When getting started in aquaponics, it's hard to know where to begin. It's a more complicated way of growing than soil gardening or even hydroponics, so it's natural to feel confused.
When I first started growing aquaponically, I turned to some of the best aquaponics books to show me the way.
Reading these books gave me all of the information I needed to get my first systems up and running. But books aren't the only resource. In this article I share a few of my favorite websites and forums as well. Because the field is changing so rapidly, it's good to have information sources that are updated more frequently than books are.
That's not to say books are bad - far from it. They're essential for getting a high-level overview of aquaponics.
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Step-by-step guide to growing veggies and fish
Aquaponic Food Production
Covers both the basics and the commercial angle
A deep dive into commercial greenhouses
The Bio-Integrated Farm
A permaculture book that integrates aquaponics
Aquaponics: The Essential Guide
Another step-by-step beginner's guide to aquaponics
How to Build Your Own Aquaponic System
Total beginner's guide with detailed instructions
Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together
This is one of the more recent books about aquaponics. Sylvia Bernstein is the founder of The Aquaponics Source, a website dedicated and devoted to the craft.
If you are looking for both an overview of how aquaponics works as well as a few examples of how to get started, this is a great one to pick up. You can usually find this one at your local library as well.
Rebecca L. Nelson
Rebecca is one of the original aquaponics pioneers, and this book is one of the first in the field. It's written in a more scientific tone, but it's still easy to understand for beginners.
It is more of an information and overview book as it is a bit light on the technical specs and "how to" builds that other books have. But it's always good to have a classic in the bookshelf.
If you are a horticultural student, a future commercial grower, or just insanely curious about greenhouses, then this book is for you.
It is far beyond what a beginner needs to know about aquaponics, but if you have a feeling you may want to get into this field in the future, pick this book up and see if it's a field that you really want to invest time in.
The Bio-Integrated Farm isn't just about aquaponics, it's about how aquaponics can fit into an entire permaculture system. It focuses on bio-integration, meaning as much interplay between different biological systems as possible.
This is a great book if you want to see how aquaponics can fit into the larger picture of sustainability and if you're already interested in permaculture.
This is a good book if you need a step by step guide on setting up your first aquaponics system. It goes into all of the smaller details, like the fish you need, beneficial bacteria, and gives some sample system builds.
Compared to the books mentioned so far, this one gets the furthest "into the weeds" which is good if you are a practical aquaponic enthusiast.
This is a good introduction to the field of aquaponics, but unlike its name implies it contains less "how to" information and more general information.
That's not to say it's a bad choice, just that it doesn't have as much practical, detailed aquaponic system builds as you might think based on the title.
Here are some of the best forums for aquaponics:
While forums are nice, it's also good to look at as many sources of information as possible, especially when you're dealing with a field as ever-changing as aquaponics. Here are some of the best aquaponics blogs online: