How To Build A DIY Aquaponics System

AquaponicsAre you looking to save money for your family? How about saving money and providing healthy, nutritious food. An ancient food production method called aquaponics can do just that. A DIY aquaponic system is an exciting approach to food production combining fish and vegetable growth through a mutually beneficial relationship. Depending upon the size, an aquaponic system can cost anywhere from $2000–20,000, but why spend money on a system when you can save even more money just by building your own simple aquaponics system.

First lets visualize an aquaponic system. Here, we have an aquaponicsaquaponic system in its most basic configuration. Now obviously there are lots and lots of intricate layouts and designs one could use but overall the core concept is exceedingly simple. Water from the tank flows to the garden and then from the garden back down to the tank. The secondary components control the movement and distribution of water between the two primary units. Keep in mind; this is only a basic system. There are many different designs that you can implement in a variety of ways for your specific needs. With this concept in mind, you’re ready to get started.

So what should you buy for your DIY aquaponics system? Well, no matter how big the design there are standard components you’ll need for the project. First of all you’ll need a fish tank. This is your main tank where you will raise and feed your fish. The waste from this tank will be pumped into the garden, which is now what we need to add to the list.

Of course, the garden is where the plants will grow. It will have its own watering system with the water and nutrients coming from the fish tank. Now there are many ways you can go about this. For instance, you can have a deep-water culture system, which allows the roots directly in the water below, or you can use a media filled bed, that has a continuous flow of water.

Now we need to buy a pump. It will direct the flow of water from system. The pump carries the workload of the system so it’s important to get a strong one. There are additional components but its dependent on the design and complexity of your system.

It is suggested that you get a sump tank. This tank will be at the lowest point of the system. Now again, this isn’t a necessity but using it comes with major advantages. It will remove unwanted waste from the garden before sending the water back to the fish tank and allow a constant water level in the fish tank.

Additional Components

  • Plant trays
  • Timers
  • Air Pumps
  • Filters
  • Plants
  • Fish
  • Media

One of the greatest strengths of building a DIY aquaponics system is that you can have one anywhere and of any size; from a mini garden to a large 9128515459_2c0533221e_zbackyard farm, or even a massive commercial operation, but for right now, lets just focus on Indoor and Outdoor.

The thing about an indoor system is that you have to consider that the plants need to receive no less than 4 hours of sunlight a day and that will vary depending on the plant. If you have a place in your home that meets this minimum requirement, it will be perfect for a small aquaponic setup. If not then you can always invest in a hydroponic grow light.

Common Indoor Locations

  • Living room
  • Basement
  • Kitchen
  • Garage

Now the most logical solution for an outdoor setup would be the backyard. It provides privacy and security and also provides the space for your setup and any future expansion projects. Even though this is the most logical it is not at all uncommon to see people with systems at the side of their house or even in the front yard it just depends on the sunlight for the garden.

Common Outdoor Locations

  • Backyard
  • Balcony
  • Porch
  • Front or Side of House

Now that you have a basic level of understanding about setting up your very own DIY aquaponics system we suggest that you follow an online step-by-step guide or video course on a system design you like. There are many great videos and guides out there on how to build your own aquaponics system.

The Sani-Tred Solution

Hobbyists and professionals alike have used the Sani-Tred system to permanently waterproof their aquatic projects. Sani-Tred permanently bonds to most building materials and can withstand salt, chemicals, and thousands of pounds of pressure.

Sani-Tred is approved safe for drinking water and is harmless for your Plants, Fish, Reef & Fry! Call 1-866-784-3308 or visit to learn more.


Shopping Cart

Questions? Call Our Experts