Aquaponics is an integrated technology that uses fish waste to fertilize plants and plant roots to filter dirty water. The name ‘aquaponics’ comes from a combination of the words aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (the process of growing plants without dirt). It turns out that fish waste is a nearly perfect fertilizer for herbs and flowers and roots readily absorb the waste produced by fish. Aquaponic technology uses up to 10x less water than traditional dirt grown plants, requires no chemicals, and the vast majority of plant species can grow in an aquaponic environment.
How does aquaponics work?
The basics of aquaponic and aquarium chemistry is shown in the diagram below.
An interesting point to note is that in a traditional aquarium with a regular filter syste. the nitrates in the system rise higher and higher over time. These nitrates are what create large algae blooms and can contribute to lower fish health over time. The standard way of getting rid of nitrates in a standard aquarium is by performing regular water changes of 10-25% total water volume every week or so. Water changes can be a difficult and tedious chore for aquarium owners, but are necessary to keep a clean and healthy aquarium for pets.
With an aquaponic filter such as GroPonix the nitrates are continually absorbed by the plant roots, taking the nitrates out of the system and turning them into solid plant material. Therefore: water changes to remove high nitrates are NOT NECESSARY with the GroPonix aquaponic filters!