Plants & Vegetables For Your Aquaponics System

The recommended method for aquaponic gardening is the gravel or clay pellets for the grow media and the ebb and flow method for watering.  This is helpful for growing more of a variety of plants.  Your seeds can be grown directly in the grow bed itself.  However, it’s recommended that you plant your seeds in a separate seedling pots and then transfer them to your grow bed once they have sprouted roots.   Planting the seedlings in separate growing pots and transplanting them to your grow beds later will also make your plants stronger and they will have healthier roots.

After about three weeks, your plants will be ready to transplant.  You will just gently remove the seedlings from their existing pot.  Then you will carefully rinse the roots.  Now your seedlings are ready to be planted into your aquaponic grow beds.

At this point, your plants may begin to grow extremely fast, as long as your system is chemically balanced and even faster once you have some more mature beds in place.


Growing in the winter months will take some forethought.  The growth rate of your plants will slow down during the winter months.   You may want to consider only using plants and fish that can handle the cold during the winter months of the year. 

Plant Basics

Your aquaponic plants will always grow much faster than those planted in the ground.  Because they constantly have water and nutrients.  Unlike a normal garden whose roots have to endure the heat from the sun and the lack of water from time to time.  Aquaponics plants are watered continually and are fed by the fish excrement  so they always have nutrients.    Therefore, an aquaponics system, if set up correctly, will produce about 20 times more food than any traditional garden and with a lot less labor and upkeep as well. 

Plants in an aquaponics garden can also experience mineral deficiencies just like a traditional garden.   Try not to mess with your aquaponics garden unless it is absolutely necessary because if you’re not careful you will shock and stress your fish.  Which is what happens when you are constantly changing the chemistry of the water. 

If you do experience some mineral deficiencies, try using some seaweed extracts as a way to add nutrients that are lacking in your system.  Seaweed extracts usually don’t contain additives that could harm your fish.  And always use a high quality feed that contains plenty of minerals so that it will benefit your fish, as well as, your plants. 

Plants That Do Well In An Aquaponics System

Different plant will respond differently depending on what type of system they are grown in.  Leafy greens such as lettuce and herbs prefer a floating style bed.  Root vegetables a wicking style bed is better.  For things like tomatoes, peppers, beans or any other type of high yield plants, you should stick with a media bed – which is the preferred method for most aquaponic growers.

Here is a list of plants and vegetables that do well in an aquaponics system.
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Okra
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Ginger
  • Shallots
  • Parsnips
Carrots and potatoes don’t generally do well in an aquaponics system.  However, you can use wicking beds along with the water from the system.  The wicking beds are not actually attached to the system, you just add the nutrient rich water to your wicking beds.

Just remember to consider the type of bed that is most appropriate for each type of plant.  Do some experimenting to see what works best for you.  Most root vegetables do best in a grow bed that is at least twelve inches deep.

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