These aquaponics kits can help make gardening accessible for home gardeners who don’t have enough outdoor space for a traditional garden.
If you want to grow your own food but you’re short on space and time, you may want to consider trying aquaponics. For beginners, it may sound a bit daunting, but small aquaponics kits are surprisingly simple to operate, can be set up indoors in just a small amount of space, and require very little maintenance compared to a traditional garden.
If you’re not familiar with aquaponics, this gardening method is a version of hydroponics, where plants are grown in water instead of soil. Aquaponics takes this one step further, using fish to fertilize the plants. The basic set up of any aquaponics rig has one or more fish living in a tank or pond. As the fish produce waste, bacteria in the tank turn that waste into nutrients. A pump delivers this nutrient-rich water to your plants, which are usually located directly above the tank in a tray containing gravel or another growing medium. Some systems run the water through pipes that have holes cut in them to allow the plant’s roots to grow down into the pipe. The end result is a win-win for both the plants and the fish, as the plants help to filter and clean the water before it is returned to the tank.
While most aquaponic systems are used in large-scale commercial setups, there are a growing number of small aquaponics systems available for home gardeners on the market today. These make it easy for the beginner to get started with aquaponics, as they come with everything you need to get set up. All you need to do is add fish, water, and plants or seeds. Read on for a breakdown of some of the best aquaponics kits currently available for home gardeners.
The Back to the Roots Water Garden is a mini aquaponics system, so if you’re looking to grow herbs or microgreens this is a great option. The system consists of a small fish tank and a planter on top, with a pump that delivers water to your plants. You’ll need to add your own fish, but it does come with a fish coupon to help with the expense.
The Penn Plax Aquaponic Fish Tank is a cheap and efficient way to grow a single plant. It’s quite small and very affordable, so you may be able to fit multiple units in your space for more plants. The Aquaponic Fish Tank consists of a cylindrical fish tank large enough for one betta or goldfish (not included) and a planter mounted on the top of the tank, with ceramic growing medium included. The roots are exposed directly to the tank, with no pump involved, so it’s very simple to operate.
The Sweetsea Wall-Mounted Garden is ideal for those with a lack of space. This is a self-contained fish tank and planter. The roots are directly exposed to the tank, which has room for one or two small fish. It’s simpler and much more affordable than some of the other options out there, and it is also attractively designed to add to the decor of your home. It’s very small, so you may want to get several so you can grow a different type of plant in each one. (Available in 1/2 gallon or 1/gallon sizes.)
This is a larger and more substantial setup that is designed to fit over a standard 10-gallon aquarium (not included). The setup includes a growing tray, pump and timer, and clay growing media as well as an adjustable light bar for adding a grow light in low-light conditions. The pump sends water from the tank to the planter on top, and the water naturally drains back into the tank after filtering through the roots and growing media. This is a great setup for growing multiple herbs or an indoor salad garden.
This is a fun option if you have a koi pond in your backyard already. This floating planter is made of woven fabric that allows your plants’ roots to access the water. The fish in your koi pond produce waste, and that waste fertilizes the plants. The kit contains two floating planters of different sizes.
Aquaponics is a simple and efficient way to grow healthy plants. Kits come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit different budgets, meaning there is something for everyone. If you are short on space, living somewhere with low light conditions, or just don’t have the time to maintain a garden, aquaponics kits may help make gardening accessible for you.