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Growing Herbs Indoors: DIY- Small Aquaponics System

Are you interested in growing herbs indoors?  This small, DIY, tabletop Aquaponics system is quick and easy to set up and won’t cost much money at all.  Growing herbs indoors will be simple using this system.
RobertAquaponics1.jpgThis system was created by Robert, an Ebay seller who is very interested in
Aquaponics as a hobby but doesn’t have the time to devote to a larger system.  The system that he built was inexpensive, expandable and didn’t take a lot of time to put together. It will work perfectly for growing herbs indoors.

Here are the steps it took to to put this small Aquaponics system together:


Two clear plastic buckets (shoe box size or greater, your choice!)

3′ of 1″ plastic tubing (cut into approximately an 8″ section and a 2.25′ section)

The smallest rated pump you can find (probably 45-80 GPH)

Grow Medium (A review of popular grow mediums here)


1″ hole bit (it fits into a drill)

Knife to cut plastic tubing

To construct this small Aquaponics system that is perfect for growing herbs indoors, use a 1″ hole bit and drill a hole in the side of one of your buckets.  This bucket will be your grow bed. The hole should be about 5 inches above the bottom of the bucket, about an inch below your desired rock line.

The second plastic bucket will be your fish tank.  Place your pump in the bottom of the tank, attaching the longer section of 1″ tubing to the pump and snaking it into the grow bed.  Using the 8″ section of plastic tubing, slide it through the hole you drilled in the grow bed.  Make sure it will drain the water back into your fish tank.  Place your grow bed on top of the fish tank.  If you want to cut a few holes in the lid, you can place the lid on the fish tank and set the grow bed directly on top of it.  If you don’t want to drill holes, lay the box lid perpendicular to the fish tank and set the grow bed on top of it.  Pour your grow media into the grow bed, filling it to about 1 inch over your pre-drilled hole.

Fill your grow bed with water until the water level reaches the tubing and begins to drain into your fish tank.  Put water into your fish tank, enough to cover the top of the pump.  Turn your pump on and make sure the water level is high enough for it to function correctly and always be immersed in water.

After making sure your tank is cycled and ready for fish, you can add the fish of your choice.  Because this set up does not include a heater, the best fish for this tank would be beta or gold fish.  Make sure to not overload your tank with fish or the number of plants you have won’t be able to clean your water.

You can start growing your herbs indoors at any point in the ammonia cycling to get them started growing. Check out our page on plants that are self-pollinating and grow well indoors!

If you make this system or modify it, send me pictures and tell me about it!


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