Many definitions of aquaponics recognize the ‘ponics’ part of this word for hydroponics which is growing plants in water with a soil-less media. Hydroponics is its own growing method with pros and cons (discussed later).
Literally speaking, Aquaponics is putting fish to work. It just so happens that the work those fish do (eating and producing waste), is the perfect fertilizer for growing plants. And man, fish can grow a lot of plants when they get to work!
One of the coolest things about Aquaponics is that it mimics a natural ecosystem. Aquaponics represents the relationship between water, aquatic life, bacteria, nutrient dynamics, and plants which grow together in waterways all over the world. Taking cues from nature, aquaponics harnesses the power of bio-integrating these individual components: Exchanging the waste by-product from the fish as a food for the bacteria, to be converted into a perfect fertilizer for the plants, to return the water in a clean and safe form to the fish. Just like mother nature does in every aquatic ecosystem.