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An Overview of Aquaponics


Most people would love to start gardens but they don’t have enough space in their backyards. Either that or they live someplace with a colder climate that creates impossible growing conditions for plants. If you face any of these challenges, don’t let them stop you from enjoying nutritious fruits and vegetables. All you need to do is use aquaponics to overcome these issues. Then you can grow your fruits and vegetables anywhere you want, including inside your home. How awesome is that?

Aquaponics Defined

What is aquaponics? Most people have never heard of aquaponics before. It is a hydroponic technique where your plants grow in water rather than in soil. Aquaponic fish are needed to supply crucial nutrients to the plants to grow without needing nutrients from fertilizer.

When you grow aquaponic plants, you cannot put them in the same fish tank as where the fish live. The reason is that fish produce waste that attracts bacteria. If the plants are exposed to these bacteria, their nutrients and minerals will get broken down until they don’t exist anymore. It would help to keep the plants in a separation contained location, such as in clay pellets or a bed. If the plants are near the fish tank or on top of it, you can use a pump to transport water from the tank to the roots of the plants.

Equipment Required

The main types of aquaponics equipment needed are media beds, nutrient film, and deep-water culture. And, of course, you’ll need a fish tank to raise the fish. The tank size depends on how much fish you want to raise and how many plants you want to grow.

The media bed aquaponics setup is usually positioned on the top of the fish tank or right alongside it. This allows the pump line to extend to the fish tank and media bed without any hassle. There is a water ring underneath the media bed for the pump lines to reach. That is how water from the tank gets to the roots of the plants.

Planters are used with the deep-water culture. They stay afloat on the top of the fish tank. You don’t need a watering rig or pump in this circumstance because the roots make direct contact with the water.

As for the nutrient film, it helps to pump water through the PVC pipes from the tank. The pipes contain tiny drilled holes where the roots of the plants can grow through without any setbacks. When water travels through the pipelines, the roots receive both the nutrients and hydration from the flowing water.

The Best Fish for an Aquaponic Rig

All types of fish are appropriate for an aquaponic rig. However, the best fish for beginners is tilapia because they require the least amount of work to raise. They are also not known for spreading too many diseases either. The best part is they are strong fish that can withstand harsh environmental conditions. You could even eat the tilapia fish after you get what you want out of them.

Other good fish options include carp, goldfish, and koi.

The Best Types of Plants for an Aquaponic Rig

An aquaponic rig allows you to grow whatever you could grow in soil. But for some plant species, there is an advantage to growing them with aquaponics. For instance, some leafy green vegetable plants require more hydration and nutrients to their roots. Aquaponics is the best way to make that happen.

The best plants for aquaponics include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Beans
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Mint
  • Basil

Advantages of Aquaponics

Aquaponics does not require hardly any maintenance or fish, for that matter. You can build a 100% organic and natural garden without using any chemicals. Natural fish will be your main source of nutrients. And if you want to eat the fish directly, you can do that too.


Limited outdoor space doesn’t have to keep you from starting a garden and growing your own food. Use aquaponics to grow food no matter if you live in a house or apartment. It is easier than ever to set up an aquaponic rig inside of a home.

Steve Hodson

What started out as an intention to grow my own food for economic and environmental reasons has turned into a passion and a mission to share my research and knowledge with as many people as possible. Its one of the most satisfying healthy things I have done leaving a great feeling of self achievement and independence.

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