If you want to try aquaponics than a small aquaponics kit (like the one available from Amazon on the right) is a fun and easy way to test aquaponics on a small scale.
- It combines a 3-gallon fish tank with a vegetable and herb grow bed
- Fits easily on any kitchen counter.
- The waste from the fish provides nutrients for the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish!
What is aquaponics & how does it work?
Aquaponics is very similar to hydroponics – where you grow your plants only using water.
However the key difference is that the water will contain fish – so you only have to feed the fish and their excrement will nourish the plants.
The advantages of using aquaponics to grow plants are
- no soil required,
- easier to grow & manage plants, etc.
However, in addition:
- Aquaponics can be cheaper to operate as fish feed is often cheaper than the nutrients added to the water in an hydroponic system
- Once well established (after about 6 months) it can produce even faster growth and better yields than hydroponics.
- Easier to get fully organic plants.
- The fish can be very appealing to households (with big or little children)
- Or the fish can even be grow to generate additional income
Is this kit right for me ?
This small aquaponics kit is great for anyone completely new to aquaponics and would just ‘test it’ (as well as having a real talking point)
It is a scaled down to a table-top system.
This is how it works :
- Fish waste, which is toxic to the fish if allowed to accumulate, is pumped through an inner tube in the tank into a grow tray above containing plants.
- The plant roots act as a biofilter where beneficial bacteria break down the harmful ammonia in the waste into nitrites and then finally nitrates which are absorbed as food by the plants.
- The clean water is circulated back into the fish tanks so all you have to do is feed the fish!
Best aquaponic vegetables or herbs ?
The small aquaponics kit includes organic wheatgrass and basil seeds. If you’re looking to grow other plants, leafy greens and herbs work best. We recommend parsley, cilantro, mint, arugula, mixed greens, and other varieties of basil.
For more details at the best plants for aquaponics guide
Best aquaponic fish ?
- It is not suitable for fish that are particularly sensitive to fluctuating ammonia and nitrite levels
- The tank is quite small and mention that to a pet shop or garden centre when buying fish.