DIY Aquaponics

This section contains a structured collection on all things I have found on the internet related to planning, building, testing, running and maintaining a DIY aquaponics. It includes aquaponic resources on design choices, choice of fish, choice of plants, etc. All relevant items that I come across are added to the aquaponic resources section. This list of resources will simply continue to grow until it covers all relevant aspects!

These pages started out as simply a collection of aquaponic related DIY information to store in a structured place for my own personal reference. Since then, it has grown into a virtual aquaponic university for the wider community. It is useful to me, and I trust that you will find the DIY-aquaponics resources section useful for your own projects. Please, let me know if you have insights that are not captured on the pages here, I'd love to learn and include them online. I'm also interested in your questions or feedback, you can use the forums section for this (or just email me!).

Subsections for DIY aquaponics

This page has a number of subsections, each of which can be divided in an infinite number of subpages - there will be as many as I need to structure the information logically. The following subsections currently exist:
  • System types. There are a number of ways that you can build a succesful DIY aquaponic system, each has it's own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the optimal type for your situation is crucial for success. You can choose to combine types in a single large aquaponic system.
  • Fish. You could keep just about any type of fish and include them in your DIY aquaponics design. Yet, some fish are easier to keep happy and healthy in a tank culture. And, depending on your personal preferences, you have the option to keep fish that you can eat (harvesting the fish) as part of the produce. Or you can just raise fish that are nice to look at.
  • Bacteria. The bacteria in the cycle are the often forgotten yet super important third element in any aquaponic system design. Without the good bacteria, your system will smell badly, fish will die and plant won't thrive. Don't forget to plan for a thriving bacteria population, no aquaponic system, including DIY aquaponics systems, can survive without it!
  • System size. The relevancy of individual subsections of these aquaponic resources is highly dependent on the size of your system. How many plants will you grow, how much fish do you intend to keep?
  • Plant seeds. What plants grow well in a DIY aquaponic environment? How do you plant the seeds and how do you harvest seeds for use in future years? How do you store seeds for use one, two or ten years from now?
  • Aquaponic pumps. There are a number of types of pumps that can be used in a succesful DIY system design. Choosing the right type of pump, and choosing the right capacity of pump, can make or break your DIY system. Pumps are responsible for a large part of the run and maintain costs of your system once installed, it is thus one of the most important components to get right.
  • Fertilizer. Do you need to add fertilizer to an aquaponic system? How can you tell if your plants have too little iron and how can you remedy shortages in minerals without killing the fish in the process? What are the natural and sustainable methods of adding nutrients and minerals?
  • Commercial systems. Learn from the professionals. Even though their systems are way bigger than anything I'll be building, they do make design choices that are based on their own experiences.

Future DIY aquaponics resources

In the future, I intend to add more DIY resources to this site. This list will continue to grow, it is listed here as a reminder. My wish list:
  • Bell syphon workings explained. A bell syphon is used to automatically drain a plant bed completely after a specified height of water is reached. This is done without the use of a seperate pump. Understanding this principle can be important if this item is included in your aquaponic system design.
  • Continuous flow concept explained. In a continuous flow system, a pump that works 100% of the time is combined with elements such as a bell syphon. Understanding the pro's and con's for this system type is important.
  • Info on kickstarting your aquaponics Do-It-Yourself system first time right.