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G'day people,

Has anyone on this forum dabbled in Aquaponics ?

If so I am wondering .. I have a cichlid tank, the food grown from my cichlid tank .. is it edible ?

I was thinking of making a tube about 4 foot with a slow trickle system to feed say 6 or 7 plant directly above my aquarium.

My first goal of doing this would be to make a system to remove nitrates from the water.

If I succeeded at that I would then look at the idea of using the planting space for edible foods.

Any help or suggestions appeciated.

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Hi mate I have a few aquaponics setups.

Are you using salts ? Most vegis wont like alkiline water but some plants like it just have to pick the right ones. I think azalias like alkaline water but don't quote me on that.

Also what light will the plants be getting is your tank near a window? For them to suck up nitrates effectively you will need good light.

Also generally the rule is have 2 to 1 ratio of growbeds to water volume for effective filtration so this will no way replace a filter for your tank.


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Yeah well I will still run the Canister Filter.

Was more thinking of lowering the Nitrate levels more then anything else. I do have salts in there for buffering yeah.

So yeah more just to keep the Nitrate low between water changes, and a bit of expierence, I do fancy the idea of a big setup oneday outside.

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Can you suggest a plant that does will with it ?

I was toying with the idea of alovera or however ya spell it. I forget to even water that plant for months and spray a bit of water on it and it comes back to life.

And it doesn;t seem to care much about light.

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My plants thrived on the water used from water changes from our tanks (we had Africans) including an Azalea.............I suppose it could depend on the salts you use to condition the water.

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The other issue is that vegetables will require additional lighting to grow and produce. I would look at some of the low light ornamental plants such as Philodendron species, Dracaena species (Luck Bamboo) or some herb varieties.

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Just illustrating Geds point. Between 6 and 7 PH is ideal for maximum nutrient uptake.






Chinese cabbage


date palms

dusty miller







salt cedar



There are a few things that apparently go ok with alki water

geraniums are what i was thinking of not azalias

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30 years ago, I grew a Monstera deliciosa in African water. You can't eat it, but the upside is that it is a low light plant so will do okay if not right up against a window. The other advantage is that it has aerial roots, these can be trained to go/grow into the fish tank, with the bulk of the root mass in a small pot sitting on the tank's bridge. Because it got it's water an nutrients from the tank, a much larger plant can be kept in a much smaller pot.

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i have just sold my AP set up. moving house. its a great way to grow plants and fish.

with african buffered water try brassicas, so spinach, silverbeet, broccoli and caulliflower they tollerate the higher salt levels.

you can grow them in a gravel bed or NFT pipe. check backyard aquaponics forum for info

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