11 Reasons For Building A Backyard Aquaponics Gardening System

There is no gardening experience like a backyard aquaponics gardening system.

Aquaponics Gardening without soil is an improved version of a hydroponic system that has been around for 300 years. It is a system that grows fish in simple water tanks and use the water that contains bio-nutrients to feed plants organically. Harvesting the crops is an easy process. In addition you and your family get to eat organic food that is better tasting! What more can you wish for?

By Far This Is The Best Way To Get Started With Aquaponics Gardening Today!

We will provide you with the all the benefits and facts about an aquaponics gardening system as simple as we can.

As you read and learn you will move closer to a real understanding of growing fish and vegetables without soil. I recommend you continue reading to the very end of this page to gather all the information and benefits about aquaponics gardening and harvesting vegetables, fruits, and fish.

What is an Aquaponics Gardening System.

Aquaponics SystemMore and more people are learning that aquaponics gardening is a smart and easy way to overcome the economy, rising food costs, and higher gas prices. With such a system in your backyard or even inside your apartment or home you can grow your own fish and fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

I used to have a vegetable garden. It seemed that I was on my knees all the time working the soil, raking, hoeing, pulling weeds, treating the plants for pest control, and fertilizing to add nutrients.

Every year I would want a larger garden which required a larger amount of land.

Sometimes the labor was worth it when we gathered the fresh fruits and vegetables that we grew with our own hands. But I know some friends of ours that believed it was to much hard work which became a deterrent to growing their own food in a garden.

I began searching online and reading books for a better way to grow my own organic fruits and vegetables that did not require preparing and working the soil and always watering the plants.

After Much Study I Discovered What is known As The Aquaponics System. A Combination Of Aquaculture and Hydroponics.

Do not get me wrong aquaponics is not the answer for everyone but it does not require bending over to weed and cultivate the soil and you do not have to water the garden manually.

Some of the problems with a traditional garden are:

  • It is seasonal
  • The soil is prepared, fertilized, and you plant seeds in the spring time.
  • The soil nutrients are used up by the plants and the plants die.
  • The amount of fruits and vegetables produced is based on the amount of nutrients, sunlight, and water.
  • After the plants die the soil will have to be re-titled, re-fertilized, and replanted.
  • Traditional gardening requires regular watering and soil fertilizing.

Let’s Look At How These Problems Are Solved With An Aquaponics System

A major advantage of a backyard aquaponics system is that the plants always have a supply of water and all the nutrients they need to grow and product fruits and vegetables.

Here are the 11 advantages of having an aquaponics system in your backyard or in the home:

  • Plants produce more food than plants that grow in a garden. The yield can be anywhere from 5 to 20 times more food in less time.
  • Vegetables plants will grow faster than plants that are grown in soil.
  • The amount of space for aquaponics is much less than a traditional garden.
  • Lower set-up and operating costs.
  • The cost for electricity for a small pump may be less than $15 per month. This cost can be reduced with solar panels or a small wind turbine.
  • The closed system use about 80% less water than soil gardening.
  • The system is easy to build. There are many step-by-step manuals that make the building of the aquaponics system easy.
  • They are easy to maintain. After the system is constructed the maintenance becomes almost care-free.
  • All the material and parts for the system are available at your local garden or building system store.
  • You save money when you grow your own fish, fruits, and vegetables.
  • The best part. You get to eat healthy, fresh organic food and fresh fish that you grow. Click to learn more about aquaponics fish.

Tip: These aquaponics systems are scalable meaning they can increase or decrease is size as your personal need for fish, fruits, and vegetables change with time. All you do is add or remove beds and tanks as needed.

Benefit: These systems require a smaller area and the water is effectively recycled instead of evaporating.

How You Can  Get Started With Aquaponics?

Hopefully the information above was useful and informative. The benefits and advantages are great, but the only thing that will get you fresh fish and organic fresh fruits and vegetables is taking action!

By far a simple step by step guide is the easiest way to build and set up your own aquaponics system. Here at Aquaponicsaideasaonline.com we have reviewed several aquaponics products that provide easy step by step instructions for building an aquaponics garden.

Here is my recommendation for starting your aquaponics gardening system:

By Far This Is The Best Way To Get Started With Aquaponics Gardening Today Is With “Home DIY Aquaponics”!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This product does not provide plans and advice for a large commercial aquaponics system. Home DIY Aquaponics does provide some hints on how to expand a small backyard system into a larger one.

Aquaponics Supplies and Equipment

Aquaponices supplies and equipment you may need to get started building your aquaponics system include the following items:

  • Aquaponics Growbed
  • Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate, LECA (Hydroton)
  • Aquaponics Fish Tank
  • Fish
  • Aquaponics Pump
  • Aquaponics Plumbing Kit
  • Heater
  • Water Testing Kit
  • Plants



Thanks for visiting our site!



Founder of AquaponicsIdeasOnline.com

Get Updates and 5 Common Mistakes People Make With Aquaponics Systems:

48 Responses to “11 Reasons For Building A Backyard Aquaponics Gardening System”

  1. Ospectoro says:

    Larry, hi.

    Thanks for visiting my Squidoo lens & liking it. Very pleased to learn about Aquaponics through your webpage. Originating from a farmers’ family, I’d certainly contact my gardener brother and let him know about it. Perhaps he’ll become rich through you stumbling on my page, and me on yours.

  2. Josh says:

    I am thinking about build an aquaponics system to grow vegetables. Do you have an insight into growing tomatoes. I current grow tomatoes organically in my backyard soil.

  3. ken rinaldo says:

    Here are instructions for how to create your own aquaponics system. Amy and I have been working with Aquaponics since 2008 and have had the system running continuously since then.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Hey Larry,
    I’ve recently learned abou this unique aquaponic system. I want to create one in my backyard. I haven’t dont a whole lot of research but I understand why the fish and plants co-exist. I wanted to start by utilizing talapia to fertilize my plants. Given I live in California, I thought talapia is the best choice considering the warmer temperatures down here. I was wondering if fish are to reproduce with others in the tank? Or do I need to continue purchasing talapia once the fish die out? And how do I fertilize my plants while still making the talapia? I want to grow plants while raising edible fish. Any insights would be great. By the way great site, very informative.

    • Larry says:

      Fish are the power house of an aquaponics system, they provide the nutrients for the plants and if your growing edible fish such as tilapia (a good choice), then they will provide protein for you and your family. Keeping fish may be a little daunting at first but you shouldn’t be discouraged. Keeping fish in an aquaponic system is easier than keeping aquarium fish as long as you follow simple guidelines for growing fish, to ready to eat fish. Yes you can allow the tilapia to reproduce. This will save you money because you will not need to buy new fish.

      Good Luck with your Aquaponics System!

  5. Michael says:

    I was wondering if you knew the best method for germinating seeds? I tend to grow excess mold which in turn eats away at the seeds. What method do you recommend? And would you recommend oasis horticubes for planting seeds aquaponically? Any insights would be great, thanks!

  6. Michael says:

    And if oasis horticubes aren’t the way to go, then how should I go about planting and or placing seeds into a gravel pit once germinated?
    And is it true that you must take out the sprouts once the roots reach one inch? What exactly does this do?

    • Larry says:

      Oasis Horticubes to germinate seeds for aquaponics plants is a recommended method used by many gardeners.
      Have not read or heard about taking out the sprouts once the roots reach one inch.
      Let the seed germinate until roots appear then place them into the aquaponics gravel bed.
      Good Luck!

  7. Dylan says:

    Good website and information. Also what theme are you using?

  8. melanie says:

    just starting on setting up my garden. we have just finished a greenhouse 12x24x8. the products on the market are overwhelming. I am growing a garden to feed 12 people and would like to make a little profit for reinvesting in the garden. what size grow beds and how many, what kind of media is best, and where do I get the horticubes? please help.

  9. larry says:

    Hi Larry! First off, great name! ;)
    Second: im trying to convince my wife to let me start an aquaponics garden in our shop (24’x24′) so that we can have fresh produce. My questions are:
    1- what type of care do i need to be prepared to do for the fish? Do i need to worry about algea or mold growing inside the fish tank or even in the grow tubes?
    2- with proper lighting for plants and heaters for the fish tanks, could i essentially grow produce year round? The garden would be indoors, protected from the elements.

    Thanks for all the information!

    • Larry says:


      Here are response to your questions:

      1. Checkout my article How To Care For Fish In An Aquaponics System

      2. How to Grow Vegetables Year Round With Indoor Aquaponics

      By utilizing aquaponics to create your very own indoor garden, you will no longer have to worry about paying that outrageous price for fresh vegetables in the winter. Instead you can grow your vegetables year round right in your basement or spare bedroom. Talk about fresh! And maybe best of all is the fact that you will have first hand knowledge of what you are eating. Hint: it’s all organic.

      If you aren’t familiar with aquaponics, let me get you up to speed quickly. Aquaponics is simply an expansion of hydroponics–the art of growing plants without the use of dirt or soil. The plant’s roots sit directly in a container of water. The plant itself is usually in a floating type of bed. With hydroponics you had to add nutrition into the water to feed the plants.

      With aquaponics, the plants get their nutrition in a much more natural and organic way. From fish. If you’ve ever kept fish before, you know that they can put out some pretty nasty by-products like ammonia, etc. Well, here’s where we see the great circle of life in action–those nasty by-products are just exactly what plants need to thrive. So the fish emulsion feeds the plants and as the plants take what they need from the water, they filter the water for the fish. All natural and all organic.

      If you’re wondering what kinds of plants your can raise with aquaponics–well, basically anything goes. Beginners might want to start with a leafy green veggie like lettuce. It’s generally the easiest to grow. Other plants you can add as you get the hang of it include herbs, watercress, peas, beans, red and green peppers, strawberries, and melons. You can really try just about anything. In fact the true test of whether or not a plant will work for you is just to try it and see.

      There is another benefit of aquaponic gardening, too. You also get to eat the fish! If you are looking for a way to become sustainable (or off the grid), this type of garden will not only give you fresh year round fruit and veggies, but protein too. All from the comfort of your own home.

      You probably think an indoor aquaponic gardening system would be expensive, right? Well, yes, if you buy a ready made system that is probably true. The good news is that with a good DIY guide, it’s totally possible to build your own system. Your upfront costs will be offset by the savings from your produce bills. Plus you get the added benefit of knowing where your family’s food is coming from and that it is, in fact, healthy.

      So are you ready to grow vegetables year round?

      If you are ready for your own indoor aquaponics garden, you really do need a great DIY guide to help you put together your system. For more information, feel free to check out my page on aquaponics system.

  10. Nick says:

    Hi Larry, I have some questions on starting the spring off right. This is my first spring with my small out door aquaponics system. I need some advice because I had a poor results with my system during summer. I have a 300 gal tote for my fish and 2 3×5 gravel grow beds. What are some important factors to look for when starting over with nitrates already present? I didn’t maintain a pH of 7 last year…it was always low, under 6, some plants did good, some got diseased easily and produced poor fruits. Now I have egg shells in to buff the pH. I lost all my trout this winter due to a freeze, poor planning, I made a heater a few days later. The only surrviors were my 10 goldfish 3 strawberry plants and mint plant. Do I need to do a 50% fresh water flush? I am getting 200 rainbow trout frys soon. My water check is pH still at 6, Ammonia at 0.25ppm, and Nitrates at 20ppm.


  11. Peter Turner says:

    Amazing level of detail in the description of your home aquaponic systems – I’m thinking that this is the way forward for urban farming. I have written a post of my own about the advantages of creating your own aquaponic farm. Please take a look.

  12. Steven Fu says:

    Larry, I really like your site and the wealth of information you share here. I truly belief aquaponics is the way for future food production…or at least it should be.


  13. Alan says:

    Wow, you provided some brilliant ideas! Home food production is going to be an important challenge for the future. Great source of facts and information on your site. Keep it up!

    • Larry says:

      Thank you. Home food production is here now. It is a sad fact that we are the main cause of our earth’s deterioration. Let us all do what we can to reverse it.


  14. Steve says:

    You have provide a wealth of rich information on aquaponics…thank you! I have picked up some valuable tips here.

  15. Dhana says:

    Hi Larry

    I wonder whether I can do this, aquaponics, in my house garden. We live in France, we have temperature from -15 to + 35 deg C. Thank you. Dhana

  16. Jack says:

    Hi Larry

    I have a 75gallon tank with 3 adult red ear sliders & wanted to know if turtle water would be safe for aquaponics? My second question is in aquaponics is it possible to grow root vegetables like carrots and potatoes etc? Thanks in advance for your answer & you have a very informitive sight.

  17. melanie says:

    wrote you a while back. now I have a great system and everything is going well but the PH. the PH is on the high side. it come out of our well 8.9. so with fish I can only keep it down to 9.8. this is effecting my plant growth and health. how can I correct or lower my PH to the recommended amounts.

  18. Akis says:

    Hello Mr. Larry

    I am Akis. I would like to ask you some questions about Aquaponics. I think that you have the knowledge and i would be grateful if you help me. I am interesting to install a small aquaponic system about 500m2.

    1) Do you have any idea, how much less water used at aquaponic system compared with a traditional farming?

    2) Do you know the cost of a unit about 500m2?

    3) Do you know how much energy (kwh) demands a system 500m2.

    4) Do you have any idea about the production cost compared aquaponic system to traditional farming.

    5) Which is the payback period for an aquaponic system.

    6) And last but not least, can an aquaponic system have susses every where in the world?

    Thank you in advance

    • Larry says:


      I will try to answer your questions.
      1) Do you have any idea, how much less water used at aquaponic system compared with a traditional farming?
      Aquaponics is easier and more productive than organic gardening or traditional agriculture and uses 95% less water. Aquaponics uses only a fraction of the water used in conventional farming and can use even less if you collect rain water to add to your system. Aquaponic farmers are not dependent on huge amounts of water as are conventional in-ground farmers and it does not have the same environmental impact of tremendous water consumption and waste. The minimal use of water means Aquaponics is the answer for drought stricken environments. It’s like the oasis in the desert.

      2) Do you know the cost of a unit about 500m2?
      That is a hard question to answer because the cost will vary based on where you live. For example I have seen numbers like $16 per square meter in Asia to $300 per Square meter in New Zealand. Just depends on the cost of the material and parts where you live. I suggest you put a list of material and supplies together and check with your local supply store the cost.

      3) Do you know how much energy (kwh) demands a system 500m2.
      Again this depends on where you live. What you can do is pick a water pump, determine what its kwh rating is and multiply that by how much you local power company charges for kwh of power.

      4) Do you have any idea about the production cost compared aquaponic system to traditional farming.
      Not really, but I know the actual cost will be much less for aquaponics than traditional farming. Here is a good article that might help you – http://www.greenacreaquaponics.com/why-aquaponics/

      5) Which is the payback period for an aquaponic system.
      See the article – 5) Which is the payback period for an aquaponic system.

      6) And last but not least, can an aquaponic system have susses every where in the world?
      Yes, I have reports from all around the world about aquaponics systems being successful

      Sorry for not being able to answer all your questions.


  19. Jonathan Gann says:

    I planted some blossoming vegetables about a month ago in a 3 month old system and I have yet to see any vegetable production is this normal???

    • Larry says:

      3 months seems a little long.
      Are you controlling the water PH. Maintaining the pH of system water between 7.0 and 7.5.

      More important numbers:
      Oxygen, 5 ppm or greater
      Ammonia, 1 ppm or less
      Sunlight + Nutrient rich water = algae

      Is it the right time of the year for the vegetables to grow and produce vegetables.

      Good Luck!


  20. Scott says:

    Hi Larry, I’m interested in trying aquaponics but want to start small, I was thinking of using an old bathtub as the fishpond, is that too small to grow edible fish in? And is it safe to eat fish from a small closed loop system?

    (Melbourne, AU)

  21. Jose Generoso says:

    Hi Larry, I have started to read your articles and some of the comments of your viewers and as I was doing it, the urge within me became stronger and stronger to start working on it.

    It all started when I was helping my grade 8 grandson look for an appropriate Investigatory Project for school.

    I intend to initially do it as an investigatory project to “wet my feet”, so to speak and get my grandson going in his school project and later to apply the little knowledge and experience I have gained to my small backyard. In the Philippines we have an abundant rain so that’s a plus factor for me.

    You might want to comment and I’ll appreciate it. You’re good, Larry.

  22. Organic farming means that agricultural goods, like dairy and meat, are grown without
    being triggered with chemicals and growth causing hormones.
    No doubt labor and materials are expensive.
    Here are few examples of several well-known conventional food producers, who have
    recently been expanding their product selection into the organic realm.
    ‘ Organic food is good for the environment-
    Natural pesticide use allows for less pesticide run off, which is common in conventional farming.

    Conventional farming methods tend to focus on producing more meat per area.

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