8 Best Aquaponics Books to Get Started Growing

Ed Wike
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Aquaponics is a new and exciting way to grow food and not just for hobbyists or weekend gardeners, but for anyone who wants to grow food! It’s a living ecosystem of plants and fish that work together in a symbiotic cycle to keep everyone healthy. Aquaponics is an efficient way to grow food and you don’t need a lot of space or time to work on it.

That’s why I’ve put together this practical guide to the best aquaponics books you can get to learn how to grow your own veggies.

NameCategoryProduct
The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using GreenhousesBest OverallThe Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses
Aquaponics: The Essential Aquaponics Guide: A Step-By-Step Aquaponics Gardening Guide to Growing VegetablesBudget PickAquaponics: The Essential Aquaponics Guide: A Step-By-Step Aquaponics Gardening Guide to Growing Vegetables
Aquaponic Design Plans and Everything You Need to Know: From Backyard to Profitable BusinessUpgrade PickAquaponic Design Plans and Everything You Need to Know: From Backyard to Profitable Business

1. The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses

Our rating: 9 / 10

The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses

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Pros:

  • Great information covering a wide range of topics
  • Easy to follow
  • Time-tested techniques
  • Works on a variety of scales
  • Information is easy to find
  • Excellent photos

Cons:

  • Is presented in online format only
  • Does not have a lot of depth on any one topic (however, it references other related content readily)

The Bio-Integrated Farm is a source of informational knowledge and experience by design consultant Janice M. Schofield. The book is set up as a series of essays or lessons covering a wide range of topics related to the sustainable farm. Topics covered include: aquaponics, biochar, greenhouses, growing fish, compost piles, chickens, self-sufficiency, and more. The information is widely accessible and presented in a manner anyone with an interest in raising food will be able to follow.

Even the experienced farmer will find this book useful because of the information it presents. For anyone looking to get started or just have a deeper understanding of topics related to sustainable food production, this is a great book.

2. Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together

Our rating: 7 / 10

Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together

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Pros:

  • Produces more vegetables than traditional gardening
  • Gives you an all-year-round source of healthy food
  • Includes step-by-step instructions to create your own system
  • Great for local food security
  • The perfect option for those who are eco-minded

Cons:

  • Cannot be done in a small space
  • Multiple pieces of equipment and a large area is needed
  • Needs a lot of maintenance

This book from the Aquaponics 4 You team provides a perfect guide to using the systems. This book is ideal for anyone looking to do a bit of edible gardening. It covers the basics of raising both fish and vegetables. It teaches you how to setup your own DIY system complete with step-by-step instructions. Plus, you get a lot of information about nutrition, what to grow, and how to do it all.

Aquaponic Gardening is a highly affordable guide for the gardener newcomer and the more advanced aquaponics farmer. It’s a great option for those who want to grow their own food in a sustainable way that doesn’t require a lot of ongoing maintenance.

3. Aquaponic Design Plans and Everything You Need to Know: From Backyard to Profitable Business

Our rating: 7 / 10

Aquaponic Design Plans and Everything You Need to Know: From Backyard to Profitable Business

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Pros:

  • Easy to understand
  • Good for beginners
  • Covers everything you need to know about aquaponics

Cons:

  • Some recipes and information might be better suited for Floridians (It's a Florida based book)
  • Very little info on fish performance

(Everything You Need to Know series)

This book by Richard Graul covers everything that you need to know about getting started with Aquaponics. It covers everything from picking the right kind of fish, plants and all the tools that you need to get started (with the right advice on which tools to go for).

The book also covers designing your set-up based on what you are growing. Plus, it takes the reader through a realistic view of running a profitable aquaponics business.

4. The Aquaponic Farmer: A Complete Guide to Building and Operating a Commercial Aquaponic System

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Aquaponic Farmer: A Complete Guide to Building and Operating a Commercial Aquaponic System

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Pros:

  • Very detailed growing guide
  • Covers a wide range of topics
  • Written by the bestselling author and certified Aquaponic commercial farmer
  • Easy to follow charts
  • Excellent for both beginners and experienced growers

The Aquaponic Farmer: A Complete Guide to Building and Operating a Commercial Aquaponic System is a top consideration because it covers a wide range of topics such as modules, fish, systems, plants, pest control, nutrient cycling, harvest, and growth. The book also includes an appendix section that includes charts, tables, and other detailed information needed for successful aquaponic operation.

Written by the best-selling author and certified Aquaponic commercial farmer, John Chaney, the book is an invaluable resource for all levels of experience.

5. Aquaponics for Beginners: How to Build your own Aquaponic Garden that will Grow Organic Vegetables

Our rating: 5 / 10

Aquaponics for Beginners: How to Build your own Aquaponic Garden that will Grow Organic Vegetables

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Pros:

  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Clear and easy to understand diagrams
  • The perfect aquaponics book for beginners
  • Learn why aquaponics is the best form of agriculture
  • Learn what you need to get started in aquaponics
  • Everything you need to know from planning your garden to getting started
  • You can use this book to design your own aquaponic garden to fit your backyard or indoor space
  • Included Notes to make the most out of this book
  • You will learn about aquaculture (fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil)
  • This book includes reviews, references, and resources such as social media groups

Cons:

  • Some people who have reviewed this book have a hard time with the size of the print
  • Quite a bit of material to cover

By: Tyson Caron

If you're looking for an aquaponics book to get the basics and set up your first aquaponics garden, this is the book for you.

6. Aquaponics: The Essential Aquaponics Guide: A Step-By-Step Aquaponics Gardening Guide to Growing Vegetables

Our rating: 5 / 10

Aquaponics: The Essential Aquaponics Guide: A Step-By-Step Aquaponics Gardening Guide to Growing Vegetables

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Pros:

  • Includes 17 detailed aquaponics systems and 6 detailed fish systems
  • Detailed information on aquaponic gardening

Cons:

  • There is limited information on aquaponic farming.
  • The book is poorly edited.

Practical advice on a whole range of aquaponics topics.

This is an outstanding introduction to grow your own food. It presents a range of aquaponic systems that will help you raise fish to eat and healthy plants to eat those fish and provide you with high levels of nutrition.

It offers useful insights on using fish waste to fertilise plants and vice versa, creating a miniature natural balance which reduces the need for chemical nutrients.

7. Aquaponics: Beginner’s Guide To Building Your Own Aquaponics Garden System That Will Grow Organic Vegetables

Our rating: 5 / 10

Aquaponics: Beginner’s Guide To Building Your Own Aquaponics Garden System That Will Grow Organic Vegetables

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Pros:

  • Easy to understand and follow
  • Concise and to the point
  • Recommended for beginners
  • Covers everything you’d need to know about Aquaponics

The book Aquaponics: Beginner’s Guide To Building Your Own Aquaponics Garden System That Will Grow Organic Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs and Raising Fish With Your Own Aquaponics Home Gardening System by Julie A. Nelson Ivens is a comprehensive book that gives you the complete background story on what Aquaponics is and some of the best Aquaponics systems examples.

It is helpful as it offers advice on how to build the best Aquaponics farm and the associated costs involved. It also gives a number of suggestions of where to buy, permits required and your various options for housing your Aquaponics system.

Among other things, it includes an Aquaponics news section which gives some helpful background information as well as tips for the beginner Aquaponics home gardener.

8. Aquaponics: How to Build Your Own Aquaponic System

Our rating: 4 / 10

Aquaponics: How to Build Your Own Aquaponic System

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Pros:

  • Detailed instructions
  • Quick and easy to read
  • Suitable for beginners and experienced growers
  • Compact and light-weight
  • Carry handle makes it easy to take with you when traveling

Cons:

  • Not suitable for intermediate or advanced users
  • Author uses Google Translate for some sections
  • Extra images are not linked; they will not be displayed until you right click on the image and copy the link address.

Step-by-Step Guide

This book is our top pick when it comes to aquaponics books because it comprehensively covers the entire subject in a way that is easy to digest and easy on the eyes.

It’s suitable for beginners and experienced aquaponic gardeners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much do aquaponic farmers make?

While aquaponic farming is a very lucrative business, it takes a lot of hard work to get going. If you have looked at this book and are determined to get started as soon as possible (or even if you’re still learning), you might consider getting a job as a part-time aquaponics farmer. You can learn how to grow food without dealing with harmful chemicals and you can save your earnings in order to pursue your full-time dream of achieving long-term self-sufficiency. You will also get to know people in the industry, possibly meet your future business partners, and learn about what makes an ideal full-time aquaponics farm.

Does aquaponics grow faster?

In terms of growth alone, traditional agriculture methods are still best at this time. However, aquaponics is great for making use of rusty and broken land, making it an important option for sustainable gardening that can feed an incredibly large number of people.

And with the recent advances in technology, it is expected that the gap between aquaponics and conventional agriculture in terms of growth will soon be narrowed.

How many fish are needed for aquaponics?

A good rule of thumb is 1 pound of fish to 5 pounds of vegetables. The amount of fish and pump size impacts how many gallons of water can be filtered each hour. Figure out the number of gallons you can filter per hour and then choose your fish and pump based on those numbers. You also need to take into consideration how many fish you want to harvest for eating.

What food can be grown with aquaponics?

The short answer is that you can grow almost any plant that is leafy and does not require too much space. You can even grow indoor plants with the right lighting and grow bed system! In fact, a few of the new aquaponics systems have created hydroponic grow beds where the roots of a plant grow within the grow bed. You also can add fish poop for plant food or you can even add fertilizers such as liquid organic fertilizer or fish fortified fertilizer.

Conclusion

Learning about aquaponics can be daunting at first because it’s a fairly new technology that, unlike some of the more common techniques, relies on a sound understanding of fish. Understanding fish is great but the best aquaponics books will also provide you with an easy-to-understand guide to getting started, both in terms of purchasing your supplies and the physical creating an aquaponics system in your back yard.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using GreenhousesBest OverallThe Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses
Aquaponics: The Essential Aquaponics Guide: A Step-By-Step Aquaponics Gardening Guide to Growing VegetablesBudget PickAquaponics: The Essential Aquaponics Guide: A Step-By-Step Aquaponics Gardening Guide to Growing Vegetables
Aquaponic Design Plans and Everything You Need to Know: From Backyard to Profitable BusinessUpgrade PickAquaponic Design Plans and Everything You Need to Know: From Backyard to Profitable Business