What is needed to start an aquaponics system?

Grow bed: multimedia bed, raft, PVC tubes. Grow bed support: the frame that will support the weight of your grow bed. Purchase all the materials needed to set up your aquaponic system. These include; fish tanks, pumps for pumping water, growing medium for your plants, culture beds where the plants will be grown, and fish.

Consult an aquaponics professional to help you set up your aquaponics system. A small water pump is used to pump water from the fish tank to the grow bed. After the water is pumped to the culture bed, it is gravity fed to the fish tank. You'll need enough tubing to go from the pump outlet to the top of the grow bed and form a circle inside it.

Fish excrete ammonia in their waste and through their gills. In sufficient quantities, ammonia is toxic to plants and fish. Nitrifying bacteria, which naturally live in soil, water and air, convert ammonia first to nitrite and then to nitrate. In your aquaponic system, nitrifying bacteria will thrive in the gravel of fish tanks and in the culture medium of the culture bed.

Plants use nitrate to grow and flourish. Plants easily absorb nitrate in water and, by consuming it, maintain safe levels for fish. While the principles are easy to understand, their application, even for small domestic aquaponic systems, can be made as simple or as complex as desired. Basic equipment includes culture tanks and trays and the pipes to connect them, as well as pumps and drains.

Unless you grow outdoors in a temperate climate, you'll need to provide artificial light and warmth. This particular tower aquaponic system goes one step further by seeking a solution to one of the common challenges of aquaponics practice: the use of energy. Visit aquaponic farmers within your locality or state for advice on how best to operate a commercial aquaponic farm. The water dispensers are made of transparent PVC and have two levels, which gives one a good predisposition to become a small countertop aquaponic system.

Most desktop aquaponic gardens don't include fish for food because there isn't enough space to grow them to maturity. Not always a favorite fish, carp grown in clean water and aquaponics doesn't have the muddy flavor of carp extracted from rivers and lakes. Add the enjoyment and fun of raising fish and your favorite hydroponic plants using a natural cycle, and the popularity of home aquaponics becomes evident. But it can happen, says team at MADE Growing Systems, an innovative aquaponic design company in the Philippines.

A mini-aquaponic system is an excellent means of demonstrating aquaponic principles and the nitrification cycle in a recirculating aquatic environment. Rik Kretzinger offered a glimpse of his lush, fully automated Arduino-controlled aquaponic garden, which he manages from a small attic room via internet connection. Not surprisingly, commercial-scale aquaponics is increasingly being practiced at a time when water is scarce. The basic premise of aquaponics is that waste produced by fish feeds plants, and plants clean water for fish, producing a continuous cycle.

We hope this gave you an idea of what exactly an aquaponics system is and how you can set up your own to start growing food for your whole family, whether in your kitchen or in the backyard. When this video first appeared about five years ago, it went viral among gardeners and aquaponics enthusiasts, garnering more than a million views. Most gardeners or aquarists who establish an aquaponic system choose ornamental fish for the tank, and most ornamental fish originate in tropical waters. Indoor and backyard aquaponics combines the art of hydroponics with aquaculture, the art of keeping fish.


Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

Subtly charming beer nerd. Extreme internet specialist. Devoted travel junkie. Proud coffee maven. Friendly problem solver.