Aquaponics VS. Hydroponics:

If you are new to aquaponics then you may be wondering whether it is worthwhile introducing the aquaculture element to your growing system or whether you would be better just sticking with hydroponics. While hydroponic systems will have their uses in some instances, the average food produces will see that there are plenty of benefits to choosing an aquaponic system instead. To inspire you to take the plunge, here are some of the benefits of an aquaponics over hydroponics:


Dual Yield:

 One of the main benefits of aquaponics when you compare it to a purely hydroponic system is that instead of getting only one yield – in the form of the plant crops that are grown – aquaponics systems deliver two yields simultaneously. An aquaponic system can deliver not only deliver high yields when it comes to plant crops but can also supply fish. This dual yield is a big advantage, allowing home growers and businesses to maximise yield in a given area. A well designed aquaponics system may even have additional yields, in the form of additional worms used to feed fish, for example, which can also be used in other ways on the property.


Resource Savings: 

Growing food always requires resources – time, money, space, as well as inputs required for the system to function. Both hydroponic and aquaponic systems require water, oxygen and light. Additionally, an aquaponic system will require feed for fish or other aquatic creatures – though much of this can be supplied by the system when it is a well-designed one. However, by maximising yield over a given area, aquaponic systems can save on the resource of space and, being a lower input system in general as it does not require the nutrients that must be added in hydroponic systems, aquaponics can save on our planets resources as well as our own personal financial reserves.

Check out this helpful Youtube video by The School of Aquaponics


Due to the reduced input required in an aquaponic system and the natural symbiosis within such systems, due to the lower land use, lower water use and the potential for the use of renewable systems and energy sources, aquaponics can be a truly sustainable food-growth option for our changing world. Unlike hydroponics, which can raise issues with chemical fertiliser run-off, aquaponics systems retain the nutrient solution and there are no problems with toxic water disposal. Aquaponics systems, unlike hydroponic systems, are entirely organic.

Of course hydroponic systems have many advantages, but aquaponics are an evolution of the idea and offer a more holistic and natural approach to growing food.

Best Desktop Home Aquaponic Water Garden

Interested in growing plants while watching your fish grow at the same time! We have compiled the best at home water garden in one place to make the comparison process fast and easy.

Water gardens opperate off of either Aquaponics or Hydroponics. One operates from the nutrition of fish with the other operates from nutrition added by the gardener. Both systems are easy to use and are great from growing leafy greens, herbs and more. They can be an excellent introduction into the principles of how larger system can operate.


Best Water Garden #1:

Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank


The Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank is currently the highest ranked desktop water garden that allows you to watch your fish grow at the same time the plants are growing right above them.


  • Self-cleaning 3-gallon fish tank that also grows organic sprouts and herbs!
  • Beautifully redesigned now with twice the growing space and optimized water circulation.
  • Includes everything you need: fish tank, gravel, organic seeds, Growstones, natural d-chlorinator, a coupon for a betta fish, and natural fish food.
  • Manufactured in the USA.
  • Includes a free interactive aquaponics curriculum!
  • CONS:


  • Requires cleaning
  • No light, must have sunny window sill to place on

Best Water Garden #2:

Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit

The Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit was founded off of Kickstarter with overwhelming popularity receiving over 830% of their asked funding. Since than they have delivered on their promise of an easy to use desktop garden. This kit uses Hydroponic grow methods, so you won’t have any fish to watch grow just the yummy plants.


  • INDOOR GARDEN ALL YEAR LONG: Love gardening but your space is limited? Get yourself this self-watering garden and grow your own veggies from now on. Ideal for indoor use, either on the kitchen counter, window or living room. Grow your favorite culinary herbs all year long without worrying about weather conditions!
  • HASSLE FREE INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE: Forget about messy pumps, expensive spare parts and adding nutrients all the time. This Click & Grow gardening system is extremely easy to use and maintain! Just drop the plant cartridges right into the container, refill the water reservoir, plug the device in, and you are good to go!
  • GROW ANY PLANTS YOU WANT: This smart indoor garden is lightweight and easily portable. Place it anywhere you want and grow your favorite plants and herbs. Perfect for basil, thyme, sage, parsley, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, rosemary, peppers, flowers. and even strawberries. Enjoy fresh fruit and herbs with no harmful substances or pesticides!
  • SMART SOIL TECHNOLOGY: The soil uses patented nano-tech growth medium that accelerates the plant growth without jeopardising quality. The smart soil gives your plants the right amount of water, oxygen, pH, and nutrients. The LED technology makes your garden energy efficient!
  • 100% REPLACEMENT WARRANTY: Since your satisfaction is our top priority, this portable garden is backed by our 100% replacement warranty and our 30-day money back guarantee! Makes a thoughtful gift to a dear family member who loves fresh herbs and gardening. The sleek and white frame will compliment any area around the house.


  • Need to purchase replacement plant cartridges when ready for a new type of plant.

Best Water Garden #3:

AquaSprouts Garden



The AquaSprouts Garden provides the greatest robustness and growing area of any system however it is not as streamline as the above water gardens. The AquaSprouts Garden requires the user to purchase an 10 gallon aquarium or use an existing one. However the durability we see in this system coupled with the light bar, pump and timer this sytem makes it into our top 3.


  • AquaSprouts Garden: The custom-molded, single-piece Garden bed snaps together easily with the supporting legs, and comes in a modern and black matte design.
  • Light Bar: Removable lighting mount allows you to hang a grow light of your choice above the Garden, and can even be further extended to accommodate taller plants. The light bar allows you to use your Garden anywhere, even when there may not be sufficient natural light. Compatible with any 2ft grow light.
  • Pump & Timer: The Garden kit includes a submersible 160 gallon per hour pump and a mechanical plug timer adjustable in 15-minute increments for controlling flood and drain cycles. Both include 1-year warranty.
  • Grow Media: Our special expanded clay growing medium is a durable, low-maintenance soil replacement which serves a multitude of functions in your aquaponic garden. It supports plant roots and wicks moisture to keep them from drying out, traps fish waste solids to filter them out of the water and allow them to be broken down, and provides ample surface area for the growth of beneficial microbes.(Grow media does not degrade)
  • Resources & Support: Each kit comes with a detailed and step-by-step guide to setting up and maintaining your Garden. Our support team is also dedicated to providing the best customer service possible to assist anyone who may have questions or need help.


  • Must purchase or use an existing 10 gallon aquarium.


We hope that this list of the top 3 water gardens have brought insights into best features to look for and a system that fits your needs. Happy Gardening!