Can Aquaponics Farming Be Profitable?

Aquaponic farming is a growing trend in the agriculture industry. This type of farming combines raising fish with soil-less plant cultivation, and the fish waste provides nutrients for the plants. Aquaponics is a promising technology with great potential to help farmers increase their yields and profits. But can aquaponics farming be profitable? This blog post will explore the profitability aspect of aquaponics farming, how to start it, and what plants you should grow to make your aquaponics farm worth the investment.

A little about aquaponics…

  • Aquaponics combines traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) with hydroponics (growing plants in water). 
  • The benefits of aquaponics include a 90% reduction in water usage, no runoff or waste discharge, and year-round production. 
  • Aquaponics farming offers an opportunity for small farmers to enter the agricultural market.

How Do I Start An Aquaponics Farm?

Aquaponics is a great way to produce vegetables and fish for your family and friends. Not only does it provide an abundant supply of fresh food, but it is also a fun and engaging hobby. If you are keen on starting an aquaponics farm, there are a few things you need to know.

aquaponics graphic

Key Considerations to Begin Aquaponic Farming

Preliminary Preparation

Make sure you gather as much information about your project before starting it because no one wants a half-built aquaponics farm.

  • Your Ultimate Objective

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out where you want your future gardening path. Especially if the idea of growing a variety of food for family and friends is daunting or just an experiment in living off-the-grid. This is especially true in aquaponic farming.

  • Do-it-Yourselfer or Professional 

The idea of building your aquaponic system is fun and can be done quickly with some know-how. However, if you’re new to the game, it may take longer than what’s ideal for getting up and running fast, so maybe investing in something that is already proven would suit everyone better.

  • The funds

The size of your water-based system will depend on a few factors, like how much money you want to invest and what kind of goals are set for yourself. You can get started with something small for under $500 or go all-out luxury mode if need be.

Aquaponic Farming: The Plan

  • The Space

Consider the size of your system and how you’ll be able to move around it quickly. You should also think about what space is needed for maintenance, like changing filters or adding new grow beds in addition to a small work surface that can come in handy.

  • The floor strength

We all know that large aquaponic systems can be heavy, but did you also realise how much water weighs? One gallon of water weighs about 8.34 pounds in aquaponic farming.

  • Freshwater access

Aquaponics plants and fish need water, it’s always good to have an easy-access source nearby. You can use fresh de-chlorinated well or spring-fed pool deck fill close by for topping off purposes only.

  • Electricity access

Fish can’t swim without water, and they’re just as dependent on electricity. If your power goes out, it’s not the end of their world, but you might be worried about what will happen to them when there are frequent blackouts in areas where these fish live. One solution: power backup.

  • Security

The safety of your children and pets should be a top priority when considering installing an electric water pump. Children could easily trip on cords or get into the aqua system without knowing how to swim, while small animals may find themselves electrocuted if they come in contact.

Environmental

The water

Understanding where H2O is coming from and what quality you are receiving will make a world of difference in aquaponic farming. In short, we must provide a de-chlorinated source for the best result possible—so test if necessary.

Ventilation

Humidity, temperature, and other factors affect the health and quality of your plants. In aquaponic farming, ensure a regular exchange of fresh air to manage these.

Heat water (if needed)

The perfect water temperature for raising aquaponics fish varies depending on what type and how many you plan to keep. A good rule of thumb is between 66 – 74 degrees Fahrenheit, but this can vary significantly with different species of animals or even within one kind if they’re large vs. small.

Natural sunlight

There are many considerations when designing your greenhouse. You need to think about what climate zone you’re in if it’s winter or summer time and how much natural light is available for aquaponics plants every day—all of which will affect plant selection.

Aquaponic Sunlight

The Life

Fish

Choosing between edible or decorative fish is essential in aquaponic farming. You should think of several things when making this choice, such as what species will be locally available and permitted and so on.

Plants

Your choice of crops can influence the type of system that best suits your needs. In general, media beds offer more versatility and work well for longer-term fruitings such as tomatoes or peppers, while leafy greens like lettuce varieties thrive in deep water culture troughs too.

Components

The components of an aquaponic system in aquaponic farming depend on the type of system you choose to build. Some of the most common ones you may need include fish tank, grow beds, grow lights, heating elements, filtration system and more

Note: The most common aquaponics systems are Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), Media Bed, and Deep Water Culture (DWC). 

What Aquaponics Crop Is The Most Profitable?

If you decide to grow many plants via aquaponic farming, it can help you earn massive payback. 

Basil

In a study, the Genovese and Spicy Globe cultivars of basil were found to be the most profitable, with higher yields than other varieties. These findings could be helpful for commercial aquaponics systems that need a fast-growing plant to meet increased demand during the summer months when fresh produce is scarce or expensive.

Watercress

Watercress is an easy plant that grows fast. It’s not only simple to care for but also very nutritious. One seed planted in soil produces multiple plants with no difficulty whatsoever—perfect if profitability matters to you.

Lettuce

Lettuce is one of the easiest to grow through water-based aquaponic farming. It requires a little maintenance and has low nutrient requirements. With short cycle times (about 60 days) coupled with high market demand on this product type—it means there will always be buyers looking out, explicitly asking about fresh supplies coming through town.

Kale

Kale

Kale is one of the most profitable vegetables for indoor gardening. It requires little nutrients, grows well in an aquaponic system, and can be harvested within 5-6 weeks when planted directly into sunlight or partial shade, depending on how hot it gets where you live (about 8 weeks). You could even start making money while your plants are still tiny.

Cherry Tomatoes

When growing tomatoes in a small space, you might think that compact varieties like cherry ones would be less efficient than larger versions. But with an average value per square foot around $15 and high consumer demand for them among home gardeners everywhere—it’s no wonder these little guys deserve their spot on our list.

Chives

The chives are an interesting addition to the most profitable plants for aquaponics, small gardens, and backyard nurseries. This garden staple has many uses other than just looking pretty on top dishes. The average value is around $16 per square foot, making it one-of-a-kind in terms of yield compared with other veggies you can grow via aquaponic farming.

Arugula

It turns out that this plant is among the most profitable for small gardens and aquaponics. Well, you can grow plenty of it in your aquaponics system. And not only does Arugula have value at around $20 per square foot but it also offers many uses, which means more profit from each leafy green veggie sold.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a rare find these days, but it’s being cultivated by those who know how to take advantage of this wild root crop. Ginseng has only grown in remote areas and took 5-6 years before coming into production. However, using aquaponic farming, you can get three-year-olds with high-value produce.

Aquaponics Plant with Roots

Growing the right crop is fine, but marketing is the key to earning profits. 

It is essential to have multiple revenue streams for your business model to succeed. Aquaponic farming may seem like an innovative idea, but it still follows many traditional rules. The golden rule is diversification. Plant different plants and watch your revenue grow.

Can Aquaponics Farming Be Profitable? The Bottomline

Aquaponics has been around for centuries, but it is only recently that people have started using it as a way to make money. So, can aquaponics farming be profitable? The answer is yes—if you do it correctly. You need to keep in mind a few things if you want to make money with aquaponics farming. First, your setup needs to be efficient and well-run. You don’t want any unnecessary waste or loss of crops. Second, you need to find a market. You can undoubtedly make aquaponic farming worth the effort if all goes well.

aquaponics experts

Welcome to The Aquaponics Guide

Hello! We are the Johnsons and the faces of The Aquaponics Guide. We have been avid gardeners for many years and growing our own food is one of our key priorities. We have found sustainable Aquaponics farming to be a life changer, which is the reason we have created The Aquaponics Guide.