20 Backyard Aquaponic Ideas

To build backyard aquaponics is not as difficult as it seems. The aquaponics system can fit in any space in your backyard. You only need enough space for a pond of fish and a bed of plants.

Aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. This system creates a symbiosis of mutualism between fish and plants. The waste will be toxic for them yet it acts as a natural fertilizer for the plants.

When the plants use up the water in hydroponic system, they deplete the nutrients, which later free the water from toxic. Later, the water becomes usable for the fish again. This cycle will continually happen between a pond of fish tank and a hydroponic bed.

Comparing to growing plants in the ground, this system gives more benefits, especially for the suburban that does not have much time to care for their garden. So what are you waiting for? Scroll down to find more ideas to build your backyard aquaponics.

1. Rustic Backyard Aquaponic

Rustic Backyard Aquaponic

Everything about nature is indeed eye-catching and pleasing to the eyes, just like this wooden house with its rustic backyard aquaponics.

This aquaponics system cycles water through the fishpond and vegetable bed. As a result, the family can harvest fresh fish and veggies at once.

2. DIY Enclosed Backyard Aquaponic

DIY Enclosed Backyard Aquaponic

Are you planning to build your very own backyard aquaponics? I am sure you certainly do not want if some insects, squirrels, or other animals enjoy the vegetables you are struggling to grow first.

This enclosure backyard-aquaponic idea might help you to protect your vegetables until the harvest time comes. Make sure you have prepared the materials such as wood, lag screws, pond liner, and drains. Once you got them, grab your tools and let’s get started.

Start it by constructing the pond then the vegetable bed. Make the bed size is a little longer than the pond so it can sit perfectly. Once you have both the pond and the bed, layer them with black felt.

Next, spread the pond liner in the pond then fill it with water. Remember to cut off the excess pond liner then lock it with a wooden frame on the top.

Grab the vegetable bed then install the drains in the middle of the bed. The last, plant the veggie and add a cage enclosure.

3. Mini Aquaponic Design

Mini Aquaponic Design

The size of aquaponics is not necessary to be big. If you just feed a few people, a small pond of fish and vegetable beds must be enough. You can take this design as an example.

It uses two small containers for the vegetables and a pond under each one. In the middle of the grow bed there is bell siphon that will drain the water and send it back to the pond.

The pipe you see above the vegetable will drain nutritious water from the pond as fertilizer to the plants.

4. Green Backyard Aquaponic

Green Backyard Aquaponic

If you are a vegetarian who eats many vegetable a day, you can adopt this aquaponic design. It will provide you fresh vegetables to enjoy every day. This aquaponics uses a wood frame to make the vegetable beds float above the pond.

You can use the pond to pet kinds of fish such as golden fish and koi, or perhaps you would like to have some edible fish for your family or neighbors.

5. Shelves Aquaponic

Backyard Aquaponic Garden


This is another interesting thing that you can use for aquaponics, yes, shelves. This is a 4-shelf utility, which people usually use as additional storage for books or other stuff.

However, if you are planning to give this idea a go, you need to make sure that the shelves plastic is safe for growing food. Once you have the shelves, you just need to place a plywood base under the first shelf.

Place the gallon tank on the bottom shelf and a pump on its bottom. Drill a hole on the other shelves so the water can fall to the other shelf below it. Set the pipes from the pump to the upper shelf. Lastly, put hydroton into the shelves then start planting.

6. Backyard Aquaponic Garden

Repurposing Bathtub


Turn your grow-in-ground garden into this aquaponic garden. With the aquaponic system, you no longer need to fertilize your garden or watering it. You just need to let the pump do almost everything for the garden. All you need is feeding the fish.

This aquaponic garden uses hydroton, the one that looks like kernels, as a growing medium for the plants. Therefore, you do not need to get your hand dirty by digging holes for plants.

As you can see, some vegetables and herbs grow well on the grow bed.

7. Repurposing Bathtub

Repurposing Bathtub


If you have an old bathtub at home, consider turning it into a raised bed garden with aquaponic system before throwing it up. It allows you to plant vegetables or herbs while petting fish.

This backyard aquaponic idea uses a bathtub as the garden bed then it rests in a pipe frame. Bathtubs are good to use as a grow bed because they are strong, watertight, and the hole at one end will let the water out.

Right under the bed, there is a fishpond, which will provide water for the herbs. Like another pond, it uses pond liner plastic with a layer of dumpster AstroTurf underneath to prevent the liner from holes.

8. Gravels Aquaponic System

Gravels Aquaponic System

This is another wooden aquaponic pond, which you can make in the backyard.

Gravels cover the entire ground and support the plants’ growth, while many small fish are swimming in the pond under the garden bed. You can see the morning glory and the other plants grow well in the bed.

9. Lush Greenery Aquaponics

Lush Greenery Aquaponics

Besides producing fresh vegetables and herbs that you can pick every day, aquaponics can also be a decorative item in your backyard, just like this one.

Some decorative fish enjoy swimming in the pond without feeling bothered with the water that falls from four pipes under the aquaponics kits. The other pipe connects the water pond to the plants to fertilize them.

The greenery surrounding this pond serves a fresh view to the eye.

10. DIY PVC Aquaponic System

DIY PVC Aquaponic System

Different from another aquaponics system where you have to lay your garden bed and plant your vegetables horizontally, this one allows you to plant them vertically by using PVC.

First, you need to cut the pipe into 6 pieces in 1ft long. Next, make two 3in diameter holes in each. Take another pipe and make two 4in long for the ends. Join all these cuts with elbows using electrical tape.

Cut four pipes into the size you want then make plenty of holes in 1in diameter. Once you have done with the holes, insert them vertically to the assembled pipe. Add also plastic cups into the 3in diameter holes.

Next, take two same size drums, cut the top then add place the pipe you have assembled. The last, add water pump and some fish to complete the vertical aquaponics.

11. Backyard Aquaponic with Barrel

Backyard Aquaponic with Barrel

Grow your herbs, fruit, and vegetable on the barrel!

Besides bathtub, you can build your aquaponic system using barrels. You can create two vegetable beds by dividing a barrel into two and use one barrel for the tank, as you can see above.

The water pump is inside the barrel tank. It will cycle the water through the garden barrels and pump it up. With the help of the wooden frame, the barrels can stand properly and the aquaponic system can go well.

12. Gardening in Aquaponic Kit

Gardening in Aquaponic Kit


Aquaponic does not require a spacious place to install. A small backyard is enough as long as the kits can fit in. This is one example of aquaponics ideas you can build in a limited area of the backyard.

It uses two kits, which you can buy, instantly on stores. One kit functions as a pond for fish and the other as a garden bed. Instead of hydroton, it uses a kind of pebbles as the growing medium.

The pump placed in the pond will pump the water up, as you can see there is a small pipe on the left side of the grow bed where the water flows. On the opposite edge, a bell siphon will drain the water in the bed.

13. Netherland’s Backyard Aquaponic

Netherland’s Backyard Aquaponic

This aquaponic consists of three tanks where one of them functions as a fishpond and the other serve as grow beds for plants. The owner uses a medium, which consists of lava rocks to grow the plant instead of soil.

The idea of using lava rocks will save you a lot of space because you do not need to use floating rafts. This is such a great idea to start your aquaponic system.

14. Backyard Aquaponic Grow Bed

Backyard Aquaponic Grow Bed

Gardening easily with grow bed aquaponics. When you have no time to make your own grow bed, you can simply buy one in stores, so you can save your energy to make a frame for the bed.

Two wooden frames support the grow beds for the aquaponic system to work well. The bed already has plenty of holes, which allows you to put a plastic cup in each of them to grow your favorite plants.

15. Wooden Panel Grow Bed

Wooden Panel Grow Bed

The owner used wood panel to build the grow bed then layer it with black felt. After that, he locked the black felt onto the wood using bamboo.

The creator arranged the woods then drilled several holes to put some plastic cups in them. Although this design looks minimalist and traditional, it grows plants as well as other modern grow beds do.

16. Steel Barrel Pond

Steel Barrel Pond

A steel barrel has a quite big size and it is tall, so if you have one at home, consider transforming it into an aquaponic garden. You only have to cut it into two containers. A taller cut is for the fishpond and the short one as a container to grow the plants.

Next, make holes at the edge of the vegetable container so that the water can drain back into the pond. Place it above the fishpond. You perhaps need to use a steel bar frame to support the vegetable container.

17. Farming Aquaponic in the Backyard

Farming Aquaponic in the Backyard

If you have a spacious backyard, do not let it neglected. Instead, you can build an aquaponic garden and make money from that. Unlike farming on the ground, aquaponic has low maintenance. You can still grow plants on your busy days.

The plants you grow in aquaponics system will receive nutrition from fish waste, so you no longer need to fertilize them. You only need to change the fish water, which is wasted, feed the fish and clean their pond some time.

18. Backyard Aquaponic with Aquarium

Backyard Aquaponic with Aquarium

If you love to see fish swimming as much as you love gardening, you can move this idea to your backyard. Glass aquarium instead of the pond allows you to see the fish swimming, making them more than just a helper to feed your plants.

Six bars above the aquarium serve plenty of space to plant your herbs while the water keeps flowing down from the containers.

19. Vertical Backyard Aquaponic

Vertical Backyard Aquaponic

When you have no space left in the backyard, remember that goes vertical with fix the space problem. A vertical aquaponics system allows you to plant your plants vertically, so you just need a little space for the pond.

To have a vertical aquaponic garden like this, you need to install the florafelt pro system on the wall. Remember that aquaponics will be incomplete without fish, so you have to add a fish tank under the installation.

Use recirculating pump and auto-refill with a water filter in the tank. Arrange the florafelt grow buns on the florafelt pro system, then plant the seeds.

20. Backyard Aquaponic with Fish Tank

Backyard Aquaponic with Fish Tank

Let’s plant vegetables, herbs, and strawberries in each container!

This aquaponics system offers you three divided containers just in case you want to plant your plants separately. Each grow bed has one pond below which lets the water cycle happen easily.

Thus are 20 backyard aquaponics ideas you can adopt in your backyard to improve the quality of foods in your family. So, are you ready to build your backyard aquaponic system?

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