Simple Aquaponics System for Growing Your Own Food & Fish At Home

Aquaponics system

This aquaponics system is different than most. It’s a scaled down version of the system Will Allen over at Growing Power Inc uses to grow 1 Million pounds of food on his 3 acre farm in Milwaukee, WI. The whole system uses just a single pump and uses very little energy to pump nutrient rich water up to the gravel bed on top for filtration. The upper bed is slightly angled so the water can slowly drain down to the second bed below. And then finally back into the main tank where the fish are kept.

This system is scalable and will produce a large amount of food in a very small space when compared with traditional row cropping. The tank(s) at Growing Power are some 60 feet long. You can imagine the number of fish you could raise in a 100 foot tank.

This system has almost unlimited potential yield, and scalability. Building one for yourself is relatively simple, and will allow you to grow your own food at home for a fraction of the cost of buying it from your grocery store.

Also, this system can be housed in a greenhouse for year-round growing. Growing Power uses the heat from compost piles to heat their greenhouses and they grow all year in Milwaukee, WI. If they can do it there, you can grow it at home just about anywhere in the world.

So, what are you waiting for? When are you building one?

Aquaponics system



  1. Just a ball park figure. We consume about 2500 lbs to provide 2000 calories a day. So if you use the 1,000,000 lbs on 3 acres, that would come out to about 23 lbs per sq ft. So that seams to indicate that you only need 100 or so sq ft to produce 2500 lbs of food. Right now we are growing in raised boxes (in season) about a thousand square ft . The fact that you can raise fish in this manor is very interesting. Especially the ease of harvesting. Would welcoming information on plant varieties suitable for Hydroponic, information on Talapia husbandry . I did find some info here:

  2. This is really cool. I would also like more details. I am especially interested in setting up 12 of these systems – I will call each system a “pod”. Each pod would be like the system in the picture but smaller. The purpose of having 12 pods is to allow harvesting of fish each month, rather than once every nine months. If harvested every nine months, the fish have to either be sold or processed, frozen, etc in order to be used in the home, all of which requires additional resources and energy. If each pod produces enough fish for one month, I can go to the tank every time I want a fish, scoop it out, take care of business and have fresh fish! Each pod can also be planted in such a way that it produces all of the veggies and/or fruit that I need for that month, though I realize that the planting schedule and setting the fingerlings schedule may not be the same. Again, if pod number 1 is producing strawberries in January, and pod #2 is producing them in February, etc there is not much need for canning or freezing. More details, please! 🙂

  3. Another note: there are also different species of tilapia that require longer times until harvesting but produce larger fish as well. Has anyone considered whether or not rabbits and chickens can be lopped into this system? Not everyone has enough room to raise even one cow, but rabbits and chickens are rather compact, in terms of the land required to raise them.

  4. Hi! I am a newbie builder. Would love to make this for my house. Would you please provide a suggested supplies & tools list so we can make this wonderful sustainable project? Thank you.