Building an Indoor Aquaponics System

11 Steps to building an indoor aquaponics system

The aquaponics system is an innovative technique to recirculate the aquatic environment by adopting the metrics of the nitrification cycle. The infrastructure of the aquaponics system is quite spectacular and mesmerizing, which compels people to design an indoor one. And I am here to teach you how to construct a simple yet amazing indoor aquaponics system. 

Photo by Frank Green at Unsplash

Items required to build your aquaponics system

  • Aquarium heater: some tropical fish require a tank temperature of 78 degrees F. 
  • 4 Watt water pump: to pump water from the tank to growing bed.
  • A glass or plastic tank for the fish: you may choose the size according to your requirements
  • 2.5 lbs gravel for every 5 gallons of water: gravel converts ammonia into nitrate which is used by plants as a nutrient.
  • 3 ft. of tubing for the outlet of water: to circle the water within the growing bed
  • Air stones: it stops the streams of bubbles converting into microbubbles
  • 3″-8″ deep grow bed: it provides support to the growing medium for growing plants
  • pH testing kit: to measure the pH level of soil and water 
  • Plants and fish of your choice: fish will provide nutrients to the plants
  • Light for the fish tank: to monitor the health and movements of the fishes
  • Growing medium: it can be clay pebbles, peat moss, or pea gravel for maintaining the moisture and holding the plant roots

Tools required

  • Scissors
  • 3/16″ bit drill
  • Electrical tape 

Steps to assemble your indoor aquaponics system

Step1: 

Clean the fish tank. Thoroughly wash the gravel and pebbles. Place them in alignment with the tank.

Step2:

Drill 1/8″ holes in the grow bed after every 2 square inches to let the water flow in the tank. Also, drill 1/2″ hole in the corner of the bed for the tubing and water pumping.

Step3:

Set the grow bed in the tank and place the water pumps accordingly. Install the tubings in the holes and leave ¾ of tubings for looping inside the grow bed. Seal the holes tightly with electrical tape.

Step4:

Fill the grow bed with growing mediums of your choice, size, and quantity. 

Step5:

Cover the tubing inside the grow bed with two inches of growing mediums. 

Step6: 

Fill the tank with water. Connect the pump and make sure water is accurately being filled inside the grow bed. Make sure the water is clean and hygienic. 

Step7:

Settle the air stone in the tank and connect it with the air pump. You will notice a constant stream of bubbles will start rising from the stones to provide fresh air.

Step8:

Check the pH of the water tank. You may check it by litmus paper, pH kit, or meter. The preferable pH for the aquaponic system is 7.0. If you find the pH lower than 7.2, you will have to use “pH down” products while for pH less than 6.8, buy “pH up” products.

Step9:

Dissipate few drops of chlorine in the water and let it rest for 24 hours. It will eliminate harmful bacteria and purify the water. 

Step10:

Drop fishes in the tank. Initially, try to keep the stock low, for example, 1/2″ of fish per gallon. You may later increase the quantity once the system starts working smoothly.

Step11:

Connect the plant pot to the tank through pumps. You may choose the size of the container and type of the soil of your own. Make sure the soil is fertile and full of nitrate and phosphorus. It is recommended to wait for one month to plant seeds, but you can do it earlier as well. 

Once the system is ready, you may start feeding the fish twice a day. Keep the quantity of food lower. Don’t feed the fish for more than 5 minutes in a row. Fuel your tank with water after every two weeks as the water gets evaporated. Take care of the temperature of the tank in winter days. 

I hope, this piece of information will be useful for the ones pondering to install an indoor aquaponic system. It’s always an eco-friendly idea to invest in the environment.  


  1. Clean the fish tank. Thoroughly wash the gravel and pebbles. Place them in alignment with the tank.


  2. Drill 1/8″ holes in the grow bed after every 2 square inches to let the water flow in the tank. Also, drill 1/2″ hole in the corner of the bed for the tubing and water pumping.


  3. Set the grow bed in the tank and place the water pumps accordingly. Install the tubings in the holes and leave ¾ of tubings for looping inside the grow bed. Seal the holes tightly with electrical tape.


  4. Fill the grow bed with growing mediums of your choice, size, and quantity. 


  5. Cover the tubing inside the grow bed with two inches of growing mediums. 


  6. Fill the tank with water. Connect the pump and make sure water is accurately being filled inside the grow bed. Make sure the water is clean and hygienic. 


  7. Settle the air stone in the tank and connect it with the air pump. You will notice a constant stream of bubbles will start rising from the stones to provide fresh air.


  8. Check the pH of the water tank. You may check it by litmus paper, pH kit, or meter. The preferable pH for the aquaponic system is 7.0. If you find the pH lower than 7.2, you will have to use “pH down” products while for pH less than 6.8, buy “pH up” products.


  9. Dissipate few drops of chlorine in the water and let it rest for 24 hours. It will eliminate harmful bacteria and purify the water. 


  10. Drop fishes in the tank. Initially, try to keep the stock low, for example, 1/2″ of fish per gallon. You may later increase the quantity once the system starts working smoothly.


  11. Connect the plant pot to the tank through pumps. You may choose the size of the container and type of the soil of your own. Make sure the soil is fertile and full of nitrate and phosphorus. It is recommended to wait for one month to plant seeds, but you can do it earlier as well. 

Leave A Comment...

*