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11 Best House Plants for Your Aquaponics System

When it comes to choosing plants for your aquaponics systems, almost any species can survive in the ecosystem, which means there’s a seemingly endless list of choices. Some plants are easier to look after than others, and some may be better suited to certain techniques, nevertheless, there are at least a couple dozen go-to species are popular amongst growers.

With more popularity comes more readily available information, which in turn makes it easier to learn how to take care of your flora specimens, so it’s highly advisable to go with one of these options to ensure your chances of success as high as possible.

11 best aquaponics houseplants

Benefits of Aquaponics

There are many benefits of using aquaponics compared with hydroponics or traditional soil cultivation, most of these advantages come as a direct result of the symbiotic relationship at the heart of the system. This relationship replicates the essential processes that occur between these living organisms in their natural habitat, and as a result, produces an organic, low power, low cost eco-farming technique that enables sustainable farming from your home, or commercial, property. 

Choosing Plants for Your Aquaponics System

Although the method opts for very different approach compared to soil-potted grows; an approach that seems to go against convention with regards to the amount of water the plants are exposed to, all other aspects should be familiar to any horticulturalist, even if techniques are novel and/or unconventional.

This means you’ll be able to decide what plants to grow as you normally would, without anything too unusual to take into account. If you’re not sure exactly what to consider when choosing plants to grow in your aquaponics system, then this article is for you.

When deciding what plants to grow in your aquaponics system then a few pointers you should bear in mind, these include;

  • What species of plant you’d like to grow
  • What are you favorites to eat, most aesthetically pleasing,
  • What species are best suited to the aquaponics technique you’ll use
  • What species most compatible with the fish you’d like to use
  • What species are best suited to your local climate
  • What volume of water and temperature they require
  • Is size suitable for the available space
  • Should they be perennial or seasonal
  • Indoors or outdoors plants
  • Do the plants need a cane support; required for heavier fruiting plants 

Benefits of Growing Houseplants in Your Aquaponics Setup

There are number of benefits to choosing houseplants for your aquaponics system. The main advantages of doing so include:

  • Grow plants faster thanks to 24/7 nourishment
  • Grow larger with bigger yields thanks to 24/7 nourishment
  • Presence of water makes plants less vulnerable to most insects
  • Takes up less space

With those points in mind, what are the go-to houseplant species that experts suggest are suitable for conventional aquaponics systems? Let’s take a look…

11 Best House Plants for Aquaponics Systems

1. Lavender: Lavender is a perennial flowering plant that’s best grown in cool climates outdoor but can survive comfortably in indoor aquaponics systems. Since the plants prefer the cool they may not be a great choice for setups in humid climates but can be ideal for systems operating in colder environments. They do however, require lots of light, and so may not be suitable for low light environments.

One of the more well known plants thanks its therapeutic properties and prevalent use in aromatherapy, Lavender looks pretty, smells amazing, is edible, and has relaxing properties that emanate from its highly enticing, hypnotic fragrance.    

Growing requirements for Lavender:

  • Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 68-86°F (20-30°C)
  • pH: 6-8
  • Lighting: High light exposure
  • Suitable for NFT Method and DWC Floating Rafts

2. Marigolds: Marigolds can be both annual and perennial flowering plants that can be grown indoors and outdoor. It’s another species of plant that looks beautiful and also boasts a delightful, pungent aroma.

They are often the top choice for companion plants due to its natural pest-repellent abilities. Marigolds also require low maintenance and don’t mind low light conditions. They’ll thrive perfectly well in aquaponics systems but do require consistent levels of sufficient nutrients and oxygen.

Growing requirements for Marigold:

  • Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 65-70°F (18- 21°C)
  • pH: 7-7.5
  • Lighting: Moderate to low light exposure
  • Suitable for Media Based Systems and the NFT Method

3. Chamomile: Chamomile is another species of evergreen perennial flowering plant that grows well both indoors and outside. Chamomile is edible, and is typically processed into a tea or lotion, and used for its numerous medicinal properties. The plant can help calm, relieve stress and anxiety. It’s also packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory as well as antihistamine properties.

Furthermore, it helps to keep away pests and is often used a companion plant. It requires low maintenance, doesn’t mind low light, and looks beautiful in the home.

Growing requirements for Chamomile:

  • Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 68-86°F (20-30°C)
  • pH: 5-7.5
  • Lighting: Low-to-moderate light exposure
  • Suitable for Media Bed Systems and DWC Floating Rafts

4. Peace Lily: Peace Lily is a species of indoor foliage and an evergreen perennial flowering plant that produce showy white flowers. Indoor and outdoors.

These plants like the shade and moisture, and are therefore ideal for low-light and humid climates respectively; that said the leave should always remain dry above the waterline. Peace Lilies look beautiful and require minimal maintenance, expect regular trimming as they too grow fast.

Growing Requirements for Peace Lily:

  • Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 60-80°F (15-26°C)
  • pH: 5.8-6.5
  • Lighting: Avoid direct sunlight exposure
  • Suitable for Media Bed Systems and DWC Floating Rafts

5. Chinese Money Plants: Chinese Money Plants, also known as the Coin Plant, or UFO plant, are a species of evergreen flowering perennial plant that grows outdoors but can also thrive indoor.

Another plant that thrives in the water-based environment of aquaponics; it grows so fast both roots and leaves will require trimming. Chinese Money Plants are non-toxic to humans but aren’t very nice to eat, instead it boasts brilliant white flowers that look great; making it an choice for aesthetics and speed.

  • Growing requirements for Chinese Money Plants:
    Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 55-86°F (12-30°C)
  • pH: 6-7.5
  • Lighting: moderate light, directly heat from light can cause leaves to dry out and die
  • Suitable for NFT Systems and DWC Floating Rafts

6. Snake Plants: Snake Plants aka Mother-in-law’s tongue is an evergreen perennial flowering plant that can be grown outdoors and indoors.

One unique characteristic of Snake Plants are its ability to remove toxins from the air, which makes them ideal for indoor aquaponics systems. They themselves contain saponin toxins that make them inedible to humans or animals, however they’re another great looking plant the most growers also plant for speed, aesthetics and easy maintenance.

Growing requirements for Snake plants:

  • Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 55-85°F (12-29°C)
  • pH: 5-8.5
  • Lighting: High Light or direct light exposure
  • Suitable for Media Bed Systems and NFT Systems, DWC Floating Rafts

7. Spider Plants: Spider Plants are a species of evergreen perennial flowering plants. Grows both outdoor and indoor. Non-toxic and considered edible; they are typically boiled in water or a stew, posses a sharp mustard-like flavor.

In the wild it thrives in very moist soil, which makes it ideal for use in aquaponics. Roots grow quick within seven days. It’s important to keep the leaves of the spider plant dry and free from moisture, this means you’ll need to the area well ventilated and dehumidified. This also lends itself to fast growth, so the plants must be trimmed regularly.

Growing Requirements for Spider Plants:

  • Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 70-90°F (21-32°C)
  • pH: 6-7.2
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright light exposure
  • Suitable for Media Bed Systems, NFT and DWC Floating Rafts

8. Philodendron: Philodendron, aka the sweetheart plant, is hardy tropical houseplant that falls under the evergreen perennial vine classification. It also loves moist soil and is therefore suitable for aquaponics.

Philodendron grows naturally outdoors by can survive comfortably indoor. The plant requires minimal care, except from trimming like many plants, but are however, toxic to humans, and also contains calcium oxalate crystals, which is known to cause digestive and oral problems in cats when ingested.

Growing requirements for Philodendron:

  • Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 55-90°F (12-32°C)
  • pH: 5-6
  • Light: Low light exposure
  • Media Bed Systems and DWC Floating Rafts

9. Ferns: Ferns species can either be perennial evergreens, or non-evergreen. Some keep their leaves all year round whilst others don’t. Ferns are another plant that loves moist soils and thrives in aquaponics. They are easy to grow and don’t mind low light, which makes them perfect to grow indoor, despite growing naturally outdoor.

The have low nutrient requirement, as well as low maintenance, but do grow big and fast, so will require regular trimming.

Growing requirements for Ferns:

  • Maintenance: Low
  • Temperature: 65-75°F (18-24°C)
  • pH: 4-8
  • Lighting: High light exposure
  • Suitable for Media Based Systems and the NFT Method

10. Lettuce: Lettuce is a leafy green, semi-evergreen to completely evergreen annual plant that, like all lettuce species, is ideally suited for growth in an aquaponics system.

As one of the most popular salad leaves, lettuce are extremely popular for aquaponics growers. They are quick to grown; in fact, they grow twice as fast in aquaponics systems than traditional soil pots. They are also very easy to maintain and are highly tolerant to changes in water temperature.

Growing requirements for Lettuce:

  • Maintenance: Very Low
  • Temperature: 70° to 74°F (21-23°C)
  • pH: 5.8 and 6.2.
  • Lighting: Moderate light exposure
  • Suitable for Media Bed Systems and DWC Floating Rafts

11. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a species of fruiting plant that can be both deciduous or evergreen depending on the climate. They fall under the frost-tender annual classification; that is they are injured by frost and cold weather and generally do not survive these winter seasons.

One of the most popular plants to grow for fresh produce, the crop yields provides considerable market value compared with other plants. They thrive in warmer climates and since the fruits are heavy, they must be stalked or trellised to support their growth.

Growing requirements for Tomatoes:

  • Maintenance: Moderate
  • Temperature: 75°F to 85°F (24 to 30°C)
  • pH:  5.5 to 6.5
  • Lighting: Good light exposure
  • Suitable for Media Bed Systems and DWC Floating Rafts

In Conclusion

The versatility of aquaponics systems is one of the reasons they are becoming more and more popular. Allowing growers to choose from a huge selection of plant and fish species, aquaponics setups are no doubt able to meet you requirements, no matter how unique.

With a seemingly endless amount of options, you’ll be able to grow almost all your favourite plants using these aquatic techniques.

The above list is no means the complete list of compatible plants; as previously mentioned it’s possible to grow almost any types of plants with aquaponics. If none of the above plants suite your requirements, then look into one of the many other listed below, all of which have many growers reporting successful harvests using these aquatic techniques.

Herbs

  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary

Fruiting Plants

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Beans

Leafy Greens

  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach

Flowering Plants 

  • Nasturtiums
  • Sunflowers
  • Petunias

Root Vegetables

  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Ginger

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