How Does Aquaponics Work? (Explained Mechanism)

Aquaponics is a production system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics. But how does aquaponics work?

Basically, the fish feed on the plant growth medium, producing waste that can be used to fertilize the aquaculture crops. The plant growth medium circulates water and oxygen to the plants, creating a self-sustaining ecosystem.

The article illustrate the basic mode of action of aquaponics system.

How Does Aquaponics Work

How Does Aquaponics Work | Mechanisms of Aquaponics Systems

In a nutrient dynamic context, the fundamental tenet of aquaponics is that fish are fed fish feed, fish metabolize and utilize the nutrients in the fish feed, and fish release wastes based on the substances in the feed they do not utilize (including elements).

Aquaponics is a system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture involves raising fish in tanks, while hydroponics involves growing plants in water. In aquaponics, the two systems are combined. The fish farm the bacteria and algae to create food for the plants.

The plants clean up the water for the fish, and the fish provide waste products that help fertilize the plants. The plants filter the water and provide oxygen for the fish, while the fish clean the plants by eating their leaves and aquatic invertebrates.

Microflora then accesses those fish metabolic wastes and uses some of them, but transform the remaining fish metabolic wastes, and the plants then access and remove those microflora transformed fish metabolic wastes as nutrient sources.

For the fish production component, aquaponics typically applies what is known as recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) principles because earthen-based fish production systems remove nutrients on their own.

The water is filtered to treat or remove the fish’s metabolic waste products (solids and dissolved ammonia gases), and then the water (and associated nutrients) is directed to a plant-culturing component where the plants use the fish wastes as part of their nutrient resource.

Fish are kept in fish tanks made of materials that don’t remove nutrients from the water (fiberglass, plastic, concrete, etc). The soils involved eliminate nutrients & may not all time make them entirely available for the plants, don’t use the earthen-based plant culturing components for the fish.

Furthermore, soil-free hydroponic plant cultivation methods are more hygienic than soil-based ones and enable some passive control over the local microbe populations.

Factors that Affect Aquaponics System

Aquaponics is a type of hydroponic agriculture that utilizes recirculated water and fish to produce food.

There are many factors that can affect the success of an aquaponics system, including the quality of the water, fish species, the design of the system, the size of the system, the type of media used, and the climate.

Some common problems that can occur in aquaponics systems include overwatering, high levels of nitrates, and low levels of dissolved oxygen. Some common issues that can arise in aquaponics systems include water quality problems, plant disease, and insufficient lighting.

It is important to test and monitor water quality regularly, follow proper plant care instructions, and install adequate lighting to ensure a successful aquaponics system.

Potential Uses of Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a type of organic farming that uses fish and plants to grow food. Aquaponics systems use a water cycle to recycle water and produce food.

There are many potential uses for aquaponics, including producing food for humans, animals, and the environment.

An aquaponics system could be used to produce vegetables or fruit for human consumption.

Aquaponics is a unique form of agriculture that combines fish farming with hydroponic gardening. The system works by using water filters to clean the water, then distributing it evenly between the two systems.

This allows plants in the hydroponic garden to receive nutrients and oxygen from the water while the fish feed on the organic matter in the filtration system.

Aquaponics has many benefits over traditional agriculture, including reduced environmental impact, increased yields, and lower costs.

Tips for Aquaponics System

An aquaponics system consists of three components: the fish tank, the grow beds, and the controls. The fish tank contains enough water to support the fish and their feed, while the grow bed holds plant roots and growth media.

Here are four tips for managing an aquaponics system:

-One common approach is to use a timer to control daily feedings and water changes.

-Always have a backup plan in case of a problem. Aquaponics systems are complex machines and can be prone to failure if not properly maintained.

-The controls manage water temperature, light, and feed levels in order to ensure optimal growth for the plants.

-Another approach is to use automatic fish feeder machines to measure feed levels and dispense them automatically.


Can you add nutrients to aquaponics?

No need, however, adding nutrients to aquaponics systems without causing harm to the fish or plants is difficult.

There are several ways to add nutrients to an aquaponics system without harming either the fish or plants. One approach is to add a fertilizer supplement directly to the water source. Fertilizers that can be used in aquaponics include urea, nitrate, phosphate, and potassium nitrogen.

Can you reuse hydroponic water?

Yes, commercial hydroponic growers have long been recycling water to keep their crops growing. There are many ways to recycle water used in hydroponics.

Can you use tap water for aquaponics?

Aquaponics systems can be built with either fresh or recycled water. Tap water, despite being clean, can be unsuitable for use in an aquaponics system because of certain elements that can harm the fish and plants.

Do I need to change the water in aquaponics?

Aquaponics is becoming more popular because it’s a sustainable way to farm, it’s easy to set up, and you don’t have to worry about heavy maintenance and change the water.


  1. Love, David C., et al. “Commercial aquaponics production and profitability: Findings from an international survey.” Aquaculture 435 (2015): 67-74.
  2. Ebeling, James M., and Michael B. Timmons. Recirculating aquaculture. Ithaca, NY: Cayuga Aqua Ventures, 2010.

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