Building a Tabletop Aquaponics System is easy AND economical with our Do-It-Yourself packages!

Why build a “Friendly” system? Because even if you buy a “kit” from someone, you STILL have to build the system. You have to install fittings in fish tanks, assemble grow beds, install pumps, air pumps, tubing, and airstones. Our 12 square foot Tabletop System costs $270 to build, or $22.50 per square foot of growbed area; our 48 square foot Tabletop System costs $510 to build, or $10.60 per square foot, INCLUDING the cost for our Tabletop System plans; you source most items locally.

Compare the cost of our systems to these well-advertised kit systems: lMurray Hallam’s 7.23 square foot Balcony System costs $970, or $134.16 per square foot of grow bed area; The Aquaponic Source’s 8.5 square foot Aquabundance system costs $1,295, or $152.35 per square foot; Aquaponics USA’s 7.5 square foot FFGS-M7.5 costs $1,094, or $145.86 per square foot, and these systems are 15-35% smaller than our 12 square foot Tabletop system (these prices do NOT include shipping, which usually adds from $150 to $500 to their cost). Our aquaponics system designs are the most cost-effective on the planet!

Build four different sizes of stable, durable, and productive indoor aquaponics systems that can be operated indoors OR outdoors, or even MOVED between indoors and outdoors, depending on the season. These affordable systems range from a counter top 3.5 square foot system which costs $85 for materials to one with 48 square feet in grow bed area that costs $460 for materials. Most materials are available locally; some items may need to come from suppliers whose contact information is given in the materials lists. In addition to the four standard sizes of systems in the manual we show you how to build small custom-designed aquaponics systems out of Igloo coolers, discarded refrigerators and freezers, plastic garbage cans and barrels, concrete mixing tubs, and other easily-procured items. Most importantly, we show you in complete detail how to OPERATE them successfully! This complete plans package is only $49.95!

Purchase the TableTop Aquaponics Systems plans and manual download $49.95

Indoor Pico System

Rose and Jack with the 6-square-foot Pico System setup outdoors. This is just one of the four standard systems for which plans and materials lists are included.

We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and built our first commercial aquaponics systems with FAR less information than this manual contains. This manual would have saved us over half of that money and time. We have included all the information learned from spending that money and time in this manual so you don’t have to make any of the same mistakes we did.

This package includes new and easy-to-understand building instructions and complete operating information for small aquaponic systems based on our years of experience operating a commercial aquaponics farm. Anyone can build a system out of plastic barrels, but operating one without good and easily-understood information can be frustrating. Operating information is given in the form of a “Daily Operations Manual” where you simply use the checklist and follow the step-by-step instructions on your way to success with aquaponics.

Indoors: These systems are appropriate for anyone who is limited to growing indoors, or for those who only have limited space outdoors. They are perfect for getting your fingers wet in aquaponics without spending a lot (pun intended!). They can easily be set up in an apartment or condo, on a balcony,  inside a garage or outbuilding, inside a spare room, or even a closet. You can use them for the centerpiece of a living room or family room to show off to your friends. Best of all, they produce food! If you have light and heat you can grow vegetables and fish!

Schools: These systems are perfect for schools because of their low cost and the easily-understood instructions and plans for construction and operation that come with the package.  They are so affordable and understandable that a sixth-grader can easily use one as a science class or science fair project. They are small enough to be easily and affordably operated indoors in cold weather climates and lighted with artificial lighting (instructions included). Cost for plans AND materials for the biggest of these systems (48 square feet) is only $460, making them affordable for all schools. This large school system produces a serious amount of vegetables as well as teaching kids aquaponics (read: chemistry, biology, animal husbandry, plant physiology, math, some physics, and business skills) .

If you wish, you can simply follow our instructions and have a productive aquaponics system without needing to understand why it works; just the way you can drive a car without having to know how to repair the engine. However, if you also wish to understand why your aquaponics system works and what is going on in it, there is a complete explanation of all the system processes and chemistry included in the manual (written in easily-understood language) to give you a much deeper knowledge.

Click here to see the TableTop Systems Table of Contents

Pico System Materials

These materials for the 32-square-foot Pico Aquaponics System were ALL procured locally from WalMart, Home Depot, and PetCo. Although this system has four troughs (the big black thing), we only show one in the photo.

Many small aquaponics “kits” are offered on the internet and elsewhere that are similar in size to these systems. They do not come with  instructions written by someone who runs aquaponics systems for a living as ours do. These expensive “kits” are made from standard tanks and parts marked-up several times which then have shipping tacked on. Our systems are built from economical materials and components, most of which you buy locally.

This package has 150-plus pages including a TON of information, and over 250 pictures showing you how to build aquaponics systems and how to operate them. There are sections on aquaponics history, water chemistry and quality, biological processes happening in your system, all the different life forms that may show up in your system, construction, an operations manual, seed germination and seed saving, tools and materials tutorials, indoor lighting instructions, a “How do I find the right part in the hardware store” section, five pages of results of our first “test” planting with 135 varieties of vegetables, and complete materials lists for four different standard sizes of small aquaponics systems. Most of these materials are procured locally, with a few items coming from Aquatic EcoSystems in Florida or other aquarium suppliers. We derive almost all of our income from actually growing and selling vegetables and fish, and we produced this manual because we wanted to make aquaponics and growing your own food accessible and affordable for EVERYONE. This manual is downloaded to your computer upon purchase, then you can print your own color hard copy if you wish.

Purchase the Tabletop Aquaponics Systems plans and manual download

DISCLAIMER: UNDER FEDERAL LAW, IT IS UNLAWFUL TO GROW MARIJUANA IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. IN ADDITION, THESE SYSTEMS DO NOT WORK FOR GROWING MARIJUANA. We have a report from a friend of a student of ours, who had grown marijuana successfully using hydroponics for years, who tried for over a year to grow marijuana using Aquaponics systems, and never succeeded. Just so you know: When we say “food”, that is really what we mean.


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