For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

Aquaponics and Symbiotic

Aquaponics is the symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a recirculating environment. Alternate definition: An integrated hydroponics and aquaculture system.

The Symbiotic Relationship of Aquaponics
By Rhonda Cossey

The symbiotic relationship of aquaponics is much clearer if you understand the ways in which each of the farming methods offers up its faults to the other, and gives back by accepting faults for itself. A complete ecosystem can be achieved just by allowing nature to do what comes naturally - correcting itself with adaptation.


The hydroponic method of farming has been around for as long as there has been farming itself. Many ancient cultures have used water and nutrients to grow their food, and the rice patties around the world still use this method to produce their food and necessities. Hydroponics as a system is a very good way to produce, but the drawbacks with this method include constant monitoring of the nutrients, oxygen, and water levels being used. A very in depth knowledge of plant nutrition is generally required, with each plant family having specific needs. The water usage in the hydroponic system is also high due to the constant changing water values and quantities necessary for optimum production. Evaporation can be a wasteful value. The plants themselves produce oxygen in great amounts, but need carbon dioxide and other "pollutants" to sustain themselves. These are some of the problems that are solved by the addition of another farming method - aquaculture.

Aquaculture can help hydroponics become a more efficient production method by rectifying the common problems associated with it. The water circulates in a closed system, creating less evaporation, and the oxygen given off by the plants in their growth process is used by the aqualife being grown in the water tanks. In return, the aqualife excretes nitrites, carbon dioxide, and other pollutants that the plants need to maintain growth. The plants gratefully use these and give back fresher, cleaner water for the aqualife to thrive in. A complete, natural, organic ecosystem can thus be created.

The simplicity of the system, the lack of large tracts of land needed to produce abundant crops, and the water and fossil fuel conservation aspects of this farming method should make it one of the major emerging food production plans for the future. With the new issues of our food security coming under scrutiny in recent times, a closed, highly productive food ecosystem could be the answer.

Follow along on the escapades of an aquaponics enthusiast building a miniature aquaponics system in a small greenhouse at
Gardening is in my blood, and in my freezer! I'm going to start planning for this years harvests now, why don't you come along and do some yourself at
And for more on tomatoes


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