How to Aquaponically Grow Fruits: The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable and Efficient Farming

Welcome to the ultimate guide on growing fruits aquaponically! Aquaponics is a revolutionary method of farming that combines aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water). In this sustainable approach, fish waste provides organic nutrients for the plants, while the plants naturally filter the water for the fish. The result is a self-sufficient ecosystem that allows you to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs organically and abundantly.

In this comprehensive guide, we will teach you everything you need to know to set up your own successful aquaponics fruit farm, even in small spaces like your backyard. You’ll learn how to:

  • Set up an aquaponic system tailored for optimal fruit production
  • Select the right fruits and varieties to grow aquaponically
  • Choose and care for fish that will thrive in your system
  • Maintain proper water quality and troubleshoot issues
  • Grow healthy, high-yielding plants by meeting their nutritional needs

We’ll also explain the many advantages of aquaponic farming and provide tips and tricks from experienced fruit growers. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to build your own efficient aquaponic fruit farm!

Table of Contents

What is Aquaponic Farming?

Aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil) into one integrated system. In a nutshell, it works like this:

The fish live in tanks and their waste contains ammonia. Friendly bacteria convert the ammonia first into nitrites, and then into nitrates. The water, now filled with these nitrates, flows into the plant beds. The plants absorb the nitrates as nutrients and the cleansed water returns back to the fish tanks.

In this symbiotic environment, the fish help feed the plants, while the plants help keep the water clean for the fish. Aquaponics mimics natural ecosystems and allows you to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs organically and sustainably.

Brief History of Aquaponics

While aquaponics is gaining popularity today as an innovative farming method, its concepts have been around for centuries. Ancient civilizations like the Aztecs cultivated agricultural islands known as chinampas, where plants grew on floating beds in shallow lake waters.

Integrated aquaculture and hydroponics began appearing in the 1970s. Researchers experimented with different combinations of fish and plants to fine-tune recirculating aquaponic systems. Over the years, aquaponics has evolved into today’s efficient and productive farming method.

How Aquaponics Differs from Traditional Farming

Traditional soil-based farming relies heavily on unsustainable practices:

  • Overuse of freshwater for irrigation
  • High need for synthetic fertilizers/pesticides that pollute run-off water
  • Intensive labor for tasks like digging, weeding, hoeing
  • Greater exposure to pests and plant diseases

Aquaponics offers multiple advantages:

  • Uses 90% less water since it recirculates
  • Eliminates need for artificial fertilizers or pesticides
  • Reduces labor for planting, weeding, watering
  • Minimizes plant disease by avoiding soil-borne pathogens

With aquaponics, you can grow safe, organic produce abundantly and sustainably.

Why Choose Aquaponic Farming?

Growing fruits aquaponically offers many benefits that make it an attractive, sustainable farming method:

1. Environmentally Friendly

Aquaponics recycles and reuses water, leading to:

  • 90% less water usage than soil farming
  • No fertilizer or pesticide pollution run-off into groundwater
  • Less land space needed for crops, reducing deforestation

2. Grow Organic, Premium Produce

In aquaponics, plants are nourished only by organic nutrients from fish waste. This leads to:

  • Chemical and pesticide-free fruits and vegetables
  • Better tasting, more nutritious produce with higher mineral content
  • Fresher produce that doesn’t require long distance transportation

3. Increased Efficiency and Yields

Aquaponics optimizes space and resources, allowing you to grow more in less space:

  • Produce up to 10x more vegetables and fruits per acre
  • Grow crops faster and year-round since protected from weather changes
  • Maximize land usage by growing vertically as well as horizontally

4. Lower Operating Costs

Aquaponics minimizes costs in terms of:

  • Less water usage and no artificial fertilizers/pesticides needed
  • Reduced labor for planting, digging, weeding, hoeing and pest control
  • Lower cost for fish feed compared to synthetic fertilizers

5. New Revenue Streams

Aquaponics creates multiple income sources:

  • Sell fresh produce to restaurants, local markets, grocery stores
  • Generate income from ornamental fish like koi or goldfish
  • Create fun agritourism opportunities like farm tours

Types of Aquaponic Systems

When starting your aquaponic farm, you need to choose a system designed for optimal fruit production. The main types of aquaponics systems are:

Media-Filled Grow Beds

This is the most common system used by small-scale and hobby aquaponic growers. Grow beds are filled with porous media like gravel, expanded clay pellets, or coconut coir. The media provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow and convert fish waste into plant nutrients.

Plants can be grown directly in the media-filled beds, making this option well-suited for shallow-rooted vegetables like lettuce and herbs. For larger, deeper-rooted fruiting plants, separate pots with media can be placed into the grow beds.

The media bed aquaponics system is probably the easiest to set up on your permaculture plot. It consists of garden beds filled with small porous rocks – typically clay pellets – into which the vegetables are planted (this is a no soil system). Water from the fish tank is either pumped or drained via gravity, depending on the specifics of your site, into the beds so that the plants can access the nutrients.

Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

In NFT systems, the plant roots dangle directly into water channels, with a thin film of water continuously flowing over the roots. Since roots get constant moisture and nutrients, growth rates in NFT systems can be up to three times faster than soil-grown plants.

NFT systems work well for growing shallow-rooted fruiting plants like strawberries and bush tomatoes. The roots receive ample oxygen and nutrients from the constantly moving water.

Effect of the different feed treatment (TRT5% and TRT3%) on the growth of fish in an aquaponics system
Effect of the different feed treatment (TRT5% and TRT3%) on the growth of fish in an aquaponics system (Ajayi, T. & Olanrewaju, Olawale & Aserifa, T.G. (2022). valuation of a nutrient film aquaponic system for growing of lettuce. International Journal of Frontiers in Engineering and Technology Research. 3. 028-043. 10.53294/ijfetr.2022.3.2.0050.)

Deep Water Culture (DWC)

DWC systems involve large tanks filled with water and air pumps to provide oxygen. Floating rafts with holes hold the plants, allowing plant roots to dangle down into the water. DWCs provide a highly oxygenated, nutrient-rich environment for fast fruit growth.

Bush varieties of tomato, pepper, eggplant, strawberry, etc can thrive in DWC systems. You can maximize yields in limited space by going vertical with stacked raft layers.

A diagram of a Deep water culture aquaponics system
Deep water culture aquaponics system

Each system has its pros and cons in terms of water usage, oxygenation, ease of pH control, startup cost, scalability, and crop compatibility. Assess your goals, space, and budget when deciding on the right system for your needs. We’ll cover setup specifics later in this guide.

Getting Started: What You’ll Need

The essential components required for a backyard-scale aquaponics system for growing fruit are:

Aquaponics Equipment

  • Fish tank – This houses the fish and should be opaque to keep out sunlight. Round designs allow efficient water flow.
  • Grow beds – These contain the growing media and plants. Use beds with built-in irrigation lines.
  • Sump tank – This tank collects water from the system and houses the pump.
  • Pump and plumbing – The pump circulates water between components through pipes, tubes, and valves.
  • Aeration system – Air pumps and stones oxygenate the water to keep fish and plants healthy.
  • Water filtration – Mechanical and biological filtration removes solids and processes nutrients.
  • Seedling trays – Used to germinate seeds and nurture seedlings before transplanting.
  • Testing kits – These measure pH, nitrogen compounds like ammonia, and other water parameters.

Grow Media

Inert materials like:

  • Expanded clay pellets
  • Gravel
  • Perlite
  • Coconut coir

Avoid soil, which can lead to clogging and poor water quality.


  • Heirloom and hybrid varieties of fruits suited for aquaponics like tomatoes, peppers, bush berries, etc.
  • Consider sourcing organic, non-GMO seeds.


  • Tilapia – Tolerate wide temperature range and high stocking density.
  • Ornamental fish – Goldfish, koi work well and have retail value.
  • Common carp – Robust and fast growing in warm water.

Fish Food

  • Commercial pellet feeds with 32-38% protein content.
  • Vegetarian options like duckweed, azolla can supplement.

Use high-quality feeds to avoid water quality issues. Stay away from unpelleted meal mixes which disintegrate.

Nutrient Supplements

While fish waste should provide sufficient nutrients, you may need:

  • Iron – Prevents anemia in plants. Use chelated iron supplements.
  • Calcium – Aids fruit development. Derived from calcium carbonate.
  • Magnesium – Facilitates photosynthesis. Epsom salts provide magnesium.

Choosing the Right Fruits

This bar chart breaks down the key aspects you gotta know when you're tryin' to grow fruits aquaponically. The numbers represent how crucial each topic is on a scale of 1 to 10. As you can see, being eco-friendly and getting a high yield are at the top of the list.
This bar chart breaks down the key aspects you gotta know when you’re tryin’ to grow fruits aquaponically. The numbers represent how crucial each topic is on a scale of 1 to 10. As you can see, being eco-friendly and getting a high yield are at the top of the list.

When selecting fruits to grow aquaponically, consider factors like:

Climate Compatibility

Match fruits to your local growing climate:

  • Warm-weather fruits – Tomato, bell pepper, hot pepper, eggplant, okra, melons
  • Cool-weather fruits – Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry
  • Citrus fruits – Lime, lemon, oranges (dwarf varieties)

Use greenhouses or indoor grow lights to expand options.

Plant Size

Favor compact, bushy cultivars over vining plants needing trellises, which complicate aquaponic systems. Prioritize:

  • Determinate tomatoes staying under 3-4 ft
  • Bush cucumbers under 2 ft spread
  • Columnar peppers reaching just 1-2 ft
  • Dwarf citrus trees

Nutritional Needs

Leafy greens and herbs flourish with just fish waste nutrients. Fruiting plants need more:

  • Nitrogen (N) – Boosts leafy growth and fruit production.
  • Phosphorus (P) – Important for root growth, flowering and fruiting.
  • Potassium (K) – Helps fruit development and disease resistance.

Monitor and supplement macro-nutrients if deficient.

Profit Potential

Consider market demand and profit margins. Quality produce like:

  • Vine-ripened tomatoes – Sell for premium prices when in short supply.
  • Salad greens – High-value microgreens and baby greens.
  • Herbs – Year-round basil, mint, oregano have market appeal.
  • Edible flowers – Unique niche market.

Setting Up the Fish Tank

The fish tank anchors the aquaponics system, so proper setup is crucial. Follow this step-by-step guide:

1. Choose Tank Size

  • Start small with a 100-200 gal tank for backyard systems.
  • Allow 50 gallons of water per pound of fish at full growth.
  • Scale up gradually; 500-1000 gal tanks for commercial systems.

2. Select Tank Material

  • Polyethylene plastic tanks are lightweight and inexpensive.
  • Sturdy fiberglass tanks have smooth surfaces that discourage bacterial buildup.
  • Avoid metal, wood, and cement – they corrode and affect water quality.

3. Find Level, Sturdy Location

  • Place tank on flat concrete or wooden platform for stability.
  • Shim underneath to level if needed – important for water balance.
  • Raise tank if installing underground to prevent flooding.

4. Install Pump and Plumbing

  • Use quality submersible pump designed for aquaculture.
  • Size pump to cycle entire tank volume at least 1-2 times per hour.
  • Use flexible PVC, vinyl tubing to prevent leaks.

5. Add Aeration System

  • Use air pumps and stones for constant oxygenation.
  • Oxygen levels should stay above 5 ppm.
  • Locate air stones for maximum circulation.

6. Set Up Filtration

  • Install biological and mechanical filtration like floating rafts with filter media.
  • Remove solids above 5 microns to prevent equipment clogging.
  • Maintain healthy beneficial bacteria for biofiltration.

Now you have a solid foundation for starting your aquaponic fruit farm!

Water Quality

Vigilant water quality monitoring is key for successful aquaponic fruit production. Here’s what you need to know:

pH Level

The water pH significantly impacts plant nutrient availability. Keep pH between 6-7 for optimal fruit growth.

  • Low pH (< 6) – Plants can’t access important micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron. Leads to deficiencies.
  • High pH (> 7) – Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron precipitate from water and become unavailable to plants.

Use pH probes and testing kits to track pH. Adjust with solutions like potassium carbonate (increase pH) or citric acid (lower pH).


Plants need nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) which fish waste provides. But you may need to supplement:

  • Nitrogen – Monitor with water tests. Deficiency causes yellowing leaves and stunted plants. Use ammonium chloride/urea supplements if low.
  • Phosphorus – Test water phosphate (PO4) levels. Add bone meal or rock phosphate if deficient.
  • Potassium – Look for potassium chloride or sulfate supplements if plants show signs like yellow leaf edges.


Fish waste provides most micro-nutrients. But fruits, especially tomatoes, may need:

  • Calcium – Influences fruit development, disease resistance. Add calcium carbonate if blossom end rot occurs.
  • Iron – Prevents leaf yellowing; use iron chelate supplements.
  • Magnesium – Aids photosynthesis and fruit sugar levels. Epsom salts provide magnesium.

Planting Seeds & Seedlings

To maximize fruit yields and quality, use proper planting methods:

Seed Germination

  • Start seeds in seedling trays filled with media like coconut coir.
  • Keep trays in warm area (65-75F) with grow lights if starting indoors.
  • Time seed starting 2-3 months before last frost date for spring planting.
  • Harden off seedlings before transplanting into aquaponic system.


  • Move seedlings when they reach 3-4 inches tall and have 2-3 true leaves.
  • Gently loosen media from roots before transferring into net pots.
  • Avoid transplant shock by moving on cool, cloudy days.
  • Place net pots in grow bed media or floating rafts, depending on system.

Plant Spacing

  • Give plants adequate space to allow light penetration and air circulation.
  • Tomatoes – 2 square feet per plant.
  • Peppers – 1 square foot per plant.
  • Berries – 2-3 feet between bushes.

Proper spacing prevents disease and allows good fruit development.


Many fruits need insect pollination to set fruit. Consider adding:

  • Native pollinators – attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds with flowering plants.
  • Hand pollination – use small brushes to transfer pollen.
  • Bee hives – locate hives adjacent to aquaponic greenhouse or outdoor grow area.

Selecting Fish Species

Choosing the right fish species for your aquaponics system is an important decision. Some key factors to consider:

Textual Explanation
Fruits that can be grown
You got a whole variety of fruits you can grow, like tomatoes, strawberries, and even dwarf citrus trees.

Nutrient Requirements
Different plants got different needs, man. Tomatoes and cucumbers are good for beginners 'cause they ain't too picky about nutrients.

High Yield
You're lookin' at a lot of produce in a small space, especially if you set it up indoors. Plants grow faster 'cause they're always sippin' on that nutrient-rich water.

Purpose of the System
You gotta know what you're aimin' for. You growin' fish to eat or just for the plants?

You can build your own system, no problem. There's a ton of resources out there to help you out.

This is the future, man. It's sustainable and mimics a natural ecosystem.

Nutrient Requirements of Plants
Your plants mainly need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These should come from the fish waste, but you might need to supplement.

Benefits of Growing Fruits
You get nutrient-dense produce, save water, and it's low maintenance. Plus, you can grow all year round if you set it up indoors.

Types of Fish
Tilapia, Catfish, and Trout are some of the most common fish used. They each got their own pros and cons, so choose wisely.
This bar graph shows the most popular fish types folks use in aquaponics systems. Tilapia is leading the pack, followed by Goldfish and Catfish.

Water Temperature Tolerance

Select fish suited to water temps in your climate. Common options:

  • Warm water – tilapia, koi, goldfish, catfish (prefer 75-85°F)
  • Cool water – trout, perch, bass (prefer 55-75°F)

Use greenhouse heaters or chillers as needed to maintain optimal temps.

Habitat Needs

Know habitat requirements to ensure good fish health:

  • Schooling fish – koi, goldfish, trout prefer groups of 6+ fish.
  • Bottom dwellers – catfish, loaches, crayfish. Provide hides.
  • Surface dwellers – hatchetfish, betta. Let them breach surface.

Crowding causes stress, disease outbreaks in fish.

Growth Rate

Faster growing fish boost nutrient production for your plants:

  • Tilapia – Grow to harvest size of 1 lb in 4-6 months.
  • Ornamental carp – Reach 1 lb in 8-12 months.
  • Trout – Need 12-18 months to reach 1

Feeding Fish

Proper fish feeding optimizes their health and waste output to nourish your plants. Follow these tips:

Feed Types

Choose high quality, pelleted feeds with:

  • 32-38% protein content for juvenile fish
  • 28-32% protein for adult fish
  • Vegetable matter and supplements to vary nutritional intake

Avoid meal-based feeds that disintegrate and foul the water.

Feeding Schedule

  • Feed 2-3 times daily, at fixed intervals.
  • Start with small amounts, then increase gradually as fish grow.
  • Feed only enough that fish can consume within 5 minutes.
  • Skip 1-2 days of feeding monthly to allow digestion and rest.

Signs of Overfeeding

Reduce feed amounts if you notice:

  • Excess uneaten food accumulating on tank bottom
  • Water turning cloudy
  • Ammonia levels spiking above 2 ppm
  • Fish seeming lethargic or not eating

Signs of Underfeeding

Increase feed if fish show:

  • Loss of weight and body condition
  • Increased aggression at feeding times
  • Rooting around tank bottom for additional food
  • Changes like faded coloring or sluggishness

The ideal amount will keep fish active, healthy and growing.

Monitoring Plant Growth

Closely observe plants to ensure they’re getting proper nutrition and growing well:

Plant Observations

Look for signs of:

  • Steady, healthy new growth
  • Deep green leaves
  • Sturdy stems and stalks
  • Fruits developing normally without issues like blossom end rot

Measuring Growth

  • Use metric tape or rulers to track increases in:
  • Plant height
  • Stem diameter
  • Number of leaves, nodes
  • Fruit size from flowering to harvest
  • Compare growth to targets for that fruit variety

Troubleshooting Issues

If plants show slower growth or problems, check:

  • Water pH and nutrient levels
  • Water temperature – some plants prefer cooler water
  • Lighting duration and intensity
  • Adequate spacing and pruning
  • Pests like aphids or mites
  • Disease pathogens causing spots/lesions

Make adjustments based on your findings.

Pest Control

Even aquaponic systems can experience pest problems. Some organic management options:

Identifying Pests

Common pests to watch for:

  • Aphids – Small, green or black soft-bodied insects that cluster on plants.
  • Thrips – Tiny yellow or dark insects that feed on leaves and buds.
  • Mites – Microscopic red, yellow or black bugs on the underside of leaves.
  • Whiteflies – Winged white insects that colonize leaf undersides.

Check plant stems, undersides of leaves and buds where pests congregate.

Preventive Measures

Take proactive steps like:

  • Keeping grow area clean of debris
  • Removing infected plant parts immediately
  • Introducing predatory beneficial insects
  • Using row covers as physical barriers
  • Improving air circulation with fans

Organic Sprays

Make natural DIY sprays from:

  • Insecticidal soaps – smother soft-bodied pests
  • Neem oil – disrupts insect growth and reproduction
  • Garlic-chili pepper – deters pests with strong scent
  • Diatomaceous earth – cuts through insect bodies

Spot treat affected plants and rinse off after application.

Harvesting Fruits

Waiting for harvest time is the exciting payoff of growing fruits aquaponically! Follow these tips for bountiful yields:

Ripeness Indicators

  • Tomatoes – Full color development, aromatic, slightly soft.
  • Peppers – Fully sized, smooth appearance, deep color.
  • Eggplant – Glossy skin, finger pressure leaves indentation.
  • Berries – Plump, rich color, easily separates from bush.

Picking Produce

  • Use pruners or scissors for cleaner cuts that don’t damage plants.
  • Handle carefully to avoid bruising fruits.
  • Pick in early morning when crops are cool.
  • Leave stem on tomatoes, cut peppers and eggplant.

Post-Harvest Storage

  • Avoid washing fruits until ready to use them. Just brush debris off.
  • Keep produce dry and allow air circulation.
  • Refrigerate most fruits immediately at around 45°F.
  • Leave tomatoes, eggplant, peppers at room temp for fuller flavor.

Proper handling maximizes shelf life and quality.

Common Aquaponic Fruit Growing Mistakes

Even experienced aquaponic gardeners make some of these common slip-ups. Watch out for:

Overcrowding Plants

Cramming too many seedlings together limits air flow and light exposure. It also makes pests and diseases spread more quickly between plants.

Disrupting Roots

Don’t disturb delicate root systems when transplanting seedlings or adjusting plant positions. This shocks plants and inhibits growth.

Letting pH Fluctuate

Not testing and correcting pH frequently enough leads to nutrient deficiencies and poor crop health.

Overfeeding Fish

Excess food increases ammonia levels. It also fouls water and encourages parasitic infections in fish.

Skimping on System Maintenance

Lax cleaning of tanks, failure to remove solids and negligence of equipment checks causes system crashes.

Harvesting Too Early

Impatience and over-eagerness leads to disappointingly unripe fruits with poor flavor and texture.

The good news is that all these issues can be easily avoided with proper diligence in following best practices!

Scaling Up Your Aquaponic Fruit Operation

Over time, you may decide to expand your backyard aquaponics setup into a larger commercial system. Here’s how to scale up successfully:

Increased Production

  • Expand to larger, interconnected tanks and grow beds
  • Add more grow lights or greenhouse space
  • Introduce additional fish species like catfish or carp
  • Diversify fruits grown to increase variety and profit

Financial Considerations

  • Research grants and agriculture loans available in your region
  • Account for increased labor, electricity, water and maintenance costs
  • Develop detailed business plan and profit/loss projections
  • Identify local restaurants or retailers for selling produce

Legal Requirements

  • Register as commercial aquaculture operation
  • Obtain permits for commercial water use and discharge
  • Follow regulations for organic certification for chemical-free marketing claims

Expert Assistance

  • Consult with aquaponics specialists and commercial growers
  • Hire staff with experience in aquaculture and hydroponics
  • Join industry associations to access shared knowledge

Gradual, well-planned growth sets up your expanded aquaponics venture for success!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much produce can I grow aquaponically per square foot?

In optimal setups, you can grow around 2-4 lbs of produce per square foot annually. Leafy greens offer the highest density. Fruiting crops yield 1-2 lbs per square foot.

What aquaponic fruits can be grown year-round?

With supplemental lighting and temperature control, you can grow tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens, strawberries and herbs year-round in most climates.

Do I need to pollinate plants manually?

Some self-pollinating plants don’t require assistance. But tomatoes, peppers and berry bushes benefit greatly from manual or bee pollination.

How often should I test the water?

Test pH daily and nitrogen compounds like ammonia and nitrates 2-3 times per week. Monitoring is especially crucial in new systems stabilizing.

Is aquaponic produce certified organic?

Most systems would qualify but you need official USDA organic certification for marketing produce as organic. This involves inspections, documentation etc.

Let us know if you have any other questions! Our experts are standing by to provide answers and advice to aquaponic fruit growers.

People Also Ask

Is aquaponics better than hydroponics?

Aquaponics is often considered superior because the fish provide a natural source of plant nutrients without the need to artificially manufacture chemical fertilizers. Learn more about the differences here.

What plants grow best with aquaponics?

Lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, peas, radishes and many other vegetables grow extremely well in aquaponic systems. Get our plant recommendations.

Can you raise fish and vegetables together?

Yes, raising fish and vegetables together is the foundation of aquaponics. The fish waste fertilizes the plants, and the plants filter the water, allowing both organisms to thrive in a symbiotic recirculating system. Ultimate Guide to Aquaponically Growing Vegetables.

Is aquaponics profitable?

Aquaponics can be highly profitable since systems are very productive and allow year-round harvests. Revenue can come from selling produce as well as fish. See successful business case studies.

What problems occur in aquaponics?

Common issues include pH fluctuations, clogged equipment, water temperature changes, oxygen depletion, disease outbreaks, and insect infestations. Learn how to troubleshoot aquaponics problems.

Let us know if you have any other aquaponics questions!

Case Studies of Successful Aquaponic Farms

Sunset Organics – Brooksville, Florida

James runs a 1-acre aquaponic farm in Florida, growing over 20,000 lbs of produce and herbs annually. Tilapia and button plants thrive in his system. James sells to restaurants, farmers markets, and through a CSA program. He credits aquaponics for letting him generate income year-round in his changeable climate.

Veggie Villege – Waterbury, Vermont

Mary launched Veggie Villege in an underutilized greenhouse space. She grows heirloom tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, and microgreens aquaponically. Her setup uses both media beds and deep water culture. Unique varieties and chemical-free operation attract loyal customers to her farm store.

Golden Sun Aquaponics – Medina, Ohio

Dan manages a commercial 75,000 sq ft greenhouse. He raises over 100,000 lbs of tilapia alongside extensive vegetable beds. Refining his system took years of tweaking. Dan now runs an extremely profitable, large-scale enterprise supplying to grocers and wholesalers.

Metro Sky – Calgary, Alberta

This rooftop aquaponics farm in downtown Calgary grows fresh basil, lettuce mixes, tomatoes and more. They use vertical systems with stackable grow beds to maximize limited space. Being integrated into an urban building comes with challenges but great opportunities to supply neighbours.

Resources for Learning Aquaponics


  • Aquaponics Food Production Systems by Simon Goddek
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Aquaponic Gardening by Stout and Myers
  • Aquaponics 101: A How To Guide For Beginners by Sylvia Bernstein

Online Courses

  • Aquaponics Design Courses from Friendly Aquaponics
  • Udemy Aquaponics Master Class by Sterling Tao
  • Vermiponic University Aquaponics Training

Websites and Forums

  • Backyard Aquaponics Forum
  • Aquaponics Nation
  • Friends of Aquaponics
  • Practical Aquaponics

Local Workshops and Events

  • Aquaponics Association Conferences
  • Meetup groups for aquaponics enthusiasts
  • Hydroponics shops running aquaponics workshops
  • Community gardens with aquaponics systems


  • Rob Bob’s Aquaponics & Backyard Farm on YouTube
  • Bright Agrotech Aquaponics Channel
  • Blair Kellison’s Aquaponics Videos

Glossary of Aquaponic Terms

Aeroponics – Growing plants by suspending roots in an air environment and misting them with nutrient solution.

Bell siphon – A flood drain mechanism that uses a bell-shaped device to control water flow.

Biofilter – A filter containing media colonized by nitrifying bacteria that convert ammonia and nitrites.

Fingerling – A juvenile fish that has reached around 5-8 inches length.

Hydrocycle – The flow cycle of water between components in an aquaponic system.

Nitrification – The process by which ammonia is converted to nitrates by beneficial bacteria.

Sludge – The solid organic waste that accumulates in aquaponic systems.

Solids removal – Removing solid particles from system water, usually via mechanical filtration.

Standpipe – A vertical pipe fitted with an elbow used to control water levels.


We’ve covered all the key components in designing and operating a successful aquaponic fruit farming system, from choosing produce varieties and fish species to maintaining ideal water quality and troubleshooting problems.

The benefits of higher yields, resource efficiency, and environmental sustainability make aquaponics well worth the initial time investment. Start small to get the hang of balancing the ecosystem before scaling up.

Please let us know if you have any other questions arise during your aquaponic farming journey. Our active community of experts is here to provide guidance and support. We’d love to hear about your experiences along the way.

Now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice and start reaping the many rewards of aquaponically growing organic, fresh fruits!

About the Author

This comprehensive guide was researched and written by the team at Aquaponics Master – your leading online resource for aquaponic gardening education.

We offer in-depth articles, product reviews, DIY guides, and expert advice to both hobby growers and commercial operators. Our goal is to help aquaponic gardeners succeed and expand this sustainable growing method.

For additional information, feel free to get in touch with us via email or connect on Facebook. We always love hearing from fellow aquaponic farmers!

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Comments Section

What questions do you still have about setting up an aquaponic fruit system? Are there certain fruit varieties you want to try growing aquaponically? What challenges have you faced in maintaining your aquaponics system’s balance?

Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments below! We love interacting with our community and learning from each other. Your input helps provide valuable real-world advice for other growers.