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An aquaponics system at Growing Power, an urban agriculture organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Water from tanks of tilapia or perch is pumped upwards and fed to potted tomato and watercress plants. The water is reoxygenated as it flows back into the tanks under the force of gravity, and the plants remove nitrogen from the fish waste in the water.


Blend of aquaculture +‎ hydroponics.



aquaponics (uncountable)

  1. (agriculture) A sustainable food production system that combines traditional aquaculture with hydroponics, with effluent from the water in which fish are reared being used as nutrition for plants.
    • 1990, Eugene B[loor] Brody, Psychoanalytic Knowledge, Madison, Conn.: International Universities Press, →ISBN, page 111:
      The tomato may in fact have absorbed a flavor from the soil in which it was grown, one granted neither by the sand of Florida's winter tomatoes exported North, nor by hothouse aquaponics.
    • 2000 May–August, Carl Hoffmann, “Mining Fresh Water for Aquaculture”, in Appalachia, volume 33, number 2, Washington, D.C.: Appalachian Regional Commission, ISSN 0003-6595, OCLC 1481691, page 24, columns 1–2:
      The warm water in which [Donnie] Tenney's tilapia swim and grow is pumped from the fish tanks to beds nurturing basil, rosemary, and cucumber, then drained, filtered, and recirculated to the tilapia. The hybrid aquaculture-hydroponics system, dubbed aquaponics, uses pumps, aerators, greenhouse lights, and fans all powered by natural gas from an abandoned gas well.
    • 2009 July 5, Elizabeth Royte, “Street farmer”, in The New York Times[1], archived from the original on 19 April 2017:
      Pumps send the dirty fish water up into beds of watercress, which filter pollutants and trickle the cleaner water back down to the fish – a symbiotic system called aquaponics.

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