Aquaponics is a combination of the aquaculture (growing fish) and hydroponics(growing soilless plants) system that mutually benefits both environments. Aquaponics does not use any chemicals and requires only 1/10 of the water that would be needed to grow plants in the garden or field. It also only needs a fraction of the water that is used for fish culture (aquaculture).
The waste produced in the fish tanks is treated by natural bacteria that converts the waste, largely ammonia, first into nitrite and then into nitrate. The fish waste absorbed by plants is pumped to a bio filter system as a nutrient solution for growing the plants (grow bed). The only external input to the system is food for the fish. Both systems complement each other as a single unit, not as separate units.