Veggies And Fish – Tips For Growing Fish And Vegetables Together

Fish In Aquaponics System
(Image credit: josefkubes)

Aquaponics is a revolutionary sustainable gardening method for growing fish and vegetables together. Both veggies and fish reap benefits from aquaponics. You may choose to grow food source fish such as tilapia, catfish, or trout, or use ornamental fish, like koi, along with your aquaponic vegetables. So, what are some vegetables that grow with fish?

Growing Fish and Vegetables Together

Aquaponics is the combining of hydroponics (growing plants in water without soil) and aquaculture (the raising of fish). The water the fish are growing in is recirculated to the plants. This recirculated water contains waste from the fish, which is full of beneficial bacteria and nutrients that feed the plants without using fertilizers.

There is no need for pesticides or herbicides. Soil-borne diseases and weeds are not a worry. There’s no waste (aquaponics actually uses only 10% of the water needed to grow plants in soil), and food can be grown year round – both protein and veggie.

Vegetables That Grow with Fish

When it comes to veggies and fish grown together, very few plants are opposed to aquaponics. This is because an aquaponic system stays at a fairly neutral pH which is generally good for most aquaponic vegetables.

Commercial aquaponic growers often stick with greens such as lettuce, although Swiss chard, pak choi, Chinese cabbage, collard, and watercress are becoming more common. This is because most greens grow and are ready for harvest rapidly, making the outlay to production ratio favorable.

Another favorite commercial aquaponic crop is herbs. Many herbs do very well with fish. What are some other vegetables that grow with fish? Other suitable aquaponic vegetables include:

Vegetables aren’t the only choice of crop, however. Fruits such as strawberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe can be used and grow well with fish.

Growing fish and garden crops together is beneficial to both plant and animal in a sustainable, low impact way. It may possibly be the future of food production.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.