Aqua(culture) + (hydro)ponics (aquaponics) is the symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a recirculating environment.
Aquatic animal effluent (for example fish waste) accumulates in water as a byproduct of the keeping them in a closed system or tank (for example a recirculating aquaculture system). The effluent rich water becomes high in plant nutrients but is toxic to the aquatic animal.
Plants are grown in a way (for example a hydroponic system) that utilizes the nutrient rich water. The plants in turn digest the nutrients, reducing or eliminating the waters toxicity for the aquatic animal.
The water, now clean, is returned to the aquatic animal environment and the cycle continues. Aquaponic systems do not discharge or exchange water. The systems rely on the natural relationship between the aquatic animals and the plants to maintain the environment. Water is only added to replace water loss from absorption by the plants or evaporation into the air.
This human-arranged form of symbiosis can benefit environment. This blog is a log book of how I am going to start one in my own backyard in Melbourne Australia.