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Best Fish For Mini Aquaponics (Easy Guide)

The Best Fish For Mini Aquaponics Systems

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In an aquaponics system, fish function as the primary provider of organic fertilizer for the plants. Selecting the right kind of fish to raise in your setup is essential since certain breeds only survive in specific conditions. If you are a novice wanting to embark on aquaponics as a sustainable practice, building a mini aquaponics is an excellent way to begin your journey. However, a smaller system will inevitably require smaller fish, thus begging the question, what are the best fish for mini aquaponics?

Small ornamental fish are the best for aquaponics. While you will discover edible and ornamental fish in conventional systems, the dimensions of a mini setup can only accommodate adequate space to raise certain kinds of fish. The following are the best fish to raise in mini aquaponics:

  1. Guppies
  2. Tetra Fish
  3. Goldfish

In this article, we will explore these three types of fish, and learn why they are the ideal choice for a mini system.

Why Build A Mini Aquaponics System?

Why Build A Mini Aquaponics System

Starting out with a mini aquaponics system is an optimal means to learn about this farming method’s potential. Beginners of aquaponics will likewise discover that this system involves considerable upfront and maintenance costs. Thus, to know if this is something you would want to pursue as your source of food or income, it is best, to begin with, a small scale garden. 

When implementing a mini aquaponics, you will get to experience how to manage a larger aquaponics ecosystem. The maintenance activities required in sustaining an aquaponics garden is basically the same whether you run a large or small scale system. Hence, consider keeping an aquaponics maintenance checklist to help you monitor your garden.

While you can initially grow pure herbs in your system, the fish selection is vital because of your small scale garden’s size. We will enumerate in the next section suitable fish for your mini system.

Best Fish For A Mini Aquaponics System

Since a mini aquaponics system is restricted in size, this will limit the types of fish you can raise in them. Most edible fish will grow to an adult size not suitable for a small scale garden. When developing a mini aquaponics, the best options are small ornamental fish. Keep in mind your fish tank’s size and take note of the full-grown size of the fish you intend to raise. 

For example, if you plan to buy a 10-gallon fish tank, consider selecting fish types whose mature size will only reach up to 3 inches or less. In doing this, you will have sufficient space inside the tank, which will prevent overcrowding and harsh water quality that can harm the fish. With that said, below are the best fish for mini aquaponics system:


Yes, Guppies are a possible breed to raise in your mini aquaponics system. They may not be the usual first option when setting up a small garden, but Guppies are a prudent choice. This fish features 40 different species; however, the popular types are the Common and Endler Guppies. This fish’s color will depend on the type you choose, but when it comes to size, the male kind reaches approximately .6 inches to 1.4 inches long. On the other hand, the female fish roughly grows to 1.2 inches to 2.4 inches long. 

The Guppies prefer water temperature ranging from 72°F to 78°F. For your fish to thrive, the optimal pH range is between 6.7 to 8.5. Others say you can consume Guppies. However, since they are small, it will be hard to properly clean up their insides, resulting in possible bacterial infection when you eat them. 

Tetra Fish

Another type of fish you can raise in your mini garden is the Tetra Fish. There are nearly 150 species of Tetra Fish. However, the common types you will typically find are Neon, Serpae, Glowlight, Cardinal, and Diamond Tetras. This fish approximately grows up to 1.5 inches long. 

Tetra Fish is a native of the Amazon jungle. Due to this, they prefer water temperatures ranging from 70°F to 81°F. When it comes to pH range, the Tetra Fish require the level maintained at 6 to 7. See to it to monitor and sustain these parameters because any fluctuations may lead to your fish’s death. This breed is a bit tricky to raise, but, knowing the right way to care for them will ensure your success in cultivating this fish.


And finally, one of the most popular ornamental fish, and at the same time, commonly used in aquaponics today is the Goldfish. There are two varieties of Goldfish; the twin-tailed and the single-tail. When you keep them in small fish tanks, this type of fish roughly grows about 1 to 2 inches long and does not develop more than 6 inches. However, Goldfish which are living in the wild may mature up to 12 to 14 inches long. 

These fish prefer water temperatures between 65°F to 72°F. Their ideal pH range is between 7.2 to 7.6. If you plan to raise Goldfish in your garden, click here to learn more about how to care for Goldfish in aquaponics systems. 


Building a mini aquaponics will provide beginners of this method a solid bird’s eye view of the opportunities this practice can bring. In managing a miniature system, gardeners will discover if aquaponics is something they want to embark on. However, it is ideal to use small ornamental fish to this kind of garden due to the setup size. Adding the regularly sized aquaponics fish will affect water quality and harm the health of your fish. 

There are certainly many varieties of fish you can raise in your small garden. However, the three types mentioned above are the best fish for mini aquaponics. And to make sure your fish thrive well in your system, see to it you provide them with the best aquaponics fish food

The Campbells love finding sustainable and fun ways to increase their independence from traditional brick and motor supermarkets. Aquaponics provides a full lifecycle food source for families and a great hobby. #aquaponicslifestyle

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