Aquaponics combines both Hydroponics (the practice of growing plants in water) and Aquaculture (the practice of keeping, growing or breeding fish). Sounds like a lot of difficult work, and I suppose it is, to begin with at least.
|A basic Aquaponics Diagram|
After your Aquaponics station is established, the only real input by you is the food for the fish, which, depending on the kind of fish you have, can be anything from flakes to kitchen waste or algae.
What kind of food can you grow? Well any leafy greens such as lettuce or spinach and any herbs such as mint and basil, easily thrive within this system. However it is still possible to grow fruiting plants such as tomatoes and peppers, although to gain a decent yield on these would most likely require a deeper grow bed, a larger amount of fish and possibly even a heat lamp, but the important thing to note is that it is not possible. Of course tuber plants such as potatoes are currently out of the question as these plants require very little light and a larger space. I am still unsure whether it would be possible to grow bulb plants such as onion and garlic in a grown medium instead of soil but its worth a try.
So what are your thoughts? A better way of using that living room fish tank? Or a space saving way of producing home grown food? Let me know what you think.