▷ Best Aquaponic Grow Kits for Home Gardeners (2020 Update)
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Best Aquaponic Grow Kits for Home Gardeners

Written by Joseph Biggs and updated on October 7, 2017
Aquaponic Grow Kits

Aquaponic farming has become very popular over the past few years, and not just with farmers, either. Various individuals, governments, missionaries, and teachers have been turning to the world of aquaponics as a way of growing natural and sustainable food all year round. The problem is that not everyone has room to grow an entire garden of crops in their yard.

And, that’s where aquaponics kits come in. These grow kits make it possible for those with very little or even no yard to have their very own mini garden within the comfort of their own home. How cool is that?!  

The following article should give you a much better insight into what aquaponics actually is. It will explain what it’s like to farm in this manner and run through some of the main benefits there are to using a kit. To help you decide which kit is best for you we’ve also put together a section about what to look for when you’re ready to buy one. As well as a few common FAQs to help put your mind at ease. 

In the final section of the article, we’ll give you a brief rundown of the some of the best selling kits available to buy at the moment. We’ll give you the facts about what they offer and our opinion as to whether they perform as they should!

What is Aquaponics Exactly?

Aquaponics takes the practice of aquaculture (growing fish and other aquatic animals) and combines it with that of hydroponics (growing plants without soil). In this kind of system, the nutrient-rich water from raising fish provides the plants with a natural fertilizer. In return, the plants help to purify the fish’s water.

The way it works is like this: as your little swimmers move about in the water they create waste. That waste is sucked out of the tank along with some water through via a pump. This water is then used to feed the plants. Once the water has filtrated its way through the plants, the water is cleaned and returned to the tank for the cycle to happen all over again.   

What Benefits are There to Using an Aquaponics Kit?

There are many great benefits to using an aquaponics kit. Here’s a few of them:

  • Space saver. Plants can be placed much closer together when using an aquaponics system. The reason for this is because the roots are always submerged in nutrient-rich water, there’s no overcrowding. All the plants get as much food as they need when they need it. 

  • Easy to use. This is probably one of the biggest selling points. Aquaponics kits are so easy to use for many reasons. Firstly, because there’s no soil, there’s no weeding required. Secondly, no watering is needed as the system constantly recycles the water from the fish tank.

  • Save money. Using an aquaponics system at home enables you to grow more vegetables in a smaller space, therefore saving you money.

  • Grow plants quicker. When plants have access to nutrients 24 hours a day they grow much faster. Just as an example, a lettuce grown under soil usually takes around 2 months to mature, but when grown under an aquaponics system it’s about half that time. 

  • Healthier eating. Growing your vegetables in an aquaponics system is one of the best ways to produce your own food as it’s organic and it’s sustainable. A lot of food sold commercially today contains chemicals that are bad for our health. Using an aquaponics system to grow your own vegetables takes that risk away.

  • Sustainable. One of the best things about aquaponics farming is that it’s sustainable, meaning you can maintain a consistent level of production without using up the world’s natural resources or upsetting the ecological balance of the world.    
     

What to Consider when Buying Aquaponics Kit?

Now you know how good these systems are, we bet you can’t wait to get your hands on one. But, before you go rushing out to buy the first aquaponics kit you can get your hands on, first, take a moment to consider the following:

Capacity 

The first thing you should think about is how much space you have available and therefore what size tank you can have. You should also consider what it is you want to grow as not all vegetables thrive using this system. Root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots need to be able to dig their roots into the soil in order to grow and, therefore, are not really suitable for aquaponics. 

You should also consider the weight capacity at this point too because water is heavy! It’s all good and well having room upstairs to fit a massive tank, but if the floor isn’t strong enough to support all the weight from the water, you’re going to be in deep water (literally)!

Lighting 

The amount of lighting you’ll need for your setup will depend on the size of the crop you’re growing. If you’re only growing a handful of plants you won’t need a whole lot of light. If however, you’re looking to harvest several kilos of fish and crops then you’ll need a bigger light source (or two).

Easy to clean 

While it’s true aquaponics systems require far less maintenance than any other kind of growing system, they still need to be cleaned regularly. So when buying an aquaponics system make sure it’s one that’s easy to take apart and clean when necessary.

Glass thickness 

As mentioned previously, water is heavy, so the thicker the glass, the less chance of it cracking or breaking under pressure. However, just be aware that the thicker the glass, the heavier it will be.

Food-safe 

This is a must when growing edibles. These systems are put under a lot of stress, and the last thing you want is for nasty chemicals to leak out from the tank and contaminate your crops. One way to get around this issue is to use food-grade plastic tanks instead.

Cost 

Although the initial set up of your aquaponics system may set you back a few hundred dollars, just remember it is an investment. And, it’s a pretty safe one too. Unless you do something catastrophically wrong, growing your own vegetables at home will save you a fortune. Your crops will be healthier and produce better yields and you won’t be paying any extra for packaging, delivery or storage costs that are added on at the supermarket.

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