Aquaponics, is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with Hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in an asymbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretion from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity.
In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture systems is fed to a hydroponics system where the by-products are broken down by nitrogen fixing bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants nutrients.
The water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
As existing hydroponics and aquaculture farming techniques from the basis for all aquaponics systems, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponics systems can vary as much as any systems found in either distinct farming discipline.