In the 1960s, Dr. James Rakocy of the University of the Virgin Islands pioneered the development of aquaponics in the U.S. However, aquaponics actually has its roots in early Asian and South American civilizations.
The ancient Chinese employed a system of integrated aquaculture in which finfish, catfish, ducks and plants co-existed in a symbiotic relationship where the ducks were housed in cages over the finfish ponds, excreting waste into the water, thus feeding the fish.
Aquaponics also allows for the growing of a full range of fruits, vegetables and fish, unlike aquaculture, which focuses on fish production alone. In the advancement of aquaponics today, we are employing a maturing and diversified field of various technological systems and designs which depend on three main variables: