So what the heck is aquaponic gardening?
In simple terms, aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture, raising fish, and hydroponics, growing plants without soil. The cool thing about aquaponics is that it simulates a real life eco system where the bacteria process the fish waste "amonia" from nitrites into nitrates which can then be absorbed by the plants and then returning clean water back to the fish ... OK, that might be too much info for the newbie, but if you have ponds or aquariums, it is nothing more than "cycling" or "seasoning" your system.
While some folks do this on a grand scale, in all actuality it can be done simply. There is a lot of mis-information out there as to the best way to set up a system. This diagram looks like a swimming pool designer put together this plan ... This is not the way you want to set up your aquaponics system!
When you decide to move forward on this project be sure to contact someone locally or attend a workshop to help you design the best system for your area.
The main thing to remember is, the more steps you add to your aquaponics system, the possibily increases that you might have a system problem ... by that I mean, if you have 5 pumps in your system instead of 1, you have 5 times the chance that a pump will fail. In aquaponics, I have found that the KISS principle "Keep it Simple Stupid" is the one to follow. Use one water pump ( and have a backup) and one air pump (and a backup) and you should be good to go.
So, give it a try with a small system to get your feet wet and experiment. You may get hooked on aquaponic gardening!