Stemming from this question on the Gardening site: Aquaponics: lobsters, clams, oysters and tilapia all in the same tank?

I think animals being kept in aquaponics systems are borderline for us. They're not technically pets, but I'm not sure the care of them would be too much different than if they were in a normal aquarium.

I had thought we might have had a question on aquaponics before, but I couldn't find anything. Maybe it was too far out of our scope that it got migrated or something.

What do you think? Are animals being kept in an aquaponics system on-topic?

  • Wikipedia describe Aquaponics as a food production system, that would be out of scope, do you have something different in mind? Oct 29 '14 at 14:33
  • @JamesJenkins No that's it. I'm talking about the care of the fish and other animals that are kept in the water portion of the system to provide nutrients for the plants that are being grown.
    – Spidercat
    Oct 29 '14 at 14:37
  • Do you want to try and write a test question? Oct 29 '14 at 16:31

I don't see a reason why not. The rule of thumb we've been using is "an animal companion that is cared for in a domestic setting" and this probably qualifies for that, albeit it's on the edge of that definition.

In any event, you've already mentioned that the care is similar and so questions with respect to that have applicability in a more traditional setting.

  • Hmm... Didn't have the aquaponics as food production kick in. Still, if the question is applicable to the general case then I would still be okay with it.
    – Joanne C
    Oct 29 '14 at 15:00
  • I think we are both in about the same place. "Clearly food only" = No; "Applies to companion animals" = Yes. Oct 29 '14 at 16:30

Aquaponics: lobsters, clams, oysters and tilapia all in the same tank? can be edited to be in scope by removing the reference to "seafood". The question is about how to keep the fish and shellfish alive.

While aquaponics is a food system, I think James Jenkin's analogy of using any pet feces as fertilizer is a good analogy for an aquaponics system. The addition of hydroponic plants to an aquarium doesn't cause the animals to become food.


No Wikipedia describe Aquaponics as a food production system, that would be out of scope. Questions focusing on animals care specific to food production are not in scope on Pets.SE.

BUT If the question, implies that the animals are companions, then it would be in scope. It is not the type of animal, it is care that is directed towards companionship or food production. If the food production is incidental (i.e. Rabbit droppings collected for composting) then it is in scope.

Update On November 7, 2014 the question at gardening was edited from "for raising fish and seafood" to "for raising fish and shellfish". It had been proposed as a move to Sustainable Living, but this chat message indicated it was not clearly a 'grow your own food' type of question so it there was not the best place, and it was moved to pets as Aquaponics: lobsters, clams, oysters and tilapia all in the same tank?, it captured 2 up votes, and no close or down votes in the first 3 hours.

  • What part of that question makes it clearly about food? The question is literally about different species living together.
    – Zaralynda
    Oct 29 '14 at 17:35
  • @Zaralynda "for raising fish and seafood" Oct 29 '14 at 17:46
  • 2
    If it said "for raising fish and shellfish" would it still be out of scope
    – Zaralynda
    Oct 29 '14 at 20:25
  • If it said "for raising fish and shellfish" it would be in scope. We don't eat pets. Oct 30 '14 at 10:02
  • We have had discussions before about minimum care requirements for production and pets being essentially the same (not optimal, but the same). Changing seafood to shellfish implies (at least potentially) that the usage is ornamental, which loosely falls into scope. Also raising feeders is inscope, as is raising chickens as long as the question does not imply you are going to eat them. Oct 30 '14 at 10:13

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