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 in aquaponics systems, 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.
1. Aquaponic Gardening
Author: Sylvia Bernstein
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.
2. Aquaponic Design Plans
Author: David H Dudley PE
This 630-page tome of essential aquaponics knowledge will give you everything you need to know to learn the fundamentals all the way to designing and building your very first aquaponics system.
It covers a variety of design approaches from NFT to Flood and Drain, and even delves into the different ways that you can make a living in the field of aquaponics. From selling fish to selling your produce, all the way to understanding the financials of the business. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to make a go of aquaponics as a side hustle or full-time career.
3. The Bio-Integrated Farm
Author: Shawn Jadrnicek
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.
4. The Essential Aquaponics Guide
Author: Andy Jacobson
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 aquaponics enthusiast.
5. How to Build Your Own Aquaponic System
Author: Celine Walker
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.
6. The Aquaponic Farmer
Author: Adrian Southern and Whelm King
This is a fantastic book if you’re living in North America or Europe, and want to make a go at starting your own aquaponic farm. Aquaponics has not been as well-researched here in North America as it has elsewhere, so the right fish to use, how to deal with the climate, etc. aren’t as well known…until now.
Packed with knowledge, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to build, run, and profitably operate an aquaponics greenhouse.
7. Aquaponics for Beginners
Author: Nick Brooke
This book is a fantastic primer on the absolute basics of aquaponic gardening. If you are looking for a book that will hold your hand through the entire process of learning what aquaponics is, the different systems you can build, as well as a full profile on fish types and stocking rates, this may be your best option.
8. Aquaponics: Beginner’s Guide to Building Your Own System
Author: Rachel Martin
Rachel Martin’s book lays out a concise history of how aquaponics developed as a field. The book then helps you figure out whether you should build your own system or buy a kit and whether to grow indoors or out.
Finally, she puts all of this newfound knowledge together in a simple DIY aquaponics system example.
Other Aquaponics Resources
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:
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