What Is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the integration of:

AquacultureFarming aquatic species in a
controlled environment


HydroponicsGrowing plants in soil-less media

A Balanced Ecosystem

Aquaponics reuses the waste water from aquaculture as a natural source of fertilizer for the hydroponic plant system in a continuous recirculating system. 

Raising Fish

In aquaponics we raise fish at low stocking densities to ensure good water quality and the growth of happy, stress free fish. When we feed the fish, they produce ammonia, which left unfiltered, can become toxic to the fish. Properly filtration of solid waste, aeration, temperature and water quality monitoring is essential.

Cultivating Bacteria

Aquaponic systems rely on nitrifying bacteria to naturally convert the harmful ammonia into a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Bacteria colonize on all of the submerged surface area and help to maintain a healthy water for the fish while also providing soluble nutrients for the plants!

Growing Plants

The plant roots take up the nitrates, trace minerals and nutrients from the water.  The roots help to filter the water which is returned back to the fish. The water is continuously recirculating so plants are constantly receiving warm nutrient rich water resulting in tremendous growth.

Why Aquaponics?


Aquaponics and hydroponics have many similarities. Both methods involve growing plants in soilless media.  However, there are some important differences. 


Most mainland fisheries are recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) that have to regularly discharge water. Aquaponics improves on RAS by using the discharge the water to grow plants.   

How Do I Grow in Aquaponics?

Many crops have a preferred growing medium that allows for optimal growing conditions. Below are the most popular types of growing methods incorporated into aquaponic systems.

Deep Water Culture

(DWC) or raft based growing uses a foam raft that is floating in a channel filled with fish effluent water that has been filtered to remove solid wastes. Plants are placed in holes in the raft and the roots dangle freely in the water.

This method is most appropriate for growing salad greens and other fast-growing, relatively low-nutrient plants. It is also most commonly used in larger commercial-scale systems.

Media Beds

Media growing involves growing plants in inert planting media such as expanded clay pellets or shale. The media provides both the biological filtration and mechanical filtration in the same system.

Media-based systems are great for home and hobby scale systems so you can grow a wide variety of crops. In particular, large fruiting plants do really well in addition to leafy greens, herbs and other varieties.

Dutch Buckets

Buckets can be a nice alternative to media beds. They receive water via gravity from a dedicated reservoir. Pots sit right on the floor allowing for more vertical space for large vining crops.

Nutrients can be adjusted in the bucket reservoir independently from the main aquaponic system allowing you to fine tune nutrients for fruiting crops. Other crops can be grown such as potatoes, onions, herbs, carrots and most other root vegetables.

Aquaponic Farms & Systems From The Aquaponic Source

Flourish Farms

Flourish Aquaponic Farms™ are designed to raise fish and plants together in a practical, productive and ecologically balanced system. The high volume production of leafy greens, herbs, fruiting crops, and fish takes place in a recirculating system.

Our farms use a fraction of the water compared to traditional agriculture and can grow food continuously year round.


Growasis™ Deep Water Culture Systems are plant troughs designed to be scalable, easy to assemble and highly productive.

They can be added on to an existing aquaculture, hydroponic or aquaponic system. We offer three different models to best fit your growing needs.

We even have elevated options to minimize or eliminate bending when gardening!


Aquabundance™ Modular Aquaponic Systems are designed to best fit your growing needs, your space and budget. Our systems are attractive, highly productive and easy to assemble. Our experienced team of growers and designers is proud to offer this best-in-class food production system.

Your Aquabundance Modular system will produce a tremendous amount of food for your family, school or community for years.

Education & Supplies From The Aquaponic Source


The Flourish Farm Aquaponic Classes will give you the knowledge, experience and resources to build and operate a successful farm business and grow more healthy local food for your community.


We design our farm systems to meet your unique goals, space, and budget. Our farms are engineered to be highly productive, efficient to operate, resilient and beautiful.


Whether you’re growing aquaponically, hydroponically, or traditionally, we have the supplies are equipment you need to getting your garden started.

Have More Questions?

Please visit our FAQ page where we have detailed answers to everything aquaponics.