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Starter System

One IBC tote AP System

One IBC tote AP System- Dave Pennington’s Design

What is a good way to get started in Aquaponics?

This is the question I am asked the most when I talk with people or groups. I have several answers to that, but here is my pragmatic answer.
A: Learn from someone else that has done it successfully and copy their first system.

Q2: So who should I learn from?

A2: Copy me because it seems like I made ALL the mistakes possible my first year. 🙂 I put up a website just for this reason, to journal my mistakes to make learning easier for others. Check out

A2b: Read Sylvia Bernstein’s book. It is a very good source of info.
Aquaponic Gardening: A Step by Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together

Q3: Who’s system should I copy to get a successful start?

A: The best system I have seen to start with is a one IBC / Tote system that has a large fish tank and one grow bed on top, all made from the one IBC container. Dave Pennington first introduced me to this system and he has a unique low priced way to build it. You might contact him as I think he stills builds these. I build them as well, from time to time, for friends.

You can buy one from these people already assembled The Aquaponic Store .

One IBC Tote System at The Aquaponic Source

A2: I ve posted the parts list so you can build this type system it yourself. Be aware that with my “DIY” approach you don’t get access to the training videos, but I have included in the estimate price, some good video training DVDs and book. (i.e. Aquaponic Gardening Education Set ).

Also you will need some media like 1/2″-3/4″ clean gravel or clean expanded shell without limestone or Plant !T (Hydroton), etc.



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