How to build your own DIY aquaponics system
Even an diy aquaponics kit of no more than 20 square feet provides enough plants to supply an entire family with food (and have some left over for friends)
The advantage of an aquaponic system is that it’s an very efficient, cheap and healthy way to grow your own vegetables, herbs and fruit – and ideal for a back garden, balcony or allotment.
What is the difference between aquaponics and hydroponics?
An aquaponics system is simply a way of combining hydroponics (where you grow plants in water) with aquaculture (which is simply a way of growing fish, crayfish or prawns).
And yes there are some great ‘ready made’ systems (like the home aquaponics kit from ‘Fishplant’)
But a far cheaper way than even buying DIY aquaponic kits is to build your own DIY aquaponics system using items available in most Builders Merchants – at a fraction of the cost of a ready made system and isn’t that difficult to do.
Step 1 – Start with a plan
The easiest way to build your own hydroponic or diy aquaponics kit is to use a step by step plan.
Yes, there are a number of books available but we like the plan from Aquaponics 4 you because (in addition to the step by step instructions) it also includes videos that will show you exactly what to do and how.
In addition it has been designed for the absolute beginner so you will know exactly what to do.
More details on the Aquaponics 4 You site
Step 2 – Get the DIY Aquaponics Kit Bits
3 Key DIY aquaponics kit elements…
When you build your own diy aquaponics kit there are 3 key elements you need to focus on:
1. The fish tank
The core element to your diy aquaponics kit will be the fish tank.
Your fishes are the key to your system (because they provide the food for the plants), so you will need to take good care of them in order for the system to give proper results. For example you need to make sure that the water has the right temperature, PH level, light as well as the necessary amount of oxygen to accommodate the fish in good conditions.
The advantage of the aquaponics system is that all you will need to do is monitor the water and feed the fishes in order to grow plants. If you go into any garden centre (or pet shop) you will see that fish tanks don’t come cheap – but for an aquaponic garden they are simply not that difficult to build yourself.
2. Water circulation system
Linked to this you will need to install a water pump and circulation system. Yes, you will need to provide the right environment for your fish to thrive – but you also need to get the water (with the nitrates) to flow up to the roots and then back down again.
3. The grow bed
And finally you will need to provide a grow bed (on top of the tank) for your plants, which lets the roots ‘hang’ into your fish tank below.
(and of course you then need to place your system where there is plenty of light)
It sounds a lot more difficult than it is, but the key is to start with a simple plan.
The video below gives a quick introduction to how to build your own diy aquaponics kit:
How do you start ?
Yes, building your own aquaponic system is a lot cheaper than buying a ready made one or a DIY aquaponics kit. But the key is to use a plan that will show you exactly what to do.
The most popular plan is the :
Aquaponics 4 You™ Plan
This is the program mentioned in the video above.
This is an ‘eBook’ (i.e. a book emailed to you) as well as ‘step by step’ videos that contain all the information you need to make your own aquaponics system.
So that it includes diagrams, explanations and instructions. It’s designed for the absolute beginner so you will know exactly what to do.
every-thing is step-by-step, anyone can do this.
More details on the Aquaponics 4 You site
Special note for DIY allotment aquaponics..
There are very many allotment holders starting an aquaponics system – yes building your own system is pretty straightforward and easy to do.
Simply use one of the above plans to show you how to build one.
But do note : unfortunately in some part of the country theft, especially of the fish, can be a problem. (And that is not just through foxes !). When you build your own DIY aquaponics kit system – do also factor in either secure fencing or netting. It’s an extra cost – but you will easily recoup that with the additional yield you should achieve.
- Best plants to grow in an aquaponics system
- How to start an aquaponics system
- Where to buy aquaponics system / DIY plans online