Considering that vegetables grown using Aquaponics are fed from fish waste, wouldn't that create a nutrient deficient plant as opposed to growing Organically in the ground where the plants are fed a much more diverse diet thus absorbing more nutrients and minerals?
Are there any studies making that comparison?
First let me say that everything is grown in some sort of animal, bacterial or invertebrate waste (except hydroponics). The same nitrogen cycle and carbon fixation happens in all natural and organic growing. Aquaponics is an alternative to terrestrial farming, it does not replace it. Traditional organically grown food can also have nutrient deficiencies depending on inputs and ph. This is why there are many organic amendments allowed in an organic growing system. The same is true in Aquaponics, the feed that the fish are given needs to be a balanced diet that is good for the fish and the plants. Non food amendments are also common in an Aquaponics system but they have to be non-toxic for the fish. If you have amazing organic soil, plenty of water, plenty of land and a strong back then by all means keep farming in dirt. If you don't have all of that at your disposal but you have a little water, some gravel, electricity, access to fish food and some goldfish than you too can grow organically anywhere - that is the beauty of Aquaponics!