Aquaponics, which began in ancient China and Mexico, is gaining popularity around the world as a means of local food production. Aquaponics systems feature a fish tank, trough or outdoors pond and a soil-free bed for plants. The fish container can be made out of fiberglass, glass, concrete or plastic. Containers can range in size from a 20 to 40 gallon plastic tote to a large plastic aquarium about 4 to 5 feet deep and 6 to 10 feet wide. Tilapia are the most commonly raised fish in aquaponics systems.
Lettuce and tomatoes can be grown in small pots suspended in the water. Other plants included peppers; eggplant; a delicious local spicy watercress; Stevia – a South American herb that is 30 times sweeter than sugar; and other plants such as Moringa, that, when taller, will provide shade. Moringa leaves have high concentrations of protein and can be incorporated into the fish feed as well as the domestic salad bar.