DIY (do it syourself) methods can work and (sometimes) save costs, but they can be much more time and labor intensive and usually don’t look as good.
So for those of us who want a nice and easy DIY solution, finding a pre-made kit can make the process much quicker and more enjoyable.
And there are some very nice gems on the market right now.
Let’s take a look
The 7 Best Aquaponics Aquarium Kits
Garden Aquasprouts Aquaponics Aquarium
Turn your 10 gallon aquarium into a vibrant water garden for fish and plants with this aquaponic aquarium kit.
Grow flowers, herbs or garden vegetables in a modern setup with almost no maintenance. Perfect as a teaching tool for children or as a fun project for yourself.
Includes garden bed, growing media, pump and timer, and light bar.
A simple and affordable solution to harness the purifying power of air plants for a cleaner aquarium.
PennPlax aquaponics aquariums continuously water plants while helping to remove harmful byproducts of fish waste from the water. The space-saving, easy-to-clean design is perfect for use with a variety of plants.
The removable pot contains ceramic planting media to support plant growth, while the roots grow in the water to absorb nutrients. Available in 0.5 and 1.5 gallon sizes.
Back to the Roots Aquafarm – Self-cleaning aquaponics tank
This mini aquaponics system has a crisp, clean design and is ideal for growing organic microgreens, houseplants, or herbs wherever you like.
Easy to set up and suitable for beginners, this tank is a low maintenance option that typically reduces water changes from weekly to monthly (depending on the number and species of fish being kept).
Includes organic microgreen seeds, growing media, grow bed, tank, dechlorinator/beneficial bacteria, pump, gravel, and fish food. Holds 3 gallons of water.
aquaponic aquariums EcoQube C
If you are looking for a small aquaponic unit with a compact and contemporary design, the EcoQube C may be the perfect solution.
The 6mm color changing LED light is wireless remote controlled and illuminates both the plants and the aquarium, (which holds just under 2 gallons of water.)
It comes with a fire-polished acrylic tank, integrated aquaponic filter, plant medium, basil seeds, and glass lid. Easy to set up and maintain, you can start plants from clones or seeds with this self-sustaining fish tank.
Wall Mounted Sweetsea Hanging Fish Tank
When it comes to space-saving design, Sweetsea’s wall-mounted hanging fish tank can’t be beat.
This unusual fish tank is a great conversation starter and an easy solution to hanging plants that help keep the water clean for your fish.
Made of sturdy acrylic, this fish tank is safe from pets and small children. Includes a hook for hanging with nails. It comes in 0.5 and 1 gallon sizes.
Ecolife ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Indoor Garden System
Grow delicious fresh produce year-round with Ecolife’s powerful ECO-Cycle indoor gardening system.
This all-inclusive kit comes with programmable LED lights with a built-in timer. Simply place it in a standard 20 gallon aquarium, add fish, decorations and water to start growing plants.
Simple instructions and easy setup for a tank that requires no water changes.
Joyfay Aquaponic Fish Tank
Similar in design to the “BACK TO THE ROOTS” kit, Joyfay’s attractive aquaponic tank has a different shape that holds a little more water and includes a white aquarium pump with clear tubing for a less intrusive look.
It includes the tank, the growing bed, the pump and the growing medium for the plants. The tank holds 3.2 gallons. Instructions (in English) are not included but the setup is pretty self-explanatory.
Home aquaponic setups vs. store bought systems
DIY aquaponics can be fun, if you have the time (and patience) to plan a system, put together the setup from different vendors, and put things together yourself.
(If you’re up for it, you might want to check out this guide on how to make a DIY aquarium filter.)
But in some cases the cost of doing so can end up being the same as buying something pre-made, especially if things don’t go as planned and you have to redo them (which can mean ordering replacement parts if something breaks or isn’t right). as expected).
And, of course, there are the hours of overtime involved.
Having a pre-built system can take that burden off someone who has already designed and built a working system.
So while the cost may seem higher at first, it may be worth it if you want to have a working aquaponics tank that you can quickly and easily install and maintain.
To be fair, some ideas (there are really endless options when it comes to aquaponics) don’t exist in manufactured form, so DIY might be the best option in that case.
And if you’re good with tools and have a good idea of what you want, it could be the task for you.
After trying it myself, I feel like all the time planning things out and putting pieces together from different sources takes so much more time and requires so much more time (and they say time is money) that I feel like a pre-made solution would have been ideal.
It’s all about what works best for your needs and it really comes down to what you want.
The above options are all relatively small scale, and not intended for mass crop production (commercial aquaponic systems can be quite extensive).
So they are perfect for the hobbyist who wants to cut down on their tank maintenance while growing some garden herbs at home, or perhaps as a learning tool for the kids.
Making modifications to aquaponics aquariums
Many of these aquaponic aquariums are rather miniature and the filtration of one type of plant is not always very effective.
But good news:
There are things you can do to improve your setup and make it less effective.
- For starters, adding a small sponge filter can help tremendously in keeping ammonia under control, while also providing additional aeration (some of these aquaponics aquariums have limited oxygen exchange due to the position of the bed directly above the aquarium). Another option is to add lots of live aquatic plants.
- People sometimes have a hard time with algae and are hesitant to put their tank near sunlight, but sunlight can be important for plant growth if you don’t have another light source. In that case, adding some nerite snails will help keep things sparkling.
- Adding a piece of sponge over the pump inlet (if you have a pump in your kit) can act as a pre-filter and prevent a lot of solid debris from getting stuck in the grow bed and causing water quality problems.
Final Thoughts on Aquaponics Aquariums
It can be difficult to decide which aquaponic setup is best for you, but I hope this guide on aquaponics aquariums has helped you narrow things down. What is your favorite aquarium kit? Do you have any advice to share?