Aquaponics Kit 2017-06-13T13:37:05+00:00

Aquaponics Kits

Aquaponics is one of the most interesting systems used to grow plants. It is also one of the simplest. By using an aquaponics kit, an aquarium is easily converted into a living ecosystem, where plants and fish co-exist in symbiotic bliss.

What is Aquaponics?

When combining the aquaculture element of raising fish with the hydroponic element of growing plants in water instead of soil, the integrated system of aquaponics is born. And instead of relying on careful applications of expensive man-made nutrients, aquaponics eliminates this process entirely. Fish eat their own food (fish food), which is then digested to become waste, and then this waste is simply added to plants for their nutrition. And since plants naturally help to clean water in aquarium tanks, the symbiotic environment of aquaponics creates an easy system to maintain.

Ready to try aquaponics? You will need to choose an aquaponics kit, but first, here’s a quick video illustrating the basic concept of aquaponics.

Benefits of using Aquaponics Kits

Aquaponics kits are a fantastic educational tool for the classroom. They also make attractive displays in the home and office, and require very little maintenance when compared to most other systems.  Besides being interesting, fun, attractive and easy to operate, did we also mention aquaponic kits grow wonderful plants?

Here are a few of the key benefits of using aquaponics kits:

  • Extremely easy to set up and maintain – no weeding, no chemicals, less water and pests
  • Space-saving, energy-efficient, sustainable, and fast plant growth
  • Fish waste provides the only nutrients needed, thus only inexpensive fish food needs to be purchased
  • Attractive addition to the home or office, and educational for the classroom

A Few Things to Consider When Purchasing an Aquaponics Kit

Aquaponics is not a good choice for growing potatoes, carrots, radish or other root vegetables. Since fish tanks use electricity to operate, there will be some cost associated with that. And don’t let any chemical touch the aquaponic ecosystem, as this will ensure your fish will die, rendering the system non-operational.

 What types of Aquaponics Kits are available?

There are various aquaponics kits to choose from. Do you already have an aquarium tank? If so, there are aquaponics kits which retrofit on top of your aquarium, instantly creating an aquaponics system. If you do not already have an aquarium, you can buy one separately, and then add an aquaponics kit once your new aquarium is in place.

Another option is to buy an aquaponics kit with an aquarium already built-in to the system. These can be elaborate or very simplistic, depending on how big or small you want your aquaponic system to be. With that said, let’s that a look at some of the most popular aquaponics kits available. Here’s a quick reference table followed by detailed descriptions.

Aquaponics Kit Important Features Price Range

AquaSprout Garden

• Retrofit aquaponics kit for 10-gallon aquarium

• Attractive modern design for home, office, or classroom

• Easy maintenance and automatic functionality

• Includes grow bed, light bar, pump, timer, grow media, instructions, customer service

$$
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Springworks Microfarm Aquaponic Garden

• Complete Aquaponics kit with 10-gallon aquarium

• Easy to use, and compact design

• Includes overhead light for plant growth

• Includes grow bed, lid, fittings, light, timer, pump, grow medium, de-chlorinator, and non-GMO seeds

$$
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ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit

• Retrofit aquaponics kit for a 20-gallon aquarium

• Larger tank and bed size means more fish raised and plants grown

• Dual T5 HO Grow Light is included

• Includes grow tray w/ all necessary fittings, tank light and overhead grow light, Micro-Jet water pump, and grow media

$$$
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G-12 Aquaponics System w/ Kit, by Genesis

• For larger-scale aquaponic growing

• 12 sq. ft. grow bed and 140-gallon fish tank

• Aquaponics kit includes air and water pumps, insulated fish tank, fittings, filters, clay pebbles, seeds, oyster shells, etc.

• Can grow up to 120 lbs. of vegetables and 25-30 lbs. of fish

$$$$
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Fin to Flower Aquaponics (Large)

• Attractive, easy to operate aquaponics kit

• 5-gallon, two-tier acrylic tank with dual waterfalls

• Six 3-inch plant grow pots (3 on each tier)

• Includes pump, filter, grow media, de-chlorinator, tank gravel

$$
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Fin to Flower Aquaponics (Midsize)

• 5-gallon tank with waterfall

• four 3-inch grow pots for plants

• Aquaponics kit includes, pump, filter, grow media, de-chlorinator, tank gravel

• Lifetime warranty, made in the USA

$$
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Fin to Flower (Mini)

• 2-gallon acrylic tank

• Three 2-inch grow pots for plants

• Includes, pump, filter, grow media, de-chlorinator, tank gravel

• Attractive, compact aquaponic aquaponics kit

$
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EcoQube Aquarium

• Extremely low maintenance, self-cleaning

• 2-gallon tank with one plant site

• Aquaponics kit includes aquarium, filter, LED light, decorative materials

• Optional wireless remote and UV sterilizer available at higher price points

$
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Back to the Roots Water Garden

• Low maintenance and self-cleaning

• 3-gallon tank with 6 plant sites

• Inexpensive and popular on Amazon, and upgradable to a deluxe size

• Aquaponics kit includes tank, pump, gravel, grow media, seeds and fish food

$
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Keeping the plants bushy allows herbs to be more productive. Pinching off the tops when your plant reaches 6-12” tall will prevent them from becoming too leggy. Herbs do not require a lot of attention once your hydroponic routine is in place, and are a perfect choice for those who want to grow fresh produce all year long in a controlled indoor environment.

Systems in Depth

indoor aquaponics system

AquaSprouts Garden

The AquaSprouts Garden is an exciting new entry into the world of home aquaponics kits. The idea behind AquaSprouts is this: since many people already have an operating 10-gallon aquarium (with fish swimming around), why not make the most of this aquarium – already in place – by adding aquaponic capabilities?

That’s just what the young entrepreneurs behind AquaSprout have enables us to do, providing the equipment to easily convert any 10-gallon aquarium into an educational, productive, and self-sustaining ecosystem. This is how it works: fish produce waste, waste and water are automatically pumped into the grow bed (hourly), bacteria growing in the bed help to convert the waste into nutrients for the plants, and clean water is filter through the grow bed and cycled back into the aquarium.

Pros:

  • self-sustaining garden and aquarium design
  • ability to grow veggies, herbs, and other plants year-round
  • retrofit aquaponics kit for anyone who already has a 10-gallon aquarium
  • easy assembly and attractive for any indoor location
  • plant bed, light bar, pump, timer, grow media, instructions included

Cons:

  • the 10-gallon tank is not included, so must already have one, or buy separately
  • does not include grow light, so you must have one, buy separately, or have plenty of sunlight reaching your AquaSprouts Garden

Who is this perfect for?

The AquaSprouts Garden is perfect for anyone who already has a 10-gallon aquarium and grow light, or anyone willing to purchase these essential amendments. However, this is great aquaponics kit, so anyone who wants a cool, integrated, self-sustaining ecosystem would be happy with the AquaSprouts Garden.

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medium aquaponics kit

Springworks Microfarm Aquaponic Garden

Springworks offers a great 10-gallon aquaponics kit. Unlike the AquaSprouts Garden, the Microfarm comes complete with a 10-gallon tank. Another key differentiating factor is the integrated overhead light for rapid plant growth.

The Microfarm is quite compact, easy to assemble, and can be used in nearly any indoor location (dark or light). Organic, non-GMO sweet basil and oregano seeds are included.

Pros:

  • complete aquaponics kit includes tank, grow bed, lid, clay pebbles, pump, timer, and all the necessary fittings
  • integrated with overhead light for plant growth
  • compact, easy to assemble and maintain
  • manufactured in the USA and kit includes organic, non-GMO herb seeds

 Cons:

  • light included is a normal tube light, not a “grow light” per-se, but this should be adequate for growing smaller plants and herbs (larger plants may benefit from a more powerful grow light)

Who is this perfect for?

Springworks Microfarm is a great option for those who have a 10-gallon aquarium tank, or those who are willing to purchase one. This aquaponics kit is complete with just about everything else you will need to get started (fish sold separately!), so the Microfarm is perfect for those want to grow herbs or other small plants within this compact, recirculating system.

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standard aquaponics system

ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit

 Need something larger?

Like the AquaSprouts Garden, the ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit is another retrofit aquaponics kit, perfect for the home, office, or classroom. By converting any standard 20-gallon aquarium (or any aquarium with a 12″ x 24″ footprint), the ECO-Cycle becomes an educational, fun, and productive living ecosystem.

A Dual T5 HO Grow Light is included, as well as a built-in 7W LED tank light. This aquaponics kit has everything needed to get you up and growing, minus the 20-gallon tank and the fish.

Pros:

  • aquaponics kit includes everything you need to retrofit a 20-gallon aquarium into a living ecosystem – from the grow media to a high-performance pump
  • easy assembly – perfect for the classroom, home, or office
  • quality grow light is included, so this aquaponics system can thrive in dark (or bright) environments
  • adjustable fixture allows you to raise and lower grow light as plants become taller

Cons:

  • requires a 20-gallon aquarium, so you will need one already in place (or buy one separately)
  • like other aquaponic systems, housing turtles or other amphibians is not recommended if growing plants for food consumption (this is due to the salmonella risk, so raising fish are a better option)

Who is this perfect for?

The ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit is great for anyone searching for a retrofit aquaponic system for a 20-gallon tank. While the AquaSprouts and Microfarm are great choice for smaller, 10-gallon tanks, this aquaponics kit is perfect for larger aquariums. Since a grow light is already included – along with a complete kit of materials to get you started – the ECO-Cycle ideal for anyone seeking a large, well-lit aquaponic system.

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large high-end aquaponics system

Genesis G-12 Aquaponics System w/ Kit

For those of you who want to dive head-first into aquaponics, the G-12 Aquaponics System by Genesis offer a great product for your consideration. The G-12 sports a massive 12 square foot grow bed resting on top of a 140-gallon fish tank. How does this system work? Fish produce waste which is then pumped into the grow beds, then bacteria processes this waste into rich fertilizer for the plants, and water is naturally cleaned by plants as it is recirculated between the fish tank and grow bed. Symbiotic and low maintenance!

While the high price tag of this particular aquaponics kit may cause some to cringe, consider this: The G-12 Aquaponics System can grow up to 120 lbs. of vegetables and 25-30 lbs. of fish per year. That is impressive, and can become very cost-effective over the years. The complete aquaponics kit includes air and water pumps, insulated fish tank, all the plumbing and fittings, filters, clay pebbles, seeds, and even oyster shells. And that’s just a sampling of what the Genesis G-12 aquaponics kit has to offer.

Pros:

  • 12 sq. ft. grow bed and 140-gallon fish tank can grow up to 120 lbs. of vegetables and 25-30 lbs. of fish
  • efficient: less water is used and fast growth of crops
  • aquaponics kit includes everything you need to start a larger scale aquaponics system, including air and water pumps, insulated fish tank, fittings, filters, clay pebbles, seeds, oyster shells, etc.

Cons:

  • although this aquaponics kit will grow a large number of crops and fish within a limited space, the G-12 may be too big for many indoor spaces
  • because of its size, there will inevitably be more garden and fish maintenance compared to smaller aquaponics kits
  • high initial cost, although this investment may be returned over time with less visits to the grocery store

Who is this perfect for?

The Genesis G-12 is the perfect aquaponics kit for anyone who is serious about growing a lot of plants and raising a lot of fish. This system is too big for tiny apartment dwellers, but can easily fit into a larger space. The G-12 takes growing your own food to the next level, so this is a great aquaponics kit for those who want to be more self-sufficient.

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small aquaponics kit

Fin to Flower Aquaponics

Feng shui aquaponics!

Fin to Flower manufactures beautiful, well-designed aquaponics kits, which come in three different sizes and two different colors (black and white). Everything needed to get started is found in this aquaponics kit, including the aquarium. Just add some plants and fish, then plug it in!

While this displays nicely and is very effective at growing plants, we also love the waterfall feature, adding a serene audible-element to any space.  The large model features a two-tier acrylic tank with dual waterfalls, while the smaller models house plants on a single tier and have one waterfall. Here is a breakdown of the models from Fin to Flower:

-mini aquaponics kit has a 2-gallon tank, 3 planting sites, and one waterfall

-midsize aquaponics kit has a 5-gallon tank, 4 planting sites, and one waterfall

-large aquaponics kit has a 5-gallon tank, 6 planting sites and 2 waterfalls

While a grow light is not included, Fin to Flower Aquaponics is designed to be placed near a sunny window, as the small tank size and tiered-structure allows for blocking of direct sunlight to the tank region (too much direct sunlight into an aquarium can cause algae build-up, which is harmful to aquaponic ecosystems).

Pros:

  • this functional ecosystem is a great tool for learning, and grows beautiful aquaponic plants
  • elegant design, coupled with waterfall feature, creates a wonderful atmosphere in any home, classroom, or office environment
  • built-in aquarium tank and complete aquaponics kit for easy set-up and maintenance
  • pump, filter, grow pots, grow media, de-chlorinator, tank gravel included
  • made in the USA

 Cons:

  • smaller aquariums limit the amount and size of fish you may keep within the system (see our retrofitted suggestions if you desire larger tanks)
  • no grow light optionality included, but Fin to Flower is designed for window use
  • fish and plants sold separately!

Who is this perfect for?

The Fin to Flower aquaponics kits are great options for nearly anyone. Since these models are attractive, easy to use, productive, and come in different colors and sizes, we think they are an excellent fit for anyone who doesn’t already have an aquarium (or doesn’t want to go through the hassle of buying an aquarium). Right out of the box, Fin to Flower is can delight and educate in any indoor environment.

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Aquaponics Cube System

EcoQube Aquarium

Looking for the ultimate in low-maintenance aquaponics? Say “hello” to the EcoQube Aquarium!

Designed with ease and efficiency in mind, the EcoQube Aquarium aquaponics kit makes another fantastic introduction into the world of aquaponics. Perfect for the desk, this compact unit is self-cleaning and extremely low maintenance. No need to ever change the filter or the water.

How does it work? You buy a fish or two, add a plant to the top grow site, and plug it in.  The aquaponics filter enables all the fish waste to be absorbed. Once the system is set up, you only need to feed the fish to keep this ecosystem functioning properly. An LED grow light comes pre-installed on all models, and an optional wireless remote control (for turning on/off grow light) and UV sterilizing tank (to get the aquarium water super-duper purified) are available for at higher price points. Basil seeds are included, as is everything else you need to get up and growing. Just choose a fish and starting using the EcoQube.

Pros:

  • super easy to set up and operate – just add fish and keep them fed
  • no need to ever change filter or water – just top off with water 1 or 2 times per month
  • small, attractive aquaponics kit makes an attractive addition to any desk or other indoor room
  • starter aquaponics kit includes LED grow light, aquarium, integrated filter, grow medium, decorative sand, glass cover, and basil seeds, plus a one year warranty
  • upgrades include wireless remote control for LED lights, and UV sterilizer

 Cons:

  • aquarium is small (therefore, EcoQube is not suitable for large amounts of fish)
  • only one site for plants, so don’t expect to feed your family with the plant/plants EcoQube can produce

Who is this perfect for?

The EcoQube is perfect aquaponics kit for anyone who wants a high-quality, low-maintenance system. While this is not a good choice for those who wish to grow multiple plants, or raise more than a fish or two, the EcoQube is ideal for anyone who wants a small, interesting, attractive, and educational aquaponics kit for their desk or living room. This also makes a great gift!

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small aquaponics kit with 1 fish and several plants

Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank

And now for the most reviewed aquaponics kit currently on Amazon: Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank.

Why is this closed-loop ecosystem so popular? For starters, it’s simple, easy to use, and inexpensive. The Back to the Roots aquaponics kit features a 3-gallon fish tank and claims to be completely self-cleaning. Like the EcoQube and Fish to Flower mini aquaponics kit, this particular model is small and unable to grow an abundance of plants. However, the Back to the Roots aquaponics kit still manages to pack in 6 small grow sites, which allows you to grow numerous different plants and herbs.

The Water Garden comes with just about everything you need to get started:  3-gallon fish tank, radish sprout and organic wheatgrass seeds, fish food, a (silent) submersible water pump, grow medium, and gravel for the bottom of the aquarium.

Pros:

  • simple aquaponics kit makes setting up and operating a breeze
  • small size, however this 3-gallon aquarium is large enough for a larger beta fish (or a few small fish)
  • 6 grow sites for growing a plants
  • fish food, pump, seeds, and grow medium are supplied – just add the fish

Cons

  • no grow light optionality, so must be placed near a light source
  • some Amazon reviewers complained of needing to clean the system, so the “self-cleaning” claim is debatable
  • not as attractive or high-quality as some comparable aquaponics kits

Who is this perfect for?

Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank makes for a great introduction to aquaponics, and hydroponics in general. This would be perfect in the classroom, or as a gift, teaching the symbiotic relationship between how species and plants exist in the ecosystem.

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