Aquaponics is a method of cultivation that combines fish farming (aquaculture) and soilless plant cultivation (hydroponics) in the same water recirculation system. It requires only a small amount of water renewal unlike aquaculture and conventional vegetable growing systems, and thus allows up to 90% water savings.
Originally used by the Aztecs and in China, this principle was revived in the 70’s and 80’s in order to improve the quality of aquaculture water, rich in organic matter. The farmers, very dependent on the water courses of which they had to take sufficient quantities to lower the concentrations of these matters (toxic for fish in strong dose), developed since the principle of the recirculation: the water leaving the breeding is filtered, and returned to the fish.
The quantities of water used decrease drastically for the same amount of breeding. The little water that comes out is much richer in organic matter and still problematic for the environment, but these small quantities allow a new purification technique to be used by exploiting plants. Aquaponics allows the transformation of fish farming effluents through phytopurification. The nutrients from the fish farm are used to produce fruits and vegetables for consumption.