Build it or buy it? That was an easy question to answer a few short years ago. At that time the only cost effective way to grow aquaponically was the build it yourself or DIY method.

The goal of an aquaponic system is to efficiently and cost effectively grow food. The efficiency of an aquaponics system starts with the cost of the equipment. There are pros and cons for bothDIY and manufactured systems.

This guide is designed to help you choose what the best fit foryour situation is.

Scavenge/Flea Market method

This is the most creative way to build an aquaponics system. Often these systems run into impossible challenges/problems to fix.

  • Aboveground swimming pool
  • Hot tub water pump
  • Old livestock water tank or some plastic 55 gallon drums
  • Fish
  • Plants
  • 17 trips to the local hard ware store to get the fittings and plumbing connections to get the water flowing

I have seen some unique set ups that actually work. Over the years I have seen this method land far more failures than successes. This seems like a solid plan.

So why all the problems?

Swimming pool liners are commonly impregnated with anti-bacterial agents in order to stifle algae growth. This is great for a swimming pool that you are going to swim in but not for an aquaponics system where we want to grow bacteria.

Additionally, if you were able to get past allowing the bacteria to grow, you are then eating whatever chemicals the pool liner is leaching into the water.

They are not efficient or sustainable.

For the DIYer there is a much better way than the scavenge method to approach DIYaquaponics. Buy plans and instructions.

There are dozens of companies that offer these online. BEWARE: Most are incomplete, confusing, unproven, unsupported, and potentially a bigger drain on time and money that yield unsuccessful results even compared to the scavenge method.

Conversely, there are a few experienced companies that sell plans, blueprints, material lists, complete instructions and provide support. These sources aren’t cheap, but will save you far more than the cost of material in time and mistakes.

Systems provided by Perpetual Food Company

Premade/ manufactured system will require few or no tools, significantly less skill and time to assemble. Time and function are the value here. Manufactured aquaponics systems will save you time because they will only need to be assembled. They do not require the time commitment to source the individual components.

When purchasing a manufactured system, you will typically receive all needed components in the kit, ready to assemble and operate.

Our systems,  can be assembled in hours not days nor weeks. These SRS systems are efficient, productive and extremely economcal to purchase and to operate.