Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture farming with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment.
In aquaculture, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish.
This water is led to a hydroponic system where the "nutrients" from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants for their life, after which the cleansed water is recirculated back to the animals.
Aquaponic systems vary in size from small indoor or outdoor units to large commercial units, using the same technology. The systems may contain fresh or salt water, depending on the plants and animals desired. (source, wikipedia mod.).
Now I'm partner in a Leonardo project with University of Padova and Lubiana, the Swiss ZAHW and three high schools (in Italy, Slovenia and Swiss). The aim of the project is realize an aquaponic system in the two schools.
But my question is... is aquaponic a kind of treatment wetlands? I think yes!
Yes because there is wastewater produced by the fish farming and yes because there is the biological absorption by the plants and finally the treated water is reused for the fish living...
A good example on expanding aquaponic culture is the URBAN FARMERS project in Swiss (UF web site). They are focused on building the best urban agriculture systems the world has ever seen. They are cost effective, sustainable and reliable. Their rooftop farm system grows fresh vegetables and fish, and adds a new experience for your customers. The proprietary hardware and software solution which we have developed keeps your farm working and connected to your community so anyone can see, smell, and taste the truly fresh food, anytime. (source UF web site).
Take a look to thier UF globe project at http://urbanfarmers.com/productsservices/uf-globe/ it's fantastic!!!
Here below a picture of the aquaponic module in ZAHW.