An Overview of Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. Hydroponics concerns itself with growing food without using soil. Aquaculture is successfully raising healthy fish. This cultivation of food relies upon the interdependent relationship between food and aquatic animals such as fish or prawns. There are many benefits to using this system. By understanding the basics of aquaponics, you can construct a system in your own home.

When fish eat food, they typically expel two types of wastes: solid wastes and ammonia. If ammonia wastes are present in a fish tank in large numbers, it can be toxic to a fish. Certain bacteria in a fish tank can turn the expelled ammonia fish wastes into nitrites. These nitrites are chemical compounds present that can be found in water. These bacteria then change the nitrites in nitrates, another chemical compound. Plants can absorb these nitrates for nutrients.

Ammonia can be dangerous for fish in even small amounts. If it’s not transformed into another substance or cleaned out of a fish tank, fish can die for ingesting it. Beneficial bacteria called Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter play a key role in the symbiotic relationship between fish and plants. Vegetables and non-consumable plants can both be grown in an aquaponic system. Plant and vegetable production will depend upon your fish’s ability to tolerate its environment, the amount of food fish are able to eat, and other factors relating to both fish and plant cultivation.

There are other bacteria present in aquaponic systems that can convert the solid wastes into a dissolved form that plants and vegetables can use for nutrients. A natural water filtration system is present when the plant’s roots and growth medium filter out wastes. Because ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites can build up and become lethal for fish, a typical fish tank has to have its water replaced on a regular basis. An aquaponic system will eliminate or lessen this task by using the bacteria present in the system to turn the ammonia into a useful substance for plant growth. If you want to learn more about aquaponics and the different aquaponic systems, please visit