19 DIY Aquaponics System Ideas (#5 is the Easiest)

Do you love gardening but have no space for it? Have you thought of in-house gardening with the help of a fish tank?

With little maintenance, you can grow, harvest, and eat the organic vegetables you produce while watching your fish swim by combining two ecosystems: aquaculture and hydroponics.

This aquaponics system is trending and not necessarily expensive. With these 19 DIY aquaponics system ideas, you can make one yourself, using what you might already have in your storage.

19 DIY Aquaponics System Ideas

#1 Affordable DIY Aquaponics System

This fun little project costs you $40, 1 hour and a half to make, and 15 minutes to maintain on a daily basis. What you get in return is a small functional aquaponics system, built from a plastic bin, some PVC pipes, and a 130 GPH submersible pump.

If you are keen on starting small, check out this link for the step-by-step tutorial.

#2 DIY Shelfponics

With this system, you can set up multiple shelves for vertical growing without much garden space. Or you can even put it in your kitchen area and harvest your vegetables right when cooking.

If you have unused bookshelves , click this link to learn how to make a functional shelfponics from them.

#3 Mini Aquaponics DIY

This glass aquaponics system is a cute decor for your working place, and it can actually grow herbs, which you also need for your kitchen. Let your betta fish produce the nutrients the herb needs by setting up this easy-to-make system.

To learn how to make this simple garden, visit this link!

#4 Sustainable Indoor Aquaponics System

This simple but sustainable system requires commonly available components from IKEA and any hardware shop.

You can set it up within an afternoon with two wire baskets and two of the plastic containers. If you want your little ecosystem more visually eye pleasing, add stickers, decals or paint them the color of your choice.

Learn how to set up this compact system easily with this link!

#5 Easiest DIY Indoor Aquaponics System

If you already have one of the best fish tanks, building an aquaponics system should be a piece of cake. With this system, you can even grow your vegetables in area with low or no natural light.

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The water will be automatically pumped into the grow bed every 15 minutes and later drained back into the fish tank.

Check out this step-by-step tutorial video and start making one for yourself!

#6 Wall Garden Aquaponics System

With some creativity, you can turn your vertical aquaponics system into a cool wall garden, using the same concept. This system doesn’t only make your wall much more lively but it also helps save space and make use of available light.

To get the detailed how-to, check this link out! With the tutorial, you can build a system irrigated by a solar powered pump.

#7 Mini Aquaponics Vertical Garden

Another version of a vertical garden using fishy nutrients to plant vegetables above. This system can be an unique green decor addition to your house while growing herbs and raising fish simultaneously.

Instead of spending $1000 to buy one, check this link for the DIY tutorial!

#8 $50 Tabletop Aquaponics

The idea is quite simple, PVC pipe with end caps serves as a hydroponic plant bed while the fish tank provides both water and fishy nutrients.

This version is ideal for beginners who are looking to start small. Or if you have kids, it will be a little fun project to teach them about the natural nutrient cycles.

If you need a small functional aquaponics system at an affordable price, check this link out to know how to make it!

#9 55 Gallon Aquaponic Gardening System

Don’t let it looks fool you, this aquaponics gardening system is in fact easy to make, as long as you follow the detailed instruction below. You can make this project at the cost under $150 for seafood and other edibles.

Check out this link to learn how to make this impressive system from the scratch! You can also visit this video to see how people make a garden out of it.

#10 Urban Bathtub Aquaponics System

This project is huge but it is so worth your money, time and effort. The initial investment is costly at first (given that you start from scratch) but with very little ongoing cost, you can get fresh fish and fresh organic vegetables year round.

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In this system, the hydroponic medium is made of river pebbles while the plant bed is created with plastic pond liner.

If you already have a bathtub and some ingenuity, check this link out for the detailed instruction.

#11 10-Minute-Long Aquaponic Setup

With some crates and 10 spare minutes, you can already set up a simple aquaponics system for your vegetables and fish. These crates are called Eurocrates and can be easily found on Ebay, both vented and none vented.

If you are keen to learn how to make one within such a short amount of time, check out their video!

#12 Gravity Based PVC Garden

All you need to start working on this project is a stock tank and a few pieces of PVC pipe. This system is easy and affordable to build and do the job wonderfully.

Visit this link to learn each step of the building process!

#13 Green Wall Over an Aquarium

This wall aquaponics system requires hard work, time and money but once finished, it will be your source of pride. This project is an unique addition to your living room with green vegetables on the wall and swimming fish in the tank.

Click this link to check out the how-to. Photos of each step is provided to make it easier for you to construct one yourself.

#14 Solar Tower Aquaponics System

This futuristic looking system can solve one of the biggest downsides of aquaponic practice – power usage. With two solar panels, you can set up this big functional project with zero ongoing cost.

However, if you cannot install solar panels, simply connect your vertical system with a standard power supply. The building process isn’t for beginners but with the detailed instruction, you can manage to make one for yourself.

To learn how to build this system, check out this video!

#15 Aquaponics System From Recycled Parts

Nothing can be more exciting than building a DIY aquaponics system using what you already have in your storage. This project is ideal for your backyard deck and once finished, it will provide you with fresh herbs, vegetables and fish.

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Start collecting lumbers and check out this link to learn how to make one!

#16 Aquaponics DIY Eco-Garden 10 Gallon Fish Tank Kit

This cute mini aquaponics system will bright up your working space, your bedroom or your living room. The idea is simple with an easy removal grow-bed on the top, filled with clay pebbles and a pump to rotate the water.

For the detailed tutorial, check this video!

#17 Bathtub Aquaponics System

Do you have an unused bathtub somewhere in the storage? Or can you get one? If it’s convenient, this project is ideal for you!

Give your once loved bathtub the second chance of life by turning it into a vegetable and herb bed and stack it on top of a water container for edible fish.

If you can imagine this beautiful system in your backyard already, check out this link for the tutorial!

#18 Indoor and Outdoor Aquaponics System

With this system, you can connect your indoor fish tank with your outdoor plant bed. With the help from gravity and a small pump, water will be kept flowing so the fish and plant life can thrive.

Once finished, this system will provide you fresh protein and organic vegetables all year round.

Check out and learn the step-by-step with photos and easy-to-understand captions.

#19 Ikea Shelf Turned into an Indoor Aquaponics System

Wow your visitors with this beautiful system in your living room! Your boring IKEA shelf will come to life with plants growing hydroponically on top of colorful fish swimming nonstop.

As appearance and design are equally important as functionality, try to choose plants and fish that can light up the room.

For a more detailed how-to, check this link!


Has any of these aquaponics DIY ideas caught your attention? Or did they inspire you to create one using your own creativity?

An aquaponics system at a store can cost you an arm and a leg, why go for them if you can just collect what you have around the house, using free tutorials and build one for yourself at a much cheaper cost?

Not to mention that working on a DIY project is as exciting as watching your fish swimming and plants growing.

Photo of author

Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.