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My Experiences with Aquaponics

My Successes and Failures with Aquaponics

In this short post, I will go over things thing I failed at and succeeded at with my small aquaponic garden.

What I did wrong

  1. Not enough light
  2. Not enough rock
  3. Didn’t use hydroballs

Not enough light

My aquaponic garden was placed directly under a massive tree. This blocks almost all the direct sunlight through the entire day.

Do to this I can’t grow any fruit bearing plants, or anything that requires large amounts of light.

Not enough rock

Although the rocks have been ok, they could be better.

It didn’t help that I didn’t use enough rock, the water is above the surface of the rocks because I didn’t have enough to fill it all the way, this causes large amounts of algae to grow on that surface, although not a huge issue.

The lack of rocks also don’t allow the plants to grow roots properly.

Didn’t use hydroballs

Although I’ve never used them personally, they seem to work much better.

The rocks I used were heavy, easily damaging the roots if moved. Hydroballs are comparatively very light, which would fix the issue I have.

Another option is lava rock, they are also light.


  1. Growing mint or other herbs.
  2. Starting new plant roots.

Growing Herbs

With little success with the limited light growing large plants, I decided to grow mint and rosemary because I had plenty.

The mint took over rapidly, I get plenty of mint everyday now.

The rosemary started weak because I moved it at the start of winter but now that it’s spring the rosemary is quickly growing again.

Overall I feel as many herbs do best in my lowlight aquaponic setup.

Starting plants

My favorite thing to do with my aquaponic garden is to start new plants from cutting,

All I do is take cutting from other plants, I’ve had success with basil and tomatoes so far, I haven’t tried others but these start rooting rapidly and are ready to plant within two weeks.


If I could restart my aquaponic garden, the main thing I would do it put it in place with more light so I could plant plants like tomatoes.

I would also make the bed where the plants are in much deeper, right now it is only around 4inches deep.

I will continue to use this garden for my herbs and starting new plants, other than that I can’t do much more in the current placement.

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