husband and I are growing the system and our knowledge as we go. We are also comparing production in this to traditional organics in garden beds for this season.
Comment by steve on April 27, 2010 at 4:41pm
Hi, can we use trout for this system here in NZ?
Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on April 27, 2010 at 2:54pm
Hi Everyone! Wow, great response to Pete's email! I"m so psyched to get to know some New Zealanders... one of my original hydroponics gurus comes from NZ - Dr. Lynette Morgan. Awesome, brilliant lady.

I feel like we are all in a cool, virtual class together now. I've been thinking about how to get some of the aquaponic concepts across and I think the best plan in to get in here every day or so and post something about some resources that I know about and try to answer questions that come up. That way you can explore on your own, but I can be there as a guide. Let me know if this does / doesn't sound like a good plan.

I'll start by pointing out what is probably the single best source of information on aquaponics in the world today, and that is a forum in Perth, Australia called Backyard Aquaponics. Check it out...
Comment by Dan Clark on April 27, 2010 at 1:27pm
Sounds marvelous! Will stay tuned...
Comment by Angie Gibbons on April 27, 2010 at 12:29pm
Is there any fish you can use in NZ without a pump?
Comment by Margaret Beers Oliver on April 26, 2010 at 5:39pm
I would love to start a aquapo nic garden beyond just using my fish tank cleanings to water my plants. We are still trying to find somewhere that is permenant in the area that isn't dangerous to live in or out of our poor budget.
Comment by Pete Russell on April 26, 2010 at 3:26pm
This is really interesting stuff. One of the most comprehensive and cyclic food growing systems I have come across. Thanks for starting this Sylvia.
Comment by Sylvia Bernstein on April 26, 2010 at 2:48pm
I'm looking forward to meeting and starting a community of aquaponic oooobsters!

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