There’s no doubt about it:

Aquaponics can be a fun, educational and low-maintenance way to keep fish.

DIY methods can work and (sometimes) save cost, but they can be far more time/labor intensive…

… And they usually don’t look as good.

So for those of us who want a beautiful, easy done-for-you solution – finding a pre-made kit can make the process much faster and more enjoyable.

And there are some really nice gems on the market right now.

Let’s have a look!

Our Picks of the 7 Best Aquaponic Aquarium Kits

OUR TOP PICK

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Turn your 10 gallon aquarium into a vibrant water garden for fish and plants with this aquaponic aquarium kit! Grow flowers, herbs or garden vegetables in a modern, nearly maintenance-free setup. Perfect as a teaching tool for children or just a fun project for yourself! Includes garden bed, grow media, pump & timer and light bar.

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A simple, affordable solution to utilize the purifying power of aerial plants for a cleaner aquarium. The PennPlax aquaponic planter continually waters plants while helping to remove harmful byproducts of fish waste from the water. The easy to clean, space-saving design is perfect for use with a variety of plants. Removable planter contains ceramic planting media to support the growth of the plant, while the roots grow into the water to absorb nutrients. Available in .5 and 1.5 gallon sizes.

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This mini aquaponics system has a crisp, clean design and is ideal for growing organic microgreens, houseplants or herbs wherever you want. Easy to set up and beginner-friendly, this tank is a low-maintenance option that typically reduces water changes from weekly to monthly (dependent on the number and species of fish kept). Includes organic microgreen seeds, media, grow bed, fish tank, dechlorinator/beneficial bacteria, pump, gravel, fish food and even a coupon for a fish at Petco. Holds 3 gallons of water.

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If you are looking for a small aquaponics setup with a compact and contemporary design, the EcoQube C may be the perfect fit. The 6mm LED color changing light is wirelessly remote controlled and lights both the plants and the aquarium, (which holds just under 2 gallons of water.)  Comes with a flame-polished acrylic tank, integrated aquaponic filter, plant medium, basil seeds and glass lid.  Easy to setup and maintain, you can start plants from clones or seeds with this self-sustaining fish tank.

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When it comes to a space-saving design, the wall mounted Sweetsea hanging fish bowl can’t be beat! This unusual fish bowl is a great conversation starter and an easy solution for hanging plants which help keep the water clean for the fish. Made out of sturdy acrylic, this tank is safe from pets and small children. Includes hanging hook with nails. Comes in 0.5 and 1 gallon sizes.

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Grow delicious fresh produce all year with the powerful Ecolife ECO-Cycle indoor gardening system. This all-inclusive kit comes with programmable LED lights with a built-in timer. Just place on to a standard 20 gallon aquarium, add fish, decorations and water to start growing plants. Simple instructions and easy setup for a tank that requires no water changes.

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A similar design to the Back to the Roots kit, the attractive Joyfay aquaponic fish tank has a different shape that holds slightly more water and includes a white aquarium pump with clear tubing for a less intrusive look and feel.  Includes the tank, grow bed, pump and plant growing media. The tank holds 3.2 gallons. Directions (in English) are not included but setup is pretty self explanatory.

Homemade Aquaponic Setups Vs. Store Bought Systems

It’s true:

DIY aquaponics can be fun, if you have the time (and patience) for planning out a system, piecing together the setup from different suppliers and assembling things yourself.

(If you’re up for that, you might want to check out this guide on how to make a DIY aquaponic fish tank filter.)

But in some cases the cost to do this can end up being the same as buying something pre-made – especially if things don’t go as planned and you have to redo things (which can involve ordering replacement parts if something gets messed up or wasn’t as expected).

And of course, there’s the hours of extra time involved.

Having a pre-made system can take that burden off your back by someone who has already engineered and manufactured a working setup.

So while the cost might seem more initially, it can be well worth it if you want to have a working aquaponic fish tank that you can quickly and easily set up and maintain.

To be fair, some ideas (there are really endless options when it comes to aquaponics) don’t exist in a manufactured form, so in that case doing things yourself  might be the best option.

And if you’re good with tools and have a good idea of what you want, it might be just the task for you.

After trying it myself, I feel like all the time to plan things out and piece together parts from different sources takes much longer and requires much more time (and they say time is money) that I feel like a pre-made solution would have been ideal.

It’s all about what works best for your needs and it really comes down to what you want.

The choices above are all relatively small-scale, and are not intended for mass production of crops (commercial aquaponic systems can be quite extensive).

So they are perfect for the hobbyist who wants to reduce maintenance on their fish tank while growing some nice garden herbs at home, or perhaps as a learning tool for children.

Making Modifications

Many of these aquaponic aquariums are rather miniature and the filtration of one kind of plant isn’t always very effective.

But good news:

There are things you can do to improve your setup and make it less work.

  • For starters, adding a little sponge filter can greatly help to keep ammonia under control, while providing additional aeration (some of these aquaponic tanks have limited oxygen exchange due to the position of the bed directly above the aquarium).  Another option is to add lots of live aquatic plants.
  • People sometimes struggle with algae and hesitate to put their tank near the sunlight, but sunlight might be important for growing plants if you have no other light source.  In that case, adding some nerite snails will help keep things sparkling.
  • Adding a piece of sponge over the pump’s intake (if you have a pump on your kit) can act as a prefilter and prevent lots of solid waste from getting stuck in the grow bed and causing water quality issues.

Final Thoughts

It can be tricky deciding which aquaponic setup is best for you, but hopefully this guide helped narrow things down.

Now I want to hand it over to you.

What’s your favorite aquaponic fish tank kit?

Do you have any tips to share?

Drop me a line below.