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Which Aquaponic System Should I Use?

Which Aquaponic System Should I Use?

By Jessica Day
PF1010 Project Manager, Institute for Systems Biology


Project Feed 1010 citizen scientists conduct their research with many types of aquaponic systems! The system you decide to build should be determined based on your project objectives, finances, and the amount of time you have available to devote to it’s creation. We’ve broken down your options into three broad categories: Do-it-Yourself, Prefabricated, and Contracted Systems.


Do-it-Yourself Aquaponic Systems

Build your own system and purchase parts individually
Focus: engineering, problem-solving, physics, design, construction, systems biology
Pros: Lower cost, ability to change design components easily, high understanding of how the system works
Cons: Can take longer to design, find correct materials, and build

Options:
1. Aqualogue’s Minimal Vertical Aquaponic Garden: ~$60
– Vertical nutrient-film technique

Aqualogue’s Minimal Vertical Aquaponic Garden

2. FAO’s Step-by-Step “Small Scale” Aquaponics: 3 Designs
– Media-based system
– Nutrient-film technique unit
– Deep water culture system

6 of the 2’ x 4’ deep water culture systems at Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, WA

3. Institute for Systems Biology: 2 Designs
– 2’ x 4’ (~$480) and 4’ x 4’ (~$730) designs
– Deep water culture systems

The 4’ x 4’ deep water culture system in a high school classroom


Prefabricated Aquaponic Systems

Purchase a kit with all materials needed to start an aquaponic system
Focus: systems biology, problem-solving, following instructions
Pros: Fast, easy start-up, all parts included in a kit, little to no design/engineering involved
Cons: Higher cost, less understanding of system components, hard to redesign/replace parts

Options:
1. Back to the Roots Water Garden : 3 gallons; $99.99
– Price includes kit (no light) and maintenance materials
– Deep water culture

Back to the Roots Water Garden

2. Aquasprouts Aquaponic System: 10 gallons; $240
– Price includes grow kit ($169.95) and light ($69.95)
– Can purchase a 10 gallon aquarium or use your own
– Deep water culture

Aquasprouts Garden

ECO-Cycle Aquaponic Kit

3. ECO-Cycle Aquaponic System kit: 20 gallons; $300
– Price includes grow kit and light
– Need your own 20 gallon tank
– Deep water culture

4. Aquaponics USA Family and STEM Food Growing System: various sizes; $1,795 – $14,174
– Price includes grow beds, fish tanks, and some accessories
– Price does not include shipping cost (~$600)


Contracted Aquaponic Systems

Hire an expert to build a system for you
Focus: systems biology, problem-solving, following instructions
Pros: Fast, easy start-up, all parts included in a kit, little to no design/engineering involved
Cons: Higher cost, less understanding of system components

Options:
1. Anything Aquaponics: Seattle, WA; seth@anythingaquaponics.com
– Offers educational, certification, consultation, and design/build services to families, schools, and organizations statewide
– Classes $60, certifications $300, home systems start at $4,400 for a family of 3. Accredited educational institutions qualify for discounted rates.

 

  • Andrew Ayer

    Terrific resource consolidation! One small typo on the Aqualogue price – $60 not $602 🙂