Many types of vegetables have been grown in aquaponic system. However, the goal is to culture a vegetable that will generate the highest level of income per unit area per unit time. With this criterion, culinary herbs are the best choice. They grow very rapidly and command high market prices. The income from herbs such as basil, cilantro, chives, parsley, portulaca and mint is much higher than that from fruiting crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant and okra. Traditional medicine plants and plants used for extraction of modern pharmaceuticals have not been cultivated in aquaponic systems, but there may be potential for growing some of these plants.
Pesticide should not be used to control insect on aquaponic plant crops. Even pesticides that are registered would pose a threat to fish and would not be permitted in a fish culture system.Similarly, therapeutants for threating fish parasites and disease should not be used because vegetables may absorb and concentrate them. The common practice of adding salt to treat fish diseases or reduce nitrite toxicity is detrimental to plant crops.Non chemical methodes of integrated pest management must be used. These include biological control (resistant cultivars, predators, pathogens and antagonist organism), physical barriers, traps, and manipulation of the physical environtment. There are more opportunities to use biological control methode in enclosed greenhouse environtments than in exterior installations. Parasitic wasps and ladybugs can use to control white flies and aphids.The prohibition on the use of pesticides makes crop production in aquaponic systems more difficult. However, this restriction ensures that crops from aquaponic system will be raised in an enviromentally sound manner and be free of pesticide residues. A major advantage of aquaponic systems is that crops are less susceptible to attack from soilborne diseases. Plants grown in aquaponic systems may be more resistant to diseases to that affect plants grown in standard hydroponic. This esistance may be due to the presence of some organic matter in the culture water that creates a stable growing environtment with a wide diversity of microorganisms, some of which may be antagonistic to plant root pathogens.