The Best Aquaponics System For 2021
Aquaponics systems allow you to have plants indoors and an aquarium in the same structure. It’s highly economical and creates a nice balance between plants and animals. The best kits are a simple structure that creates a mutually beneficial ecosystem.
This system allows you to feed your fish and plant seedlings on top of the aquarium similar to hydroponics (planting without soil). An aquaponic system is easy to put up and maintain. You may need to add water frequently due to evaporation.
The fish produces waste that plants use as nutrients. The aquaponic system carries the waste to supply plants with nutrients and then filters clean water back to the aquarium.
You can use this system to plant herbs, vegetables, and fruits for your consumption. If you like to fish, you can farm edible fish to make delicious meals. You can also decide to plant beautiful flowers to create a serene environment in your home.
Since aquaponics fish tanks are growing in demand, we have gathered a list of the best aquaponics systems you can buy for your home. The best aquaponic kits come with everything you need to set up quickly, are visually pleasing, and are easy to maintain.
The Top 5 Best Aquaponics System Ratings
Best for Home Decor: AquaSprouts Ecosystem Garden
Value For Money: 3.1/5
Easy To Assemble: 3.9/5
Easy To Clean: 3.5/5
Tank Size: 10 gallons
Aquasprouts bring the natural world into your house allowing you to sustain the beauty of fish farming and indoor plants. The garden carries a maximum capacity of 10 gallons of water.
The aqua garden comes with a tray for your plants and a fish tank with clear glass to see how your aquatic life is fairing. Also, a light bar allows you to fit your light bulb that helps your plants grow. The removable light bulb is ideal for places with minimal sunlight and allows you to adjust to your plants’ needs.
It also comes with a 120/160 gallons per hour pump and a 24-hour timer with 15 minutes intervals. For the kit to start working, you simply need to set up the kit and turn on the pump.
On the planting tray, sits a special clay grow media (the mechanical filter that doesn’t degrade) that replaces soil but supports your plants. It creates a healthy breeding ground for bacteria that grows and turns the fish waste into nutrients for your plants. When the pump pushes water into the grow bed, all the fish waste is trapped and clean goes back into the aquarium.
With proper monitoring, your aquaponic system will thrive successfully. Note that this kit doesn’t come with a fish tank and you’ll need to buy one separately.
The whole system looks amazing and provides a breathtaking kit that will bring life to your space. The downside of this system, it requires more counter space and a bulky design. It’s also expensive and lacks some important materials such as the light bar and fish tank. Other than that, this aquaponic would be a great addition to your home.
- It comes in a modern, large and beautiful design
- It fits multiple plants
- You can have more than one type of fish
- You can grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables
- It is expensive
- It is bulky
- It doesn’t come with a fish tank
Best Value Product: Penn-Plax Aquaponic Betta Fish Tank
Value For Money: 3.2/5
Easy To Assemble: 4.7/5
Easy To Clean: 4.5/5
Tank Size: 0.4 gallons
The Penn-Plax Aquaponic Kit comes in a simple cool design. It has a 1.4-gallon tank with a plastic plant holder sitting above the water. The plastic plant holder comes with ceramic planting materials that allow your plants to thrive. It is ideal for a small space and budget friendly.
This aquaponics kit can hold only one plant at a time and a small fish to have a balance. It comes with no pump or other complicated accessories. Think of it as a decorative piece that is an indoor hydroponic kit. It provides a mutually beneficial environment for both the fish and plants.
The planter is easy to lift off making the aquaponic kit easy to clean, maintain and put back together. Note that this is not a self-cleaning fish tank, so you’ll need to drain the water every two weeks to maintain a healthy environment.
You can buy extra items such as stones for decoration, a lighting bar for your indoor plant and if you decide on a tropical fish such as a betta, a water heater comes in handy. It is a great option if you’re tight on budget, a beginner, and looking for a decorative element. It also offers a great learning experience before getting a bigger one.
- It is a simple, beautiful aquaponic kit
- It is functional and easy to maintain
- It provides a healthy symbiotic environment for the plant and fish
- It is compatible with most indoor herbs and houseplants
- The ceramic planting media acts as a filter for fish waste and plant holder
- You need to change the water frequently to avoid your fish from dying
- Small size and can fit only small fish
- Not ideal for vegetable plants
Best Small Counter: Huamuyu Aquaponic Garden
Value For Money: 3.2/5
Easy To Assemble: 4.0/5
Easy To Clean: 4.2/5
Tank Size: 3 gallons
Huamuyu Aquaponics Garden is an awesome introduction to the basics of aquaponics. It helps you learn how aqua life and plants can co-exist successfully. The tank allows your fish to live in the tank while it converts the waste into healthy nutrients for your indoor plants growing above.
This aquaponic garden kit is self-sufficient. It comes with a seed planting tray, seeds, a filtering sponge, and a pump. The tank has a maximum water capacity of three gallons and has clear glass walls. You’ll also find a manual to guide you when setting up and how to maintain the tank.
After you’ve successfully installed the pump, it starts sending fish waster up to the plants for cleaning. With this aquaponic garden kit, you only need to clean the tank maybe once a month, which is less time compared to a regular aquarium. Since the ecosystem is symbiotic, it makes your work a lot easier.
This garden kit would make a great gift for learning children. It is easy to help them take care of their fish pets and grow their vegetables. It’s a great bonding experience and your children won’t be disappointed in any way.
A few downsides to note is that, depending on the fish you choose, you might need extra accessories for it to survive. For instance, if you choose a tropical fish, you’ll need a water heater to make the tank conducive. You may also need a grow light for your plants. Also, make sure to cover the pump with decorative mesh to protect your fish from being sucked into the pump.
- It creates a healthy symbiotic system
- It works as a hydroponics garden
- It comes with a self-cleaning system
- It is ideal for your small plants
- It is great for educational purposes for kids
- It comes in a simple and beautiful design
- It’s only ideal for small plants and herbs
- The pump can occasionally suck in small fish
Best for Beginners and Kids: Vivosun Aquaponic Fish Tank
Value For Money: 3.7/5
Easy To Assemble: 3.1/5
Easy To Clean: 4.5/5
Tank Size: 4 gallons
Vivosun is known for making awesome indoor hydroponic garden kits and this aquaponics fish tank ticks all the right boxes. It comes as a complete starter package with the fish tank, gravel, water purifiers, pump, fish food, and plant holders. You even get a coupon to get a fish pet for your new aquarium.
This kit comes with an 11 page detailed manual with interesting facts about the history of aquaponics dating back to the ancient Chinese and Aztecs. You can use it as an educational kit for kids and beginner users. It comes in an attractive design with large sheer glass for fish observation.
The tray is large enough to fit small vegetables and herbs to help you make salads in the kitchen. You can plant various plants such as rosemary, green dill, basil, asparagus, mint, asparagus, kales, spinach, and pocket coconut among other plants.
The aquaponic kit is a little expensive but worth having in your space. This aquaponics system creates a magical symbiosis system for your plants and vegetables. It self-cleans by pumping the fish waste through the growing media that acts as a filter. The microbe in the growing media breaks down the waste and turns it into nutrients for the plants on top. The clean water is transferred back into the aquarium and the process continues.
This kit is also equipped with a siphon oxygen system that guarantees the roots of plants are immersed in water and lets them breathe freely. The oxygen supply circles around every two minutes creating a natural habitat for your fish. It’s also equipped with a thermostat that helps you check the water temperature ensuring the fish is comfortable at all times.
- It is a beautiful aquaponic system
- It comes with a siphon oxygen supply for your fish to survive
- You get a thermostat to check the temperatures
- It comes with a simple self-cleaning function
- You can plant different types of indoor hydroponic plants
- It is ideal for beginners and kids
- It comes with a small footprint
- It overflows sometimes
- It can only fit one or two small fish
- The maintenance can be a challenge
Best Overall: Back to the Roots Water Garden
Value For Money: 4/5
Easy To Assemble: 4.6/5
Easy To Clean: 4.0/5
Tank Size: 3 gallons
Back To The Roots is a year-round water garden that allows you to grow your indoor plants and keep a pet fish. It requires no prior farming skills and comes with all the accessories needed to get you started. This aquaponic garden kit is self-cleaning allowing your fish and plants to co-exist. The fish waste turns into nutrients for your plants while the plants clean the water for the fish.
This aquaponics system comes in a compact and beautiful design that looks good on shelves, desks, kitchen counters, or office shelves. You can also present it to your kids to help them learn more about this awesome ecosystem and ways to take care of it on their own.
The available accessories include organic microgreen seeds, fish food, D-Klor and Zym-Bac, Growstones, and a coupon to get a fish. Also, it comes equipped with a pump, water purifiers, a fish tank, gravel, and garden grow trays. All these items make your setup process easy and take minimal effort to care for the system.
It also comes with a STEM curriculum consisting of 11 pages of interesting facts and fun details about the origins of aquaponic systems dating back to the traditions of the ancient Chinese and Aztecs. The kit is well designed and looks great anywhere you place it. The only downside is the high price tag for such a small aquaponic kit but it works perfectly.
- It creates a healthy environment for your plant and fish
- It comes with planting seeds to get you started
- It comes in an attractive design
- It offers enough space for your microgreens
- It is convenient to maintain and use
- It comes with a coupon for a fish
- Can only house one fish at a time
- The microgreens run out fast compared to full-sized plants
- The fish waste doesn’t offer enough nutrients since it’s only one fish
Comparison of Products
What To Consider When Buying Aquaponics System
Aquaponic systems are becoming popular fast, especially after the covid-19 pandemic. People are looking for ways to stay occupied, decorate their homes, and start new hobbies. Lots of aquaponics are sold daily with customers satisfied by the little garden system.
However, there are a few factors that would make or break your experience with an aquaponics system. In this review, we have listed all the things you should look out for when purchasing the best aquaponics system for your home.
What is the Kingro Gardening Ecosystem?
What’s better than growing your own food? Growing it in a system that is self-sustaining and requires little to no work. The Kingro 5-in-1 Indoor Gardening Ecosystem will allow you to do just that, with the help of fish! They’ll provide nitrates for plant growth while providing protein to eat themselves. You don’t need a green thumb, just an interest in gardening and sustainability.
This indoor gardening system is simple to assemble, setup and maintain, requiring no additional watering for up to ten days.
This method is especially adept at growing a wide variety of plants in a single system. Additionally, it will embrace traditional soil and hydroponic farming methods if you want to move from one to the other.
When looking through catalogs, make sure you check all the items included in the package. The best kits offer essential accessories such as the fish tank, pump, lights, and plant holders. Some are equipped with water heaters and water purifiers. Others offer seeds to plant and fish food in the package. If any of these items are important to you, choose the kit with the items you need. Also, make sure to confirm the quality of your items to avoid disappointments.
Size Of Tank
The size of the tank matters depending on the type of fish and plants you wish to grow. You’ll need to determine where you need to place the aquaponics system and how much space is available. A good indoor fish tank should be durable, sturdy, and reliable enough to hold the weight of the water and the plants above.
Plants need direct sunlight to thrive and you need to place your aquaponic garden near a source of light. You can consider buying an LED light that would be enough for your plants. You also need the kit to be placed where you can easily carry out any maintenance.
Also, if you want a tropical fish you’ll need a water heater or filter that requires available outlets. All these items would affect the size of the tank and you need to prepare some space for it. On average, beginner aquaponic kits start from 0.5 to 3 gallons and are convenient to maintain.
You have a wide range of fish styles to choose from starting from cylindrical, rectangular, and round among others. Some are standing models, tabletops, and even ones you can hang. If you already have a fish tank, you can get the extra kits and DIY them into an aquaponics system. You can also buy the whole setup that is easier to maintain. Consider your space before choosing the design. Also, tanks with round corners are easier to clean compared to rectangular models.
If you have limited space, you can go for vertical models that provide free water flow from the top using the medium to the tank that sits below. You can also consider an aquaponic garden kit with growing media as plant holders. The growing media helps convert fish waste into nutrients and transfer the clean filtered water back into the tank.
Most aquaponic kits are made of plastic and acrylic glass. Make sure your kit can handle the weight of the water, items, fish, and plants without collapsing. Note that water carries the most weight and after adding all other items, your tank might start leaking. Glass tanks are good but are considerably heavier after filling with water. Check out the durability of your water tank and compare it with others to avoid
The best aquaponics systems are equipped with a filter that makes maintenance easier. This means you don’t have to drain the water after every few days to ensure your fish survive in a healthy environment. With a filter, you’ll need to do partial water changes based on the number of fish you have and how much you feed them. It’s important to keep in mind that the filter and plants only purify the water but you must clean the tank regularly.
In addition, always check the water PH level to avoid waste build-up that might poison your fish pet. It’s important to avoid direct tap water, let it sit in the tank for a few days without the fish. Then when it’s time, introduce the fish slowly with the water in the bag to make sure the tank has the same temperature.
Types Of Fish
For your aquaponic tank, you’ll need to choose a fish that best suits your kit. First, you must consider the size. For a small tank, go for a 1” fish (not including the tail) per gallon. This creates ample room for your fish to thrive with proper water quality. Secondly, consider fish that flourish in low-light conditions, since the plants will be blocking direct light from above.
If your tank has a heater, a tropical fish would be fine in that kit. If not, go for fish that can tolerate cool or fluctuating temperatures since the tank will adopt the room temperatures.
If you choose a Koi, Betta, or Goldfish, you can add only one or two fish in a small fish tank. Guppies and Mollies do well in small groups and offer awesome teaching opportunities. They are also great for children with minimal effort required to keep them alive.
If you’re thinking about a large fish tank, you can consider keeping fish for food. You can go for Tilapia, Catfish, or Bluegills due to their bigger sizes. So you can have your veggies growing on top and edible fish below.
Plants for the Kit
As for the plants, you need to consider ones that will co-exist naturally with your fish. Stick to plants that require low nutrition such as basil, wheatgrass, basil, watercress, parsley, chives, rosemary, and thyme.
You can also go for plants such as lettuce, ale, spinach, and microgreens. If you have a bigger aquaponics fish tank, you can choose vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries.
Why You Should Trust Us
Gardening is our passion and we have years of experience in both outdoors and indoors farming. We created the aquaponics guide to share our knowledge with you and help guide you as you start your journey of indoor farming. We hope that you’ll find all the necessary information you need to help you choose your ideal kit, set up, and start enjoying your little zen garden. You can now start to grow your healthy food and raise your pet fish all in the same structure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which aquaponics system is best?
On this list, the Back to Roots aquaponics kit is the best overall. It comes with smooth round edges perfect for gripping and a beautiful setup that makes your space pop. It comes as a complete package with all the necessary items to get you started. It is compact and portable with an affordable price tag. This unit is easy to maintain and perfect for beginners or kids.
What is an aquaponics kit?
An aquaponic kit is a combination of agriculture and aquatic life in one setup. You get to grow hydroponic plants and rare fish beneath in a symbiotic environment. The aquaponic system creates a mutually beneficial system that lets you feed your fish and the waste turns into nutrients, which benefit your plants.
Can you do aquaponics indoors?
Yes, you can have your aquaponics indoors. Thanks to the new and improved aquaponic system kits, you can now practice safe aquaculture in the comforts of your home. Check out our top picks above to find the best aquaponics garden kits for you.
What are the problems with aquaponics?
Aquaponics does also have a downside including growing algae, plants dying, overcrowded fish, pests on plants, dead fish, fluctuating temperatures, contaminated water, or plant nutrient deficiency. To avoid such issues, make sure you check on your aquaponic garden system regularly to solve any issues before becoming worse.
Do plants grow faster in aquaponics?
Yes. Plants in aquaponics have their roots submerged in water all day absorbing all the nutrients directly and faster. In turn, the plants grow up to 5 times faster than ones planted in soil farms
As you can see, there are many benefits to having an aquaponics system in your home. They come in different shapes and sizes providing a healthy environment for your fish and plants to both benefit.
The price tags range depending on the value each tank offers. Smaller and medium fish tanks are affordable while the larger tanks are expensive and require bigger storage space.
Also, consider the kind of plants you would love to have so that you can choose a tank with enough room for them to thrive. We hope that you found all the information needed to buy the right aquaponics system garden kit for your home. If you have any questions, leave a comment down below and we will be more than happy to assist you.