Home Aquaponic System

Home Aquaponic System

Finally the moment you have been waiting for, I will now reveal the finished home aquaponic system that the 8 year old and I installed.We did it

Ta Da! Here it is…

home aquaponic system

home aquaponic system


I can’t believe we did it, what an accomplishment. Let me take you on a tour or our system.

Let’s start from the bottom and go up, the big black tank underneath the frame houses my fish. We choose Tilapia for our system but unfortunately I cannot show you a picture because they are skitterish little fellows, having only seen them twice in the last month made it impossible to post pictures.  The reason we choose Tilapia is because they are fast growers. The down side to Tilapia, they do not like cold weather, I will either get a water heater come winter, (yea right), or eat them. I see some nice Tilapia fish tacos coming up, stay tuned for that recipe. YUM

home aquaponic system clay aggregate RSThe next tray hold my plants, fish poop water for lack of a better word is pumped from the big black tank into the upper tray.  My plants sit in lightweight clay aggregate balls but you could use other growing mediums. There is no soil in this system.  The advantage for me using clay was they are light weight. The clay also absorbs water well and has a porous outside to trap and hold the needed good bacteria to help feed the plants.






Here is a nice crock neck squash plant. Last year I had some beautiful squash plants in my soil garden but unfortunately they were eaten by gophers. A real bummer since it took a great deal of care, time and precious California water to get them to grow only to have them vanish early one morning.  My first post tells why I tried aquaponics, if you missed that post, here it is Why I Tried Aquaponic Gardening

aquaponic, aquaponic garden

aquaponic, aquaponic garden

The next feature is something I really think is cool, let’s take a look.  My set up came with a light bar which I did not need since I was growing outdoors and we have plenty of beautiful California sunshine for my plants almost year round.  Instead, my pond shop gave me the idea of attaching this green landscape netting so my plants can grow up the net instead of trailing in the dirt. This was a real plus for me as we have a free range, pot belly pig that would surely eat all my hard work and beautiful plants. He is truly an eating machine and another story for another day.

home aguaponic system light bar RS

If you are new to this type of gardening, you can find lots or information on line. Believe me I am no expert in this field, just a home gardener wanting to try something new for a variety of reasons. When I learned of aquaponics  I was very curious to try it out and could hardly wait to do so.  I had a list of reasons for wanting to try this type of gardening. Here is my list

  1. Less water use (I have read up to 80% water savings)
  2. No daily watering of garden
  3. Fresh healthy fish that we can eat
  4. Hopefully no blossom end rot from inconsistent watering (with aquaponics the plant roots are in a consistent amount of water all the time)
  5. No underground critters can eat my plants
  6. Easy maintenance I can leave for a few days or a week and not hire someone to water for me


I hope you have enjoyed learning about aquaponics, keep checking back as I will be posting updates to let you know how my harvest came out. I am so excited to see my final results. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to work and feel soil in my hands,and the smell of wet earth and to see things growing in my soil boxes. I am not saying one type of garden is better than another,  both have their place, advantages and disadvantages. I still have 8 raised beds for growing  root crops. To my knowledge you can not grow root crops in an aquaponic system.

I would highly recommend aquaponics for someone  living in a small house or apartment, this type of set up would be ideal.  Thanks for coming along today and learning about this exciting and innovative way of gardening. We would love to hear about your gardening experience and your thoughts on aquaponics, please leave a comment and we will get back to you, until next time happy trails!



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  1. Congrats, congrats, congrats on finishing your project! Thanks for sharing all the pictures – I feel as if I was a part of your journey!

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thank you so much Lisa! You are always so positive and up lifting. So glad you came along for the journey. Stay tuned for more journeys and travel next month

  2. OMG what a huge work you did! More over,I didn’t know about all those benefits and pros… And like the idea of sharing the step-by-step pictures of this project, congrats!

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Clara it was a labor of love! So glad you were able to come along on my aquaponic journey. Thanks for reading and commenting

  3. It looks absolutely amazing, Lisa, great job! Can’t wait to see the crop and more pictures.

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thanks Delia, I can’t wait to see the crop and eat it 🙂 Cheers!!

  4. This is so cool! Great job as Delia I couldn’t wait to see the crops 🙂

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thanks so much Remy! It has been a fun project and is still going on, a real labor of love. I have some tiny green tomatoes and the tiniest little peppers at this time. I will keep you posted, thanks again for your comment!

  5. How very ingenious! I had to share this with my friends on facebook and google!

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thanks for sharing Kristina! I was so intrigued about aquaponics when I first heard about it, I just had to try it out. So far so good. Thanks for stopping by, come back soon

  6. I love your aquaponic system. Are you still enjoying it? I have a mini system but wanted to get a larger one going. Where did you find your frame and grow bed?

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Hi Jean and welcome to My Western Heart! I love my Aquaponic system, I found it at a local pond store. I bet you can find them online. Thanks for commenting
      Until next time, happy trails

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