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Aquaponics: Grow Herbs in your Kitchen with Fish Poop

Aquafarms now available in our store!

Well that’s a sentence I never really thought I would have the pleasure of writing, but with aquaponics you can really grow amazing herbs and lettuce in your kitchen using fish poop. Anyone who has ever had fish knows just how much those suckers poop. On a scale of one to ten, cleaning out the fishbowl is a solid -1 and second only to cleaning up after a great Dane who got into your Indian food. Now you can clean your fish tank and grow plants by doing diddly squat.

Aquaponics 101

Aquaponics is like hydroponics with poop. With hydroponics, plants are planted in small stones or pebbles and a cocktail of nutrients feeds and water them. Aquaponic systems also house plants in small pebbles or stone, but instead of a cocktail of nutrients, the water from your fish tank is pumped through the growing medium. Now your plants are cleaning the water while your fish are feeding your garden.

Once you set up the system, it takes almost no maintenance and results have been extraordinary with yields exceeding those from hydroponics. The thing I like most about this system is that it’s so genuinely organic. I mean what could be more organic than fish poop?

Convenience in the kitchen

Since aquaponics is a relatively new concept, proponents of these systems have had to construct their own by modifying fish tanks and hydroponic growing trays for their green homes. Now a couple of innovative entrepreneurs from Back to the Roots are making ready-to-use systems that you can just pop onto the kitchen counter.

Aquaponics requires very little maintenance and you can just set it and forget it. You get the serenity of watching your fish swim around in clean water while your plants grow. It also makes an excellent conversation piece and is known to attract unicorns.


Check out the Aquafarm from Back to the Roots. From their website: “Grow fresh produce right in the comfort of your own home – beans, basil, thyme, baby greens, oregano, mint, parsley, spinach and so many other delicious foods! This closed-loop eco-system uses the fish waste to naturally fertilize the plants above. In turn, the plants clean the water for your pet fish. Includes natural aquatic supplies from Home Grown Ponics and organic seeds from Seeds of Change.”


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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13 thoughts on “Aquaponics: Grow Herbs in your Kitchen with Fish Poop

    1. Nikki Fotheringham Post author

      Thanks Zev, we do not sell these systems – but we do love aquaponics! Good luck with the conference and viva la aquaponics!

  1. Brandy Alexander

    HI! This is amazing and I would love to have one. Where can I buy one of these in Canada?

    1. Kyle

      Back to the Roots also sells the AquaFarm through Nordstrom, and Nordstrom ships to Canada for free!

  2. Nikki Fotheringham Post author

    We’ll be selling these puppies from Friday in our new store!!! We are so very excited to bring you this amazing product.

  3. Daniel

    Hi there,

    Will you be getting more aqua farms in before Xmas?

    If not where can I purchase one within Canada… preferably in Toronto

    Thank you

    1. Nikki Fotheringham Post author

      HI Daniel, Unfortunately we have sold out. They have sent us some more, but its unlikely they will be here before Christmas. Needless to day, we will have some shortly after the festive season. Aquafarm doesn’t ship to Canada, so I’m afraid there is no other place I know of. I’m really sorry we sold out! We have been blown away by the amazing response that they got this year and will be better prepared in the future.

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  5. Francois Kemp

    I am sorry, but Betta Spledens is supremely unsuitable for this setup. Fistly, bettas require a temperature of at least 23 degrees C. I don’t see a heater, unless you live in a tropical country or have taken it out for the picture. In cold temperatures, betta’s immune systems do not function properly, making them susceptible to disease. The fish also becomes extremely stressed. Water changes would likely be necessary as well, to prevent the ph from plummeting. How large is this setup? Bettas need at least 5 gallons of water.

    This is a great idea, but use of bettas in this setup is completely unsuitable.

  6. Pingback: Don't throw out your kitchen scraps. Here are 6 tips for replanting your scraps to grow a new crop - DIY

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