Best Aquaponic Grow Kits for Home Gardeners

Aquaponic gardening has caught on fast! More and more people are eager to have their very own self-sustaining ecosystem. However, not everyone has the space to plant an entire garden in their yard.

Thankfully, aquaponic grow kits make it easy to have a mini garden right inside of your home. If you’ve ever thought about trying your hand at this new gardening craze, or are looking for a worthwhile kit, then this article is for you.

Aqua-What-Ics?

Aquaponics combines the aquaculture element of raising fish with the hydroponic on of growing plants in water instead of soil. Instead of relying on your green thumb and human-made nutrients, this system is completely self-sufficient. Here is how the basic aquaponics setup works.

Inside the fish tank, your lovable little swimmers are slowly creating waste that is carried out of the tank along with the water through a pump. After making its way through the piping, this water is used to keep the plants hydrated and fed by the nitrates and ammonia from the waste.

As the water is filtered through the plants, it is cleansed and returned to the fish tank. Your plants are happy, the fish are happy, and you have a more diminutive garden to be happy about that can also be used to feed your fish! All you have to do is add a little water to the tank every once in a while.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Kit?

 These kits come to a pre-assembled aquaponics system design, eliminating the need for setting up an entire garden. You won’t have to worry about removing pesky weeds, using a large amount of water, or dealing with pests. Since they are pest free, that means no chemicals needed.

These energy efficient kits create a perfectly sustainable garden that promotes fast and healthy plant growth. Whether you would like fresh herbs or just some decorative plants, taking care of them is a simple process with an aquaponics aquarium.

What to Look for in a Kit

There are a wide variety of models on the market to choose. 20-gallon makes it important to know what you want in a system, as well as what to look for and what to avoid.

What Do You Want to Grow?

While you can grow all sorts of wonderful plants and beautiful flowers with an aquaponics gardening kit, there are a few vegetables that don’t quite agree with the system. Root vegetables need to dig their roots into the soil to grow properly. These include potatoes, radishes, carrots, and similar veggies.

Whole Kits vs. Add-On Systems

If you already own an aquarium, you can look an aquaponics fish tank kit. These easy to use systems attach right onto the top of your aquarium, instantly turning it into a self-sustaining garden ecosystem.

Alternatively, you could opt for a home aquaponics it with a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food. These pre-configured kits, or whole kits, are entirely set up and ready to go. All you have to do is add the water, the fish, plug the system in and turn it on to start growing your garden.

Either of these home aquaponics kits is an excellent choice. You simply have to decide which suits your home or office the best.

The Do-It-Yourself Option

DIY indoor aquaponics caught on almost immediately after the new gardening trend began. If you have the time and love taking on projects, then this might be a fun activity for you or your family. There are all sorts of articles on how to build an outdoor aquaponics system step by step and DIY indoor aquaponics.

Top Aquaponic Grow Kits

With so many options to choose from on the market, it can be a little tricky to find exactly what you are looking for. We’ve weeded through hundreds of products and thousands of reviews to pull out the best of the best. Check out these top 5 aquaponics systems for sale.

Brio 35 Aquaponics System

This elegant looking model by Brio splits the aquaponic system into two separate sides with the fish tank on the left and the garden on the right. The idea behind this kit is to eliminate maintenance and create a better environment for plants to grow.

One of the neatest features of this model are the lights. The garden side features two LED grow lights while the tank side features daylight bulbs that produce 1,000 lumens of light. Both can pivot and swivel to cover any area in your kit.

A waterfall provides ambiance and aeration to the water, as well as a siphon system to further aeration at the roots. Another interesting feature is a pump that cleans out the bottom of the tank and pumps the waste directly into your garden to provide extra nutrients.

Pros
  • Grow lights
  • Daylight bulbs help reduce algae
  • Aeration features
Cons
  • Might be too large for some spaces
  • Tank still needs waste removed, but it does come with a tool for that

AquaSprouts Garden

This retrofit kit connects directly to any standard 10-gallon aquarium. It features a sleek design that can easily match any home or office décor and functions all on its own.

The kit includes the grow bed for the plants, a light bar, and the 160 gallons per hour pump. One of the best features on this model is the automatic shutoff timer, which can really help cut back on energy costs. Plus, the grow bed is much larger than other models, allowing you to grow all sorts of plants and vegetables.

If you happen to have trouble with the instructions, their customer service is excellent.

Pros
  • Large grow bed
  • Timer
  • Included light
Cons
  • No tank included
  • The light is not a grow light

Springworks Microfoam Aquaponic Garden

This is another 10-gallon tank sized option. Unlike the AquaSprouts model, however, this one comes complete with the fish tank. One of the better features of this grow kit is that the overhead light is integrated and designed to help your plants grow.

Another great feature of this product is that everything is included. This one comes complete with a pump, timer, clay pebbles and everything else you will need to set it up.

Assembly is straightforward and simple. Plus, getting started is simple with non-GMO basil and oregano seeds included.

Pros
  • Overhead grow light
  • Non-GMO seeds included
  • Everything included, even tank
Cons
  • Overhead light is only helpful to smaller plants

ECO-Cycle Kit

This retrofit option is for anyone looking to turn a 20-gallon fish tank into an aquaponics garden. The dimensions fit onto any 12” X 24” tank, and works exactly like any other option on this list.

One of the features of this product that set it apart from the rest is the dual T5 HO grow lights that come with it to help your plants thrive. The lighting fixture is adjustable, allowing you to raise the bar as your plants become taller. It also features an LED light underneath to light up your tank.

Larger than most, this might be a better option for those looking to plant a wide variety of herbs or who want their plants to grow to a larger size. 

Pros
  • High quality grow light and tank light included
  • Adjustable light fixture
  • Large grow bed for plenty of plants
Cons
  • Must have or purchase a 20-gallon tank

Fin to Flower

For those looking to complete a room’s feng shui, this Fin to Flower model is quite the looker. The aquarium is featured in the front of this model, allowing easy access to feed your fish.

One great feature about this product is its built-in waterfall that acts as the drainage spout once the plants have cleaned the water. It adds a calming, serene element to the kit.

There are smaller and larger models suitable for different spaces, with the larger models housing two rows of plants that each have their waterfall. This is one is smaller in stature, which might be something those with limited space could benefit from. However, the smaller size limits how many plants you can grow and what type of fish you can own.

Pros
  • Waterfall creates a nice atmosphere
  • Includes everything except fish and plants
  • Easy tank access for feeding and cleaning
Cons
  • Smaller size limits the type of fish that can be used
  • No grow light, but can fit by any window

Our Top Pick

After weighing the pros and cons of each model, we chose the ECO-Cycle Kit as the clear winner.

While it might not have all the neat features included in some of the Brio, it does come with high-quality grow lights to help your plants grow. Now, it does not come with a tank but investing in a 20-gallon fish tank allows you the maximum amount of room to grow all sorts of herbs and plants that the other models simply do not.

The light fixture is adjustable, allowing your plants to grow full and healthy. Plus, it lights up your tank for an added ambiance effect.

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