Aquaponics represents a self-sustainable option to grow both fish and plants. It is a mix of two different industries that has gained huge notoriety over the past few years. It is a soilless technique that does not require too much maintenance – a bit of care and a decent investment. However, many traditional farmers are still anxious about getting involved.
In theory, aquaponics costs for startups are relatively small. As you start buying one thing after another, costs add up. Most people are hesitant here – how much money are they going to spend? How about the long-term operational costs? What about an expansion? Is it profitable? Do you need to invest a lot of money in the first place?
Doing it yourself
Unless you have long-term business goals, chances are you will not come up with a major investment straight away. You can begin this venture in your backyard, as a do it yourself project. Not only are the aquaponics costs low in this case, but this venture also involves trial and error, meaning you will need to experiment and find out what works for your specific goal.
On the same note, lots of people begin DIY aquaponics systems in order to produce enough fresh food for their families. Such a small system in the backyard is totally worth the money. The domestic system is inexpensive – you practically need a fish tank that can take around 1,000 liters of water, as well as enough space – about 10 by 10 feet. You will be able to grow food straight away.
If you are after doing it yourself, you can find most materials at a nearby hardware store. Of course, online shops are just as handy for even better deals. You can also opt for recyclable materials. For instance, a large container could be used as a fish tank. Then, you can save yogurt cups, wash them and come up with seed trays.
Some elements must be purchased, though. Find the right grow bed, as well as an air pump. Different systems may need different parts, such as monitoring systems. With all these, aquaponics costs are still alright and easy to manage.
Suggested article: Aquaponics Air Pump – Everything You Need to Know
There is not too much information about the costs of an aquaponics system because such expenses vary widely from one system to another. For instance, a backyard aquaponics system for your family should not cost more than $2,000. If you want something more entertaining, such as clear fish tanks and ornamental fish for display (not edible though), the costs may go up to $3,000.
Proportionally, the investment goes up with the size. Plants and fish make the difference. Materials are just as important, as well as the overall design. There are more types of systems out there, and each of them has various requirements. In the most extreme cases, a luxurious backyard aquaponics system will cost up to $10,000.
Now, you have to consider other options as well. For example, think about the maintenance costs, which will go up to 10% of the initial investment. These costs also involve the living parts of your system, such as the fish and the plants.
If you still find the costs to be too high, you can always do it yourself. A bit of research and some basic technical knowledge will help you come up with your own system at home. Make sure you test it upfront to prevent unexpected issues, such as leaks. Unsurprisingly, lots of people choose the DIY option because it allows them to become familiar with how aquaponics works. This path will cost you about 50% cheaper than a readymade system, which is totally worth it.
Aquaponics costs for commercial systems
Commercial systems do not leave too much room for DIY projects. You will need a professional system that will produce and pay for itself as quickly as possible. To help you get an idea, a decently sized aquaponics system that produces anywhere between $500 and $1,000 a week will require an upfront investment of about $20,000. Now, if you think about the actual rewards, it will pay for itself in less than two years – including the maintenance required for this time frame as well.
The amount of money you are willing to put in will make all the difference. If you want a commercial system, you practically want a business. You are willing to make an investment, and you want to gain as much as possible. Such investments can go up to over $100,000 if you want a large business, but at the same time, it pays off considering your further plan too. Who are you going to sell to? Do you have enough customers? Do you have any good deals or contracts?
The best part about aquaponics is that even if you end up with leftovers and you find yourself unable to get rid of all the crops, it does not mean that you are wasting money. Instead, you are simply delaying profit. Donate leftover crops, and your fish and plants will make it happen again, without you having to make a major investment again.
As a short final conclusion, aquaponics costs are extremely diversified. At the end of the day, it only depends on your long-term goals. If you are only trying to feed your family with fresh and organic food, the investment is quite small, and the actual system can be done in your backyard, without having to buy a readymade one.
If you want a business, you are obviously getting ready to invest. However, you do not have to despair, even if you do not have the funds. You can still start from scratch with your own system. Plants and fish will multiply. The system will grow naturally. Of course, as it expands, you will need to make some further investments, but your income will easily outweigh the expenses.
Costs for a DIY system start at less than $1,000, depending on what you go for. From that point on, your options are countless.
– Aquaponics for Beginners – Everything You Need to Know Upfront
– Aquaponics Costs – How Much To Spend For Your Organic Food
– What is Aquaponics Farm? – Types, Benefits and Drawbacks
– Choosing The Right Aquaponics Fertilizer – Do You Really Need One?
– How To Start Aquaponics Seeds – Everything You Need To Know
– What To Know Before Starting The Aquaponics Cycling Procedure
– Aquaponics Tower – How Do Aquaponics Towers Work?
– Aquaponics Sump Tank – Do I Need a Sump Tank For Aquaponics?