Aquaponics are a very interesting development in the world of permaculture and offer some great benefits and advantages. Let’s take a look at hydroponics and aquaponics to see what they offer, and how aquaponics functions in comparison to hydroponics. Hydroponics – the ingenious and highly optimized system of growing plants in water. Commercially available nutrients provide all that is needed for the reservoir and after these nutrients have been added the growing begins. This is really great for those who want to hit the ground running.