With shortages of farmable land, water, and food all around the world today, more and more people are finding ways for a less expensive, less space, and sustainable method of growing food. One growing food option that is gaining popularity around the world today is aquaponics. Aquaponics has gained many enthusiasts today for its organic process, lack of waste, and its overall environmental friendliness.
With aquaponics, you can grow crops all year round, through an indoor aquaponics system or by using a greenhouse.
What is an Indoor Aquaponics System?
An indoor aquaponics system is a type of aquaponics system where the grower sets up a system indoors such as the basement, garage, kitchen, spare room, or inside the greenhouse.
This system is perfect for those who are interested in growing their own food but don’t have the land or space necessary to do so. Indoor aquaponics lets you grow food and raise fish all year long right in your home or apartment.
Benefits of Indoor Aquaponics
Setting up an indoor aquaponics at home has several advantages which include:
- With an indoor aquaponics system, you can grow more food in a smaller space.
- An indoor aquaponics system gives you the ability to control the climate to meet your system needs.
- It allows you to grow plants all year round.
- It allows you to produce fresh food for your family without the hassles of fertilizing and watering.
- It uses less water compared to other methods of gardening.
- You can grow organic fresh food in your home with minimal effort and at a much lower cost.
- It helps to decorate your house.
- It also gives you the air cleansing benefits of green plants in your home.
- The gentle sounds of water in the background, the vibrant colors of plants, and the activity of the fish can be relaxing to your senses.
- With an indoor aquaponics system, you control the temperature of your surroundings and eliminate garden pests.
A quick overview of how an indoor aquaponics system works
In an indoor aquaponics system, the fish usually are grown in an aquarium (for small home aquaponics setup), and plants in the grow bed. Artificial growing lights are used to supply the necessary artificial sun-light that is needed for the plants to grow and photosynthesize.
Indoor Home Aquaponics Kits
If you’re new to aquaponics, and you want to start an aquaponics system but don’t have the time and patience to start from scratch, getting a home aquaponics kit is the best option for you. You can purchase indoor home aquaponics kits for your home, business office, or lobby. Home aquaponics kits are an easy and simple way to harness your aquaponic gardening while growing fresh food in a small space. These kits are tried and tested, fully functional systems that come in a variety of sizes, adapting to any available space you have.
There are many available home aquaponics kits in the market today, and here are some that you can use for your indoor home aquaponics system.
1. Ecolife Conservation ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Indoor Garden system with LED light
Ecolife’s popular Eco-Cycle aquaponics kit is a simple yet effective and well-crafted kit that is large enough to grow lots of herbs or vegetables indoors, while still being reasonably easy to place in any room.
This kit has a 20 gallons aquarium with 13 slots raft grow beds, allowing you to grow plants with ease. It also comes with a programmable LED lighting system and a builtin timer to ensure that your plants will thrive indoors.
2. Springworks Microfarm Aquarium Topper Aquaponics System
This Springworks Microfarm Aquarium Topper Aquaponics system, works best for small garden plants. The kit comes with a 10-gallon aquarium, and a pre-built grow light and grow bed that is large enough to fit several herbs or three small vegetables.
This kit uses clay pebbles as a grow media and comes with a built-in pump. The kit is self-sufficient, so everything you need to do in order to maintain this system is to feed the fish. The kit is also easy to set up and is also reasonably priced.
3. AquaSprouts Garden Aquaponics Aquarium Kit
AquaSprouts garden aquaponics aquarium kit offers a beautifully slick look and excellent performance at affordable prices. This kit has a 10-gallon aquarium and has everything you need to get started. Besides being a great looking home aquaponics kit, it also has a removable light bar, a pump, a timer, and clay pebbles. Instructions and tips are also provided in the package.
DIY Indoor Aquaponics System
A DIY indoor aquaponics system is one of the most common types of aquaponics setup today. This system is also popular with do-it-yourself enthusiasts. This type of aquaponics setup requires an aquarium for the fish, grow bed, grow media, lighting, pump, basic filter, and a heater if you’re using warm water fish. Goldfish are mostly used in this type of setup, but any fish will also work for this type of indoor aquaponics system.
Once your aquarium is cycled or established and stocked with fish, plants can be added to the system. Plants are planted in the grow bed or floating raft on top of the aquarium. Live underwater plants can also be added inside the tank as a decoration or for added filtration measures. Different varieties of plants can be grown in an indoor aquaponics system, from flowers to ornamental houseplants to herbs and other vegetables.
Here are some DIY indoor aquaponics systems ideas that you can build at home:
1. Decorative Indoor DIY Aquaponics System
You can create this decorative indoor DIY aquaponics system that adds natural beauty to your living room or porch. In this unique and inexpensive idea, appearance and functionality were deeply considered. An IKEA shelf was used to hold the fish tank at the bottom while the top shelf holds the grow bed for the growing plants. In this system, the plants will look like a part of the interior decor of the room
2. DIY Kitchen Aquaponics System
Conceptual Devices designed this aquaponics set up as an indoor kitchen garden that will let you grow one meal a day (salad). The complete setup is about the size of 2 small refrigerators, and most of the parts needed to build can be found at most home improvement stores near you. The tank can hold up to 105 gallons of water and can support larger fish like tilapia, salmon or carp. It holds 3 grow beds for the vegetables with LED light. This design was created to optimize the space and cost of growing food indoors
3. DIY Shelfponics
If you do not have much garden space but want to grow your own fresh organic vegetables, you can do this DIY indoor aquaponics system. This setup uses four levels of used bookshelves converted into a DIY indoor vertical aquaponics system. The completed setup has 6 square feet of vertical spaces for growing plants and 10 gallons of fish tank.
Indoors aquaponics systems are mostly designed for a small scale home aquaponics system. However, indoor systems can also be used for growing large amounts of food or a larger scale commercial aquaponics system and can be done by growing in a greenhouse.
Greenhouse gardening has long been used to protect plants for other elements and extend the growing season. The greenhouse enables gardeners to produce food all year round because the climate inside the greenhouse can be controlled no matter where you live. However, adding fish to greenhouse gardening can turn your greenhouse garden into an increase in organic food yields all year round.
There are lots of options that are well suited for various climates for greenhouse aquaponics, from residential sunrooms to geodesic domes, solar, commercial, or traditional greenhouse structures. Greenhouses can be purchased or built. Each of these options has its pros and cons, but with the right resources and information, you can select a greenhouse that will best suit your needs and allow you to get the most in growing plants in a greenhouse aquaponics setup.
There are many available portable greenhouse aquaponics kits in the market today. You can purchase one from your local home garden store or shop from an online aquaponics store like gogreenaquaponics.com or Amazon.
Here are some DIY greenhouses ideas that you can create at home for your greenhouse aquaponics system.
1. DIY hoop house built with recycled doors- Greenhouse for cheap
This DIY hoop house was built with recycled doors and windows. Although the builder built this greenhouse for his vertical hydroponic towers, this DIY greenhouse is also great for aquaponics.
2. Aquaponics Greenhouse Build
This DIY greenhouse aquaponics system uses a pre-ordered greenhouse kit, but the owner built a utility building for the fish tanks. This video shows the start to finish process on how the whole system was made. It also shows all the interior arrangements of the greenhouse. If you’re planning on building your own greenhouse, this video will give you ideas.
Creating an indoor aquaponics system is a great way to grow food all year round in a limited space. With an indoor aquaponics system, you can control the climate for your fish and plants and grow your own healthy plants and fish without the concerns of the outdoor setup. Aquariums are mostly used in indoor aquaponics systems because it can also be used for decorative purposes inside the home.
If you want to have a larger indoor aquaponics system for home or commercial purposes, you can use a greenhouse. There are many greenhouse options that you can choose for your specific needs. However, if you are innovative and creative, you make a DIY greenhouse using recyclable materials.
The fun part of aquaponics is that there is no right or wrong on how you build your system. So have fun experimenting growing your own food, and don’t forget to share your story in our community for others to learn on your aquaponics experiences.