Aquaponics is a closed-loop, recirculating fresh water system in which plants and fish grow
together symbiotically. Aquaponics resembles a natural river or lake basin in which fish waste
serves as nutrients for the plants, which in turn clean the water for the fish. Tilapia and salad
greens or herbs are common fish and plants grown in an aquaponics system. The external
inputs to an aquaponics system are fish food, a minimal volume of replacement water, and
energy for lighting and heating the water. Aquaponics is particularly suited to arid climates
because it uses much less water to grow plants than soil-based systems. In fact, the only water
that is lost from an aquaponics systems is by evaporation and transpiration from the plants.
The relationship between the amount of external energy (fish food plus energy for light and heat)
to the output (weight of fish and plants) has not been well quantified for aquaponics units in
temperate climates. The need to quantify the relationship between inputs-outputs presents
opportunities for research projects for undergraduate fisheries students in environmental
Fisheries, aquaculture technique and design and Fisheries economy. Faculty of Fisheries and
Marine Science of Universitas Padjadjaran is building a laboratory to conduct aquaponics
research. Lessons learned from this research will aid the development of aquaponics in temperate
climates but also possibly in tropical regions.