Backyard aquaponics: DIY system to farm fish with vegetables 11

Rob Torcellini bought a $700 greenhouse kit to grow more vegetables in his backyard. Then he added fish to get rid of a mosquito problem and before long he was a committed aquaponic gardener. Now his 10 by 12 foot greenhouse is filled with not only vegetables, but fish. And the best part is: the poo from that fish is what fertilizes his garden. Aquaponics combines fish farming (aquaculture) with the practice of raising plants in water (hydroponics).


    • George — what would you like to know? I run Green Phoenix Farms (find us on Facebook) and we offer a number of training classes and consultation for people who want to start in Aquaponics. I am sure we can design a system that will meet your needs and your budget! Just drop us a line anytime.

  1. Could this be done with a turtle instead of fish? We have a large Red Eared Slider Turtle in a 55 gallon, but cleaning the filter is a pain!! She can really produce some waste!

  2. Hello Cheryl, I have 2 red ear sliders myself, and have 10+ years experience with fresh and salt water fish. I wanted to warn you that turtle waste contains salmonella bacteria, and thus is NOT good fertilizer for edible garden plants, especially greens and radishes, Your turtles waste/waste water, is however great fertilizer for ornamental shrubs and ornamental or fruiting trees. Handwashing with soap is necessary after handling the turtle or its waste water.

  3. Love this site! I spent hours exploring the videos you have posted. I was wondering if you put the fish in clear containers I know that algae will grow. Is that bad or good for the system? Thanks for the inspiration! I plan to start work on a similar system as soon as possible.

  4. I have to show my thanks to this wrtier just for rescuing me from such a difficulty. After browsing throughout the the web and coming across ideas that were not helpful, I figured my life was done. Living without the solutions to the issues you’ve solved through this site is a critical case, and the ones that might have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I had not noticed your web blog. Your own personal mastery and kindness in playing with all the details was very useful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a subject like this. It’s possible to at this point look ahead to my future. Thank you very much for the professional and sensible help. I won’t think twice to propose your site to anyone who needs to have tips about this topic.

  5. When I stepped into the showroom, I felt like I was in Provence. The scent of lavender and the sound of running water from the antique limestone fountain along with the incredible selection of French garden antiques were really impressive. If you are looking for very large garden ornaments, French planters, etc. this is the showroom to visit. A total of 15,000 square feet of the most incredible French garden antiques, French limestone fountains, fireplace mantels and the most selective collection of planters from France with immediate availability. Each piece feels real, the atmosphere is so calming and rural. A true and unique gem to be found in West Palm Beach! Their website is

  6. My only problem is that fish deserve to have adequate space to live their lives. Subjecting them to a small aquarium seems like cruel practice!

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