Plants that grow well in Aquaponics

You can grow anything in Aquaponics that you can grow in soil! Basically the list is too long to write and is dependent on your geographical location. I know of Aquaponics growers who have even grown papaya and banana trees. You are only limited by your imagination, space area, and your seed library.

The major groups that will not grow well in an Aquaponic system are some root vegetables, plants which prefer acidic soil(below 7.0),  and plants which prefer basic soil (above 7.0). Most Aquaponics growers can attest that the plants grow and produce faster in the system than in a traditional garden.

A trial conducted by Dr Nick Savidov in Canada, found that Aquaponic growth rates can exceed hydroponic plant growth by up to four times with some vegetables and herbs.

Herbs and green leafy vegetables are the most common plants  grown easily in an Aquaponics system.

Basic plant requirements to grow

Always remember that growing plants involves several factors to consider. Here is a brief description of some of the environmental parameters that influence plant growth:


Different plants have different water needs but this is not an issue with Aquaponics system. Water continuously flows to the grow bed with a siphon-based system. The results is a plant that “grows up rapidly” in a consistent water environment that never dries out. Since, it is a recirculating system, the only water that is consumed is either that used directly by the plants or that lost through evaporation. Aquaponics gardening typically uses less than a tenth of the water of soil gardening.

Nutrients-as Food

All plants require 16 micro- and macro-nutrients to fuel their metabolic functions either you are using Aquaponics method or traditional farming.It’s no difference! The first three elements are: Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Carbon. Since plants get carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from the air and water, there is little farmers and gardeners can do to control  how much of these nutrients a plant can use.

The remaining 13 elements are divided between macro-nutrients and macro-nutrients.

Micro-nutrients are those elements essential for plant growth which are needed in only very small (micro) quantities . The micro-nutrients are boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), chloride (Cl), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn).

Macro-nutrients are those elements that are needed in relatively large amounts. The macro-nutrients are nitrogen(N), potassium(K), sulfur(S), calcium(Ca), magnesium(Mg) and phosphorus(P).


Sunlight is one of the most important factors for survival of all kinds of human beings. It is especially important for plants. This is because plants make their own food. And this process is not complete without the aid of proper sunlight.


Air is vital for a plants roots and for the growth of microscopic soil organisms which are beneficial to plant life. Most soils normally have enough air naturally which is sufficient for roots to function properly and provide for healthy plant growth. Compacted soil (soil that has been walked on, this happens a lot in most gardens) holds less air. This can create water-logging around roots causing poor plant growth or even worse a complete collapse of the plant.


Temperature (warmth) plays a vital role in what plants need to survive and flourish. The amount of warmth required depends on the type of plant and where it originates from. For a gardening plant to flourish you need to provide the correct temperature they need. This may mean keeping the plant in a greenhouse or conservatory all year round or just in the cold periods of the year. It all depends on the plants origins.

So, it is important to position your plants in the right place. Don’t forget, some like it hot and sunny. Other’s prefer it cool and shady. And there are those that like it on the wet side and those that like it on the dry side.

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  • sumina

    we have set up an aquaponics system indoor ,but the plants aren’t growing well. sunlight reaching
    them is only diffused light. what might be the reason for this retarded growth of the plants. pls respond to my question.