The simplist way to describe of aquaponic is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one system. You feed the fish, the fish produce waste which then provides an organic food source for the plants. The plants become a natural filter that clean the water for the fish to live in. The next part of the process are the microbes (nitrifying bacteria) and composting red worms that thrive in the growing media. They do this by converting the ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, then into nitrates and the solids into vermicompost that that are food for the plants

Some say it all began in 6th century Chinese farmers who reared ducks in cages with partially open floors positioned above a pond.

While others will say Aztecs in the 1400s grew crops on artificial agricultural islands in harmony with fish. They used the "fish poop" to fertilize the crops and called their system "chinampas". They were able to grow a wide variety of crops such as maize, squash and other plants in tandem with rearing fish for food too.

Where and when did aquaponics first come into play?
This, depends on who you ask...

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