Aquaponics is the fusion of aquaculture (raising fish) with hydroponics (growing plants in water instead of soil). The fish’s waste fertilizes the water used to grow the plants, although the fish and plants live separately. Beneficial bacteria break down the waste into nutrient-rich components the plants use to grow. The plants, in turn, naturally filter the water for the fish. Because this integrated system is set up in an environmentally controlled greenhouse, crop production and fish harvesting can take place all year long. It takes nine to 11 months for the tilapia to go from 1-gram fry to 2-pound fish ready to fillet, cook and eat, Bonny Goodenough says.