With aquaponics, you can grow veggies and fish in a single, self-contained, eco-friendly space, combining aquaculture and hydroponics with a twist. The fish provide nutrients for the plants, while the plants clean the water for the fish.
Aquaponics uses natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste to plant nutrients. This recirculating water system, growing veggies with fish, uses 90% less water than any other system. Aquaponics is an ecosystem of plants, fish, bacteria and worms. The three main parts of the system are the fish tank, watertight grow beds, and the pump that moves water from the fish tank into the grow beds. There are a variety of shapes and sizes to the grow beds and fish tanks, from recycled bath tubs to ponds to PVC pocket towers.
Local native fish are best for outside aquaponic gardens and are low maintenance. In addition to commercial feed, it is a good idea to plant Duckweed, a fast growing aquatic plant, rich in nutrients, that doubles its mass every other day. Plant it in a separate tank to feed the fish with fresh food. Fill the grow beds with gravel or expanded clay pellets and lots of red wriggler worms, who along with the bacteria transform the fish waste into plant food. An aquaponic garden produces food naturally without chemicals, recycles the water, and is environment friendly.