If you’ve made it this far into the article, we can assume you’re confident this is for you. Here’s how to get started setting up your home system. Eartheasy recommends that the first step is to build your tank and dechlorinate the water in it by running the pumps through the filtration system for 4 to 6 weeks. Next, compose your media bed, also called flood table, next to or above the tank – this is where the plants will grow. Make sure the structure holding the media bed is strong enough, then fill it with your growing medium of choice (clay pebbles, coco coir, etc.).
Once your tank and grow bed are set up and bacteria have built up in the water, it’s time to introduce the fish to their new environment. The most common fish are tilapia, goldfish and koi. Tilapia is considered the easiest to grow and care for, but goldfish are known to produce the most waste — i.e., food for your hungry plants.
Speaking of plants, your seedlings are the final component of your initial aquaponic garden setup. Eartheasy points out that leafy greens are indeed the easiest to grow aquaponically. So, to encourage early success, you might consider starting with lettuce, basil, or kale. Carefully place the seedling roots in the clay pebbles so they can touch the water and absorb the nutrients they need to grow.