Building an aquaponics system involves combining aquaculture with hydroponics - in essence you are setting up these two methods of farming and joining them together. Although this may seem like a feat, in reality setting up a successful aquaponics system is fairly simple if you have good instructions and an understanding of the basics of such as system.
To keep life simple, you should first do some planning before starting the construction of this system. The most important things you need to consider are location, method of aeration, choosing the fish, choosing the plants, and pot placement.
With regards to location, this will obviously depend on the space you have available - whether it's in the house, in the garage or in the garden. You can set up an aquaponics system practically everywhere, but then you will need to adjust it accordingly. Mainly, you will need to ensure that the temperature of the location is suitable (if you're placing it outside and you live in a cold area you will need to think about insulation) and that there is sufficient light (if it is inside you will need to have large windows or else set up artificial lighting). In addition, if you are placing the system outside, make sure that you will not get harmful substances getting into the water - you may need to cover and protect appropriately.
Next, think about aeration systems. Your fish will need oxygen to live and thrive, and generally you will need to have a sort of pumping mechanism - although there are ways to achieve good aeration without any pumps or equipment. However, this will depend on the species of fish you'll grow. This leads us to the next point to consider: which species of fish to choose. Different fish will have different requirements (some are easier to culture than others); in addition, there are regulations on which fish you can keep, so make sure you check the laws of the state you live in. Some common fish in aquaponics systems include carp, trout, catfish, tilapia, and Murray cod.
Choosing what plants to grow is generally simpler, as plants tend to be more tolerant of different environmental factors. Hence, the main thing to consider when choosing plants is personal preference - in other words, what would you like to have freshly growing in your own home?
The final, and equally important aspect to consider before starting construction of the aquaponics system is pot placement. Ideally, the pots should be at waist level, so you won't have to bend over to harvest and check the plants. In addition, you'll be able to place the fish tank directly underneath the pots, saving you space.
To read more about how to build an aquaponics system easily and cheaply, check out Aquaponics 4 You