A basic aquaponics system could be as simple as an aquarium on a sunny windowsill with some goldfish, with water pumped into some gravel filled pots above it, draining through the gravel back into the aquarium. Or a piece of styrofoam with holes poked through and sprigs of mint in it floating in the fish tank. Of course you don’t eat your little orange friends.
Our system is a hydroponics system above, with a 10 gallon fish tank of tropical fish below. I can’t tell you how excited I am (or the cats are) to have fish in our home. I haven’t had a fish tank since I was a child.
Once you have tried something simple you can progress up to a system with multiple grow beds and high stocking densities of fish. Larger systems may use ornamental fish like goldfish or koi or for more food output include edible fish. Types of edible fish in aquaponics vary on location and climate but most commonly trout or bluegill are used. Warmer areas may allow for Tilapia. The types of plants you can grow in an aquaponics system vary, but most herbs and vegetables will do quite well. Leafy greens, like lettuces, do especially well in an aquaponics system.
Aquaponics systems are easily built with scrap plastic drums for very little money, but can be purchased in pre-packaged kits generally for a few hundred dollars. Regardless of budget or location, aquaponics allows anyone to grow vegetables and fish.