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Beginners aquaponics

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    Hello my fellow ALSers,

    I am keen to build an aquaponics system in my backyard. Sadly my willow tree is full of rot and needs to be removed, but the upside is I will have room for a green house. I would like to set up an aquaponics system in the green house, so I would love to hear your advise and stories, especially I would like to hear from those who have had these systems long term. Do you think it is worth the outlay and expense vs a normal garden bed production. I would also like to buy a good book for beginners. Thanks so much!



    Hi Janine. We’ve been running a system for 2 years. We’re still having some teething problems, but it is doing pretty well. Here is a loooooooong thread about our system.

    It was a lot of work but i would do it again because it is an easier way to grow, i think.


    The only reasons I havent set one up is.

    Cost of set up

    Cost and access of having to replace baby fish

    Cost of fish food

    Cost of Power

    Having to be there in case something goes wrong

    The pluses are

    fast organic veg when you have crap soil and not much water plus fish.


    Hi Red Hen,

    Very interesting, it’s great that you were able to use so many recycled materials in your project. Looking back what was your initial outlay? And what problems are you having with your system now. How much does the system cost yearly? Is it offset by fish and veg production? So many questions! I do appreciate your help 🙂

    Hi Snags,

    You do have a very valid point there. It certainly has got me thinking have an extensive garden, the removal of the willow tree could mean either an aquaponics set up or an extension of the garden. I don’t want to spend thousands putting in a system that won’t pay for itself.

    Take Care,



    ooh look. you asked me a question 6 months ago. :blush:

    It cost quite a bit to set up – some 1000s – but it is a big system and you don’t need to be as ridiculous as we tend to be.

    We have those pumps running all the time and that’s not cheap. if i had to estimate, i’d say $100 a month.

    it hasn’t been offset very well, still. in hindsight, i think it would have been better to spend the money and time on dirt gardening.

    you might do well to ask these questions on the byap site because there is a better range of experiences there and they can give you good advice.




    Hi Janine,

    a system can be equally expensive or inexpensive. If you are lucky and have a creative sense you can make a system out of almost anything. There are hundreds of examples on the Backyard Aquaponics forum (members systems.

    The most expensive part of ours was the greenhouse, but we were aiming for a specific look and feel. Our system was started in 2009, now days it costs $60 each year for the 50 trout we put into the system, $80 for a bag of feed and the small amount of electricity each month to run the pumps. We top up the tank each year with rain water (free from the sky). In return we get enough vegetables to feed three families and it takes a whole year for me to eat the 50 fish each year.

    It all depends on what you would like to achieve, some people have made some amazing systems out of recycled stuff from the tip.

    backyard aquaponicsbackyard aquaponics

    hope this helps

    hmm think I may have had one too many https

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