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The 9 Best Aquaponic Fish Tank Kits

Aquaponic aquariums offer a great opportunity to teach your kids the fundamentals of hydroponics, i.e., growing plants in water and raising fish or keeping fish as pets.

The concept is both simple and amazing, and you'll find plenty of products available to provide this learning tool.

The BestForPets (bestforpets.org) includes detailed reviews of the best aquaponic fish tank kits on the market.

We'll walk you through the features and specifications you should look for when purchasing a kit.

We also discuss how to set up your aquarium and what you can put in it, as well as what plants you can grow with your kit.

An aquaponic aquarium set is not only fun to learn about, but it can also be used to grow food. 

Instruction Manual

Aquaponics is not a new concept; in fact, it has been used for centuries. Vegetation that is able to float, such as rice paddies, is a great example. The human race has managed to figure out how everything in the natural world functions by taking cues from it.

The waste products of fish and other aquatic animals are broken down by bacteria in the water into nitrites and nitrates. The nutrients are good for the plants, and the cleaner water is good for the fish.

Essentially, everyone benefits from the arrangement. With a commercial kit, you can set up a comparable system at home.

You should think about things like:

  • Size
  • Design
  • Material
  • Type
  • Components
  • Usability

We go through each one in depth, and offer suggestions for making the most of your money.


The amount of space available will determine the kinds of fish and vegetation that may be introduced. Think about the location you’d like the tank to go and how much room you have for it.

It must be strong enough to withstand the pressure of water and other environmental factors. Even without gravel or plant substrate, a gallon of water will add at least 8 pounds to the weight of a tank.

Locations with quick access to water are preferable for routine maintenance. To add to that, your plants will require several hours of sunshine or a UV lamp each day.

Some of these kits may require access to an electrical socket for the heater or filter to function. Starter kits range in size from 0.5 to 3 gallons, making them convenient for most hobbyists.


There are several tank shapes available, the most common being square and round. There are additional wall-mounted and tabletop variations.

Some aquaponics kits include both the fish and plant components, while others require the addition of a fish tank. The top size is a limiting factor for most plant spaces. This is important to remember while selecting plants.

Tanks with rounded edges may be more convenient to maintain than their square counterparts. The smooth curves add to their aesthetic appeal.


The majority of the goods we reviewed are plastic. There’s a great balance between strength and portability. These items can be made using this material at a lower cost.

However, after filling the tank, the weight of glassware becomes prohibitive. The most important factor is that the structure will not leak under the strain of the water.


There are a number of varieties, each with its own unique approach to provide nutrients for plants. In a vertical system, water is poured in at the top, filters through the medium, and collects in a tank below.

This is one of the primary benefits of a vertical configuration: the minimization of horizontal space requirements. A second common kind is the media tank. When used to the commercial end, the material filters and transforms trash.

The submerged society looks like the plant rafts you’d find in a pond or lake. Their dangling roots help the aquarium feel more organic.

Setups for the nutrient film approach typically involve piping PVC tubing that filters the water before it is reintroduced to the tank. The kind must be able to keep up with the waste produced by the fish, which is of paramount importance.


There is a wide variety of kits available, each with its own unique set of parts. The contents of a kit are not always proportional to its size. Many offerings come with at least the substrate necessary to line the bottom of the aquarium.

Some may have supplemental need like a pump, growing medium, or lighting. Curiously, not many come with a heater installed. Given that a smaller volume of water is more susceptible to temperature fluctuations than a bigger tank, this seems like an obvious omission.

The absence of frills is not always a deal-breaker in our eyes. After all, you get to decide what goes in the tank, and that’s a major selling feature in our book. Everything that arrives with your package, we advise you to double check for quality.

The package may also contain filters for several models. You should also include frequent cleaning of them as part of your routine upkeep. If there’s enough room, you should put in a couple fake plants, at least.

Cover is important to many fish species, thus they tend to favor habitats with much of it.


The tank’s usability spans several dimensions, such as its durability and its ease of upkeep. Aquaponic fish tanks can be purchased as kits that simply comprise the top, which would be attached to an already existing tank.

So long as aquarium maintenance is simple, they represent a workable option. There are many of things now that are about the size of a fishbowl or smaller.

Aquaponic fish kits

When stocking an aquaponic tank, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. It starts with the dimensions. One inch of fish will fit inside a gallon if you don’t count the tail.

The water quality is restored to its ideal state as a result. Second, since the plants overhead may block some of the light, these settings are best suited to fish that can thrive in dim environments.

The issue of temperature remains, finally. The water in the tank will remain at the same temperature as the room it is kept in if no heater is used. Not all fish are equally adaptable to temperature fluctuations or lower temperatures. They should be able to cope with crowded situations as well.

Aquaponic fishes to think about adding to your aquarium are:

  • Goldfish
  • Koi
  • Bettas
  • Guppies
  • Mollies

Add no more than a few Goldfish or Koi. Of course, one Betta is the maximum per aquarium. Being live-bearing fish, Guppies and Mollies provide more possibilities for education.

They flourish in intimate gatherings. Catfish, Tilapia, or Bluegills are a few more options if you wish to farm fish for human consumption. However, due of their higher proportions, a more substantial tank would be required if you go this approach.

Aquaponics plant life

The amount and variety of plants you receive are directly proportional to the number and variety of fish you keep. After all, they are the ones supplying the food, therefore harmony is essential.

If you want to make sure your aquaponic tank is as risk-free as possible, you should only keep species in it that have very simple dietary requirements.

Herbs like these are available as plants to choose from:

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Watercress

Vegetable greens, such as spinach, microgreens, and lettuce, are another viable option. Tomatoes and cucumbers, for example, may be grown in more intricate and expansive settings.

At that point, space constraints become a concern, of course. Growing these plants can be made easier with the use of expansion kits for already-existing tanks.


Filter-containing maintenance kits are a blessing. The amount of fish you obtain, the types of fish you get, and how much you feed them all have a role.

The water in your aquarium will still need to be changed sometimes. Do not forget that the plants and filter merely purify the water. The tank’s internals still need to be cleaned.

We recommend that you perform regular pH tests on your aquarium. Toxic waste accumulation causes water acidity, which kills fish. It’s also important to wait a few days before adding fish after filling the tank.

Once the water in the bag has reached the same temperature as the water in your aquarium, you may carefully introduce the fish to the tank.


Many users have praised the Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank for including everything needed to get started. You can start using it right away with the seeds and fish voucher included. Size-wise, it’s not too big or too small to be useful.

With a compact design and capacity for one fish and one or two plants, the Penn-Plax Aquaponic Aquarium meets its requirements.

The cost is reasonable for someone who is just getting into the pastime. Although it is simple to keep clean, it must be maintained regularly.

Still, it’s a great way for BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to introduce your child to pet ownership and the responsibilities that come with it, picking out the best aquaponic fish tank kits for him.


Best Fish Tank: A Return to the Roots Water Garden

All you need to do to set up the Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank is add water and fish. At 3 gallons, the tank is on the small side yet enough.

There’s room for a couple fish in there. With the included discount code, you can also choose to obtain a Betta fish. Though it lacks a heating element, it does come with a filter that the maker promotes as a quiet addition.

As a whole, the tank and its accessories are rather appealing. Conceiving of this is easy. The dimensions of 8.3 inches in length, 12.1 inches in width, and 12.3 inches in height are just appropriate.

It’s roomy enough for a respectable quantity of groceries without being too cumbersome to keep on a work surface. The fact that it was manufactured in the United States was also a selling point. It’s expensive, but the extras help make up for it.


  • Automatic cleaning for hassle-free upkeep
  • S.A.-made
  • All pieces in place
  • Fish voucher for a free Betta


  • Pricey
  • There is currently no heat in the building.


The Aquaponic Fish Tank by Penn-Plax Is the Best Option

One of the greatest aquaponic fish tank kits you can buy is the Penn-Plax Aquaponic Fish Tank. This dish is only 8 inches in length, 8 inches in width, and 10 inches in height.

Get your (figurative) feet wet without spending a ton of cash on a more complex option; the pricing is perfect here. This means you can only have a single goldfish or betta, as well as maybe two plants.

Aside from the tank and gravel, this kit does not include anything else. At only 0.5 gallons, it’s on the little side. Even while it’s simple to clean, maintaining a healthy habitat for your fish requires regular water changes—especially if you have Goldfish. But if you want to give your kid a pet for the first time, it’s money well spent.


  • Easy to disinfect
  • Contains gravel
  • Competitively priced


  • Small
  • Simple framework


Indoor Aquaponics Tank with ECO-Cycle Filter – The Best Option

Even if you already have a 20-gallon tank, the ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Indoor Tank is a complex arrangement you can utilize with it.

If you’re a dedicated enthusiast who wants to take your interest in aquaponics to the next level, the price and features are worth the investment.

We’ll just come out and say it: this is a high-quality product that costs a lot. Nonetheless, it’s a high-quality replica.

With this set up, tinkering with the environmental factors that affect plant growth is a breeze. It contains a timer and four different “grow” settings to regulate the amount of light your plants receive.

Your tank, which is 24″ L x 12″ W x 20″ H, is where you’ll put the top, and it weights 17 lbs. It’s simple to set up and offers plenty of space for a horticultural ensemble.


  • Timer
  • There are four cultivating environments
  • Makes use of the preexisting infrastructure


  • Expensive
  • Greater imprint


An Aquaponic Garden by Huamuyu

Another compact system ideal for newcomers is the Huamuyu Hydroponic Garden Aquaponic Fish Tank. The dimensions are 7.7″ L x 2.2″ W x 11″ H, and it has a capacity of 3 gallons.

The system works with a seed-sponge tray placed on top of the tank. These are great for supporting tiny plants like shoots and microgreens.

The water purification system provided by the package is adequate, consisting of a tiny filter. Still, preventative care is crucial. We recommend purchasing gravel separately.

It’s priced rather reasonably for a newbie. It’s a lovely arrangement that would look fantastic in just about any setting.


  • Both ornamental and practical
  • Easy to disinfect
  • In a flash, you can set up


  • Perfect for growing microgreens and other tiny plants


Hydroponic Garden with AquaSprouts

The AquaSprouts Garden Tank may be used in conjunction with a preexisting aquarium, such as a 10-gallon tank. This expensive addition will make your tank appear more like a piece of furniture.

A detachable lightbar is included in the kit for use in suspending a UV light above your plant collection. With its sophisticated matte black finish, this item exudes sophistication.

We also like that it has a built-in pump and timer. Simple to operate items are always a hit with us. The necessary grow medium for an immediate start-up is also included.

However, the garden tank is expensive and cumbersome. It has dimensions of 28″ x 8″ x 17″ and a weight of 24 lbs. The pump makes more noise than we’d like, but it does its job just well.


  • Beautifully crafted
  • Equipped with a timer and a pump
  • Speedy construction time


  • Pricey
  • Abusive pump


Aquaponics Fish Tank by VIVOSUN

For effective cleaning, the VIVOSUN Aquaponic Fish Tank has a sponge media and a built-in pump. In contrast to the other products we looked at, this one has a thermostat so you can regulate the temperature.

Both appear to be of poor quality, which will require more upkeep than we’d want.

When it comes to hydroponics, you can’t beat it. Plants appeared to thrive on the provided medium and watering regime. The tank is 14.2″ in length, 9.1″ in width, and 8.5″ in height, and it weighs little over 7 pounds.

This compact size means it won’t take up too much room on your desk. The siphon cap, on the other hand, must be kept in place at all times to avoid clogging.


  • Minimal impact
  • Fantastic for vegetation


  • Under-supply of gravel
  • Stuffs up a lot
  • Occasionally there are overflows.

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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