Last changed: 07 July 2021

Aquaponics systems integrate fish rearing with horticultural production within engineered environments. Water from fish farming is channeled through particle filters to plant beds.

With the aid of bacteria, a breakdown of organic matter in the fish wastewater takes place. The plants use the released nutrients for their growth and the purified water is returned to the fish. The water use in aquaponic production is therefore low. Only feed and clean water are added to the system, and only fish, fruits and vegetables leave the system. Due to the high nutritional content of the fish water, plant production becomes considerably larger than fish production.

Aquaponic systems can be designed in many different ways and therefore research in Aquaponics is diverse, ranging from studies on technology and efficiency, fish feed, to environmental conditions of production, as well as looking at the implications of aquaponics for feedings the global population under the pressures of urbanization, population growth and climate change.

At SLU, extensive feasibility studies have been carried out within the framework of Green Innovation Park, with the aim of creating a new testbed facility with aquaponics as a starting point for circular urban food production. Similarly, SLU Aquaculture along with the Department of Energy and Technology, and the Department of Animal Nutrition and Management hosts research projects relating to nutrient balances in aquaponic systems, fish feed and product quality, and studies looking at the sustainability of aquaponic systems. At the department of Biosystems and technology (SLU) research is conducted relating to microbial and plant pathological aspects in aquaponic as well as system design regarding vertical farming.


Daniel Bergquist, Researcher, Department of Urban and Rural Development. Email:

Sammar Khalil, Researcher, Department of Biosystems and Technology. Email: