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 Vesta Rivers on February 7, 2013 at 5:11pm

hi.. ive just joined and are looking to try it and also wondering what fish ..grass carp are eaten a lot by the asian culure and are voracious weed eaters .there own body weight every day... so if u had an established tank.. maybe a series of tanks that the fish cld be transfered between to allow regeneration..  .. then there wld be no cost in feeding the fish.. 

the other fish  im thinking abt is perch as it tastes good apparently.. if anyone knows about this..??? and i met someone who was seeding his lake with them for eating..

how exciting... happy to have found you all

i did see recomended, setting up the enviroment with goldfish initially..

im definetly going to have a natural pond enviroment .. not a sterile tank

Comment by kumara on January 17, 2013 at 12:13pm

Hi, I am a new member. I would love to set up a small greenhouse with aquaponics but have no idea how to go about it and just want to learn something here! I live in the Marlborough Sounds.
Regarding the fish one could use I found this list on the MAF site:
But I still have no idea which of the species would be ok for aquaponics?

Comment by Shaun on January 10, 2013 at 3:17pm

At last I have added the aquaponics sytem into my hydroponic greenhouse. Just started cycling it today. Hopefully all being good will add herbs to start with in about three weeks and then food as soon as it has reached full potential in 2 - 3 months. Shame we cannot use edible fish. I may grow Koi Carp as they can go for a hefty sum 

Comment by Laine on January 4, 2013 at 3:34pm

Love the indoor pic Shaun!

Comment by Andrew Rare on January 4, 2013 at 1:56pm

Hi all I'm in Palmerston North NZ has anyone figured out what fish we can use here I'm using gold fish at the moment which obviously isn't for eating, and im abit worried about added bacteria output from eels which could throw a curve ball into the balancing of the system?? what do you think and any success with freshwater crayfish?? snails I've heard are hard to control?? Love your page Sylvia will post pictures soon. Cheers Anaru

Comment by Shaun on December 30, 2012 at 11:49am

Here is a small NFT hybrid system I have been runnig indoors from a small fish tank for the last year and works well and looks nice

Comment by Shaun on December 30, 2012 at 11:45am

Just in the middle of converting my hydroponic greenhouse in to an aquaponic greenhouse. Will only be using goldfish and fresh water mussels. I am in Dunedin if anyone is interested in this project.

Comment by Laine on December 29, 2012 at 8:52am

Hi Ruby,

I am just outside of New Plymouth. I have plans for aquaponics in our greenhouse, but am in the middle of relocating a house at the moment so will be busy with that in the year to come.

Smiles, Laine

Comment by Ruby Lu on December 28, 2012 at 8:04pm

Hi Laine! Nice to hear from you.

I am in Christchurch. Are you based in Auckland?

Thank you so much for the useful information.

Will talk to you soon

Smiles, Ruby

Comment by Laine on December 28, 2012 at 12:56pm

Hi Ruby,

I have not set up a system yet, but am keen to in the future. Here is a super simple set up (but thin on details):

Let us know how you go.

Smiles, Laine


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