Which Is The Best Backyard Aquaponics System For You?
Don’t waste your money on a kit! If you build your backyard aquaponics system yourself using our information package (it’s EASY, and it’s exactly the SAME amount of work assembling a kit is!), you’ll save a ton of money!
(Above) A Micro System 64 garden in full bloom. Notice the anise, parsley, taro, kale, chard, 3 types of basil, leeks, and green onions. Also the edible marigold flowers, cilantro, mustard greens, mint, and bok choy. Also the pineapple and banana plants (Yeah!). Also some other things I don’t know the names of because I don’t do the gardening. This is because my wife Susanne is The Plant Lady and Head Gardener, and I’m The Plumber. And (of course), several varieties of lettuce! The number of plants this 64-square-foot aquaponic garden holds would require around 800 square feet in a soil garden.
We provide you the best information available in the world on backyard aquaponics systems. We don’t sell “stuff”, and have no ties to any manufacturers or producers. Because of this, we are free to recommend the most useful and beneficial solutions for you, rather than being a sales agent for a particular brand. We offer complete instructional packages for backyard aquaponics systems, from simplest and smallest to most complete and comprehensive.
If you’ve already bought an aquaponics kit and are having difficulty with it, this package will answer all the questions you have (that were NOT answered by the information that came with the kit!), plus all the questions you’ll have in the future while growing vegetables and fish.
If you’re certain you don’t need a greenhouse, we offer the following, in order from smallest to largest backyard aquaponics systems. These do not include any information on greenhouse construction or operation (we’ll get to that a little ways down this page):
Our Micro Systems are backyard aquaponics systems of 64 or 128 square feet in size; the plans for both sizes are included in Micro System DIY package. You can even move them indoors to continue growing throughout the winter, under grow lights! The “64” costs around $1,100 to build ($2.70 per plant space), and the “128” costs around $1,400 to build ($1.70 per plant space), including the cost for our Micro System plans; you source most items locally.
We include a free downloaded Tabletop System manual with each Micro System purchase so you can start with one of these smaller, more affordable systems to get experience, if you wish. These smaller tabletop systems are great for teaching aquaponics in classrooms, for student science projects, or for a child or elderly person to run. They are also a great system for growing vegetables indoors in the wintertime under artificial lighting if you only plan to run your backyard aquaponics system during the warmer months. This is $149.90 value, for only $99.95.
A backyard Micro System “64” in the foreground of the photo below, with quite a variety of food in it! Note the banana tree and the pineapple plant, over to the left of the photo. A larger backyard Family System (256 sq. ft.) is behind the MicroSystem, planted with taro (dark leaves), and watercress.
Our Family Systems are larger backyard aquaponics systems of 256 or 512 square feet in size. The “256” costs around $2,700 to build, or $3.27 per plant space, and our “512” costs around $1,200 to build, or $2.48 per plant space, including the cost for our Family System plans; you source most items locally.
We include free downloaded Micro System and Tabletop System manuals with each Family System purchase so you can start with one of these smaller, more affordable systems to get experience, if you wish. That’s a $440.90 value, for only $295.00.
Now we’re getting a little more serious! A mid-sized Family System of 512 square feet with a dirty farmer (that’s Tim) explaining to a group of university students and their professor how aquaponics is done (below).
For testimonials from real users of these systems click here.
If you live in a climate that has cold winters and you need a greenhouse to grow year round, we offer the following. Both feature greenhouses with integrated aquaponics systems, and they include massive amounts of information on inexpensive greenhouse construction and operation:
The best way to get an energy-efficient small-scale backyard aquaponic solar greenhouse is to build one yourself using our DIY manuals and plans package. It includes three different sizes of Micro Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse: the 200, 300, and 400 square foot sizes. Materials to build this greenhouse (including the aquaponics system!) will cost from $3,500 to $8,500, depending on the size you select and materials costs in your area.
This package includes our 111-page Micro Greenhouse manual, and our 116-page Micro Aquaponics Solar Greenhouse manual. Designed with integrated aquaponics systems (they’re NOT just conventional greenhouses with fish tanks and troughs stuck in them, which is what you get from others) they are the most energy-efficient and productive growing structures the world has ever seen. If built well, and according to the plans, they are durable 30-year-plus structures, just like a house.
They are designed for extreme climates: they will continue growing year-round whether you have snow outside or 105-degree heat. They are efficiently insulated structures. They incorporate three sources of largely passive solar heating for wintertime use, as well as three different methods for low-energy summertime cooling using largely passive methods.
We include a free Tabletop System E-manual with each Micro Greenhouse System purchase so you can start with one of these smaller, more affordable systems to get experience, if you wish.
Below is Randy Campbell’s 200-square foot Generation 2 Micro Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse, in the snow in Tennessee. At the time I took this photo, the outside air was 24°F (plus some wind chill), air temp inside was 74°F, and the water temp was 72°F. I turned into an icicle because I was the only one stupid enough to be outside standing in freezing sleet taking this photo (I never knew what that word meant before this!).
This is the same type of greenhouse as the Micro Greenhouse, but in the next size range up. It includes plans for three different sizes of Family Aquaponic Solar Greenhouse (formerly known as the Farmer’s Market Greenhouse): the 19-foot wide, 3-trough series, which comes in 608; 1,216; and 1,824 square feet. Materials to build this greenhouse (including the aquaponics system!) will cost from $9,500 to $28,500 on the mainland, depending on the size you select and materials costs in your area. If you are also interested in our Commercial Aquaponics DIY package, you can purchase it at the same time as this package for a 50% discount. The Commercial manual includes a ton of information on how to make money with aquaponics systems, and is the only place you can get that information.
This package includes our 119-page Family Greenhouse manual, and our 189-page Aquaponics Technology manual. It also includes plans for the “Micro” series of greenhouses in 200, 300, and 400 square feet, in case you want to build one of these smaller greenhouses first to get experience, as well as the greenhouse slideshows we use during the “Greenhouse Day” of our live 5-day Commercial Aquaponics trainings. We also include free Micro System and Tabletop System E-manuals with each Family Greenhouse System purchase (a $149.90 value).
One of our Family Greenhouses in sunny Hawaii (below). We learned the hard way that this reflective film created hot spots that burned the plants, so we took it off!