Friday, April 15, 2011

Aquaponic Gardening - Get Hooked!

If you enjoy raising fish, like I do, and you love gardening in the dirt and growing your own veggies for you and your family, then the next logical step is to jump into aquaponic gardening!

So what the heck is aquaponic gardening?

In simple terms, aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture, raising fish, and hydroponics, growing plants without soil. The cool thing about aquaponics is that it simulates a real life eco system where the bacteria process the fish waste "amonia" from nitrites into nitrates which can then be absorbed by the plants and then returning clean water back to the fish ... OK, that might be too much info for the newbie, but if you have ponds or aquariums, it is nothing more than "cycling" or "seasoning" your system.

While some folks do this on a grand scale, in all actuality it can be done simply.  There is a lot of mis-information out there as to the best way to set up a system.  This diagram looks like a swimming pool designer put together this plan ...  This is not the way you want to set up your aquaponics system!

When you decide to move forward on this project be sure to contact someone locally or attend a workshop to help you design the best system for your area.

The main thing to remember is, the more steps you add to your aquaponics system, the possibily increases that you might have a system problem ... by that I mean, if you have 5 pumps in your system instead of 1, you have 5 times the chance that a pump will fail.  In aquaponics, I have found that the KISS principle "Keep it Simple Stupid" is the one to follow.  Use one water pump ( and have a backup) and one air pump (and a backup) and you should be good to go.

So, give it a try with a small system to get your feet wet and experiment.  You may get hooked on aquaponic gardening!


  1. This one is really looking one of the most informative post about Aquaponic Gardening. This one is really incredible and awesome.

    What is Hydroponics?

  2. Your definition of aquaponics was very informative. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions for my friend and I at,

  3. lol love it "keep it simple stupid" that is one term we will be using in Australia

  4. Sound like you need to do a little more homework. I want to add that you need some kind of "gravel bed" to grow your beneficial bacteria. That part is completely missing(and necessary) from your diagram. Your "gravel bed" can be easily created by simply adding expanded clay to your grow tray as your growing media, and cycling the pump to flood and drain the tray.

    That bacteria is what converts the ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate. The plants then take up the nitrate. Your goal is to use the bacteria and plants to filter the water for your fish.

    Once you have accomplished all of the above, you have a closed cycle.