Combining the very best parts of both hydroponics and aquaculture, aquaponics comes close to being the perfect system. It provides fresh, deliciously tasty fruits, vegetables and herbs coupled with the best fish you’ll ever taste and with home aquaponics you can have all of this year-round without paying a dime.
Getting started is quite easy as all you need is a very small investment on the components and a few tools to build the system. No matter the location and space available, you can make an aquaponics home system that fits – that’s the beauty of DIY homemade aquaponics! If you’re feeling a bit more lazy and want to start immediately (nothing wrong with that), you can also simply get a tried and tested pre-built kit.
Now, without further ado, let’s get right into what you need to know to successfully start your home aquaponics journey.
Before setting up your own home aquaponics garden, you need to know the essential concepts and some basic notions. Let’s run through them together.
Aquaponics combines the best of both hydroponics – growing plants without soil – and aquaculture – fish farming – into one excellent and perfectly complementing system.
Simply put, you’ve got a self-sustaining and deeply symbiotic system that provides you and your family with high quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and fish as well, all in a super effective, affordable and incredibly green way.
Even though there are quite a few different types and sizes of aquaponics systems, they all have the same basic principle – the aquaponics cycle – which is as simple as it is brilliant.
Firstly the fish produce waste which microbes or worms convert into nutritious fertilizer for the plants. The plants’ roots then absorb the nutritious water, use it to grow and filter it as a side-effect, making the water constantly fresh and clean for the fish to live in.
It’s as close to being a perfect system as it gets. All the input needed from you is feeding the fish, the rest happens by “magic”, as shown above.
Apart from the obvious benefit of having your very own source of high quality produce and fish, a home Aquaponic system also has a set of other bonuses that set it apart from the competition.
There are many, many more but I don’t want to bore you! I’ve been a farmer all my life and tried many types of farming and gardening, often with fantastic results. But aquaponics in particular just blows everything else out of the water, it almost seemed too good to be true when I got started.
Thankfully it’s real, it’s wonderful and in my honest opinion, it’s the future.
The concept is easy but the devil is in the details, as they say. In order to guarantee that you ace it, you should at the very least learn the basics (main components, how to build one for your available space, best fish and plants to use, how to run it, and so on).
You can do this in a multitude of ways such as by reading books and articles about it, enrolling in a course (digitally or physically) or getting a step by step video guide.
Now as mentioned previously there are two ways to do it: building your own system or getting a pre-built kit. Let’s take a look at the differences and pros and cons of each:
Giving you unbeatable freedom, versatility and scalability all without breaking the bank, self-built aquaponics home systems are beyond excellent – if you’re willing to put in a bit of work and thought into it.
If you’re interested in the DIY aspect and you want to learn how to build your very own, then be sure to read our DIY aquaponics home system step-by-step guide.
No headaches, no major efforts and set-up in lighting fast speeds, pre-built aquaponics home systems are a stress-free, turn-key solution for those that want to get into this style of gardening without spending a lot of time designing and building a custom system.
If you want to take a look at the very best pre-built system kits on the market (compared and reviewed) then be sure to read our aquaponics kits article.
If you’re interested in learning more about aquaponics in general, we’ve got you covered as we’ve already written a few in-depth articles to help you and we’ve also gathered and reviewed the best sources of knowledge all over the globe.
No matter which path you take – DIY or pre-built – you’ll be on the road to healthy, affordable and absolutely delicious living. From the freshest vegetables to tasty fruit, wonderfully aromatic herbs and flavorful fish, the benefits of this journey are simply too many to pass.
I’m excited to have you join the ranks of aquaponics gardeners and wish you the best of luck. I’ll be here if you need anything and remember – have fun!