When you start an Aquaponic garden, the first thing that happens is the colonization of bacteria that convert fish waste into usable plant nutrients. This process typically takes 4-6 weeks. The bacteria are slow growing but fairly hardy once in place. Going through the cycling process is good for an Aquaponic gardener. Checking your test kit, doing water changes to save your fish from toxic levels of ammonia or nitrite, and discovering the secret to balancing your system is rewarded with knowledge and experience.
The other truth is that many people would like to have the functionality of an established system right from the beginning. There will be plenty of learning and experience to be gained through out the life of a system. 4-6 weeks can be a long time to wait when you see the sun shining and the growing season is at hand. For these people, we have pre-inoculated media right in the store, so you can start an AP system at any time with a well established colonization of nitrogen cycling bacteria. You can actually leave the store with a fully functioning system that you can add plants and fish to right when you get home.