There are many plants that grow well in soil less farming. These include vegetables, aquatic plants, flowers and even fruit trees. There are other vegetables that will not work well in an aquaponic system. Root vegetables such as carrots, onions and potatoes should not be used in these systems. You can grow them, but it would not be easy. They need a medium close to soil like sand in order to grow.
So what plants should I grow in my Aquaponic system?
Leafy Green Vegetables
Cabbage and Lettuce are two of the most common grown vegetables in aquaponic systems. They grow really well and are easy to take care of. Other good choices are basil, peas and green beans.
Plants that produce vines are a great choice for aquaponic systems. They are only rooted in the growth bed and can grow elsewhere leaving more room for the other plants. Examples of these are cucumbers, pumpkins and gords of all shapes and sizes.
Finally there are flowers. I have seen greenhouses running aquaponics systems that are full of flowers. You can have a successful business especially in northern areas by selling flowers to local businesses. There are many popular flowers that can be grown, roses are lilies to name just a few. They all will grow fast and well in this type of system.
The trick to being successful with your plants is to try a variety of plants to see which ones will grow well in your climate. Your plants will need a lot of care at first in order for them to really take off. You may want to find some supplements. Seaweed is a very popular supplement that is used in aquaponic systems. The seaweed extract are great for growth, but you need to be careful what you add to your system. An additive that helps your plants grow, might cause issues with your fish or bacteria. Make sure you find additives that will ensure your plants, bacteria and fish all will thrive in your system.
You need to give your plants ample time to grow, just like you would in a normal dirt garden. You need to give your fish time to fertilize your water. If you add fertilizer early, you will kill your fish and totally wreck the eco system you are trying to build. Start out slow and build a system that will last.