Aquaponics is the combination of two food raising methods that both use fresh water.
When combined in harmony, the methods of aquaculture (the raising of fish in tanks) and hydroponics (growing plants in solution/without soil) form a single balanced growing system.
The main energy input into an aquaponics system is fish food which is excreted as ammonia by the fish. Naturally occurring bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite and then to plant available nutrient in the form of nitrate by way of the nitrification process.
Plants in turn take up the level of converted nitrate and effectively clean the water for the fish at a steady rate, this is the aim of a healthy balanced aquaponics system.
It is this co-existence and environmental balance of fish, bacteria and plants that is critical to every aquaponics system.