Aquaponics Farming Business Plan for Profits

Introduction to Aquaponics farming business plan

Aquaponics farming business has tremendously grown in the last few years. With agriculture becoming a main source of livelihood, you make a lot of money in this Aquaponics business. Everyone needs to eat to function properly, and as long as you are growing healthy foods in Aquaponics farm, you will make cash. There are so many niche categories to choose from and with a well-laid out commercial cultivation Aquaponics business plan, you’re guaranteed to make good profits. If you have been looking to start an Aquaponics business that is agriculture-related, then you may want to consider starting an Aquaponics business. This is one area of trade that sure can guarantee good returns on your Aquaponics investment.

A step by step guide to Aquaponics farming business

The Aquaponics system refers to the rearing of fish and plants together in a controlled environment. It is a combination of aquaculture, the rearing of fish, and hydroponics system, the growing of plants without soil. In the Aquaponics system, the water from the fish tanks is used to grow the plants. The plants get their nutrients from the nutrient-rich water formed by the fish wastes. Since in the process of deriving their nutrients from the wastewater, the plants are cleaning the water, the water is thus recycled and reintroduced into the fish tanks. Aquaponics is commercially viable that a farmer sells fish and plant products, such as lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach.

A guide to Aquaponics farming.
A guide to Aquaponics farming.

Today, Aquaponics is becoming popular and attracting many people as a way of growing food because of its sustainability and benefits such as eco-friendly, less use of water, low-cost maintenance, efficient, and organic method of producing food. Aquaponics system has grown and developed not just for the hobbyist or backyard gardening but, most importantly, for commercial purposes to sustain the high demand for organic food by the growing population in urban areas. Commercial Aquaponics system can be profitable when done to a specific scale. Startup cost can be a challenge, but it is a low maintenance cost, and efficient system that provides fresh organic yield much faster than any other farming method, makes it an ideal investment. As with any businesses, starting a commercial Aquaponics system need careful and extensive planning, commitment, capable team, and business plan to build and operate.

Why Aquaponics?

  • The Aquaponics system uses 90% less water than traditional farming.
  • With the Aquaponics system, we can grow any time of year, in any weather, anywhere on the planet. Because the aquaponics system recycles the water in the system, we can grow in droughts and areas with little water.
  • Environmentally responsible for low water usage.
  • The main inputs to the system are Fish food and water.
  • Little to no chemical usage and aquaponics requires no synthetic fertilizers and few pesticides.
  • Many of the plants that thrive in Aquaponics growing are very easy to grow.
  • An Aquaponics system is a way to grow your fish and vegetables at the same time. You feed the fish and the fish will feed plants through their waste output. Then, there is no need to use fertilizers because the fish provide rich nutrients for the plants.
  • In the aquaponics system, less water is used for the crops.

Components of an Aquaponics system

Components of an Aquaponics system include;

Rearing tank – The rearing tanks for raising and feeding the fish;

Settling basin – A unit for catching uneaten food and detached biofilms, and settling out fine particulates;

Biofilter – Biofilter is a place where the nitrification bacteria can grow and convert ammonia into nitrates, which are usable by the plants;

Hydroponics subsystem – This is the portion of the system where plants are grown by absorbing excess nutrients from the water;

Sump – The lowest point in the aquaponics system where the water flows to and from which it is pumped back to the rearing tanks.

Working of Aquaponics system

In an Aquaponics system, fish naturally produce the nutrients that plant need to thrive. In an Aquaponics system, fish are kept in tanks, and their waste is collected at the bottom and this waste is then pumped through a filter to make it into ready food for plants. The plants are set up in ‘grow beds’, which allow the plant roots to dangle in water-absorbing goodness from the fish waste, while the leafy heads absorb the goodness from sunlight above.

Most of the hard work that you need to put into the Aquaponics system takes place in the first month when you need to regularly check ammonia and pH levels after which the system requires basic maintenance, so start to enjoy the fruits and vegetables. Also, after the initial set-up costs, an Aquaponics system requires little in terms of financial input. So growers can reap huge rewards.

Main sections for Aquaponics farming business plan

Aquaponics system is a form of agriculture that has been around for many years but is resurfacing in today’s modern world and attracting many people because of its benefits and profitability. Recent studies have shown the increasing demand for the Aquaponics market globally as of the rising population, lack of farming land, and high demand for organic food across the world. Aquaponics is a recirculating process of farming that combines aquaculture and hydroponics leading, to the raising of fish and growing of plants together in a symbiotic environment with the help of beneficial bacteria. It converts wastes produced by the fish into nitrates, which become plants’ food, and in return, the roots filter and clean the water for the fish.

This Aquaponics business plan is mainly divided into five sections;

  1. Overview – This section provides the vision statement, mission, and goals of the commercial Aquaponics farm.
  2. Management and Organization – This section mainly describes the business ownership structure, and how it will be managed and organized.
  3. Marketing Strategy – This identifies the products to be produced, how it will be marketed, and the potential competitors of the products. This section will describe the packaging, distributing, and promoting approaches for the product.
  4. Operating Strategy – This describes the approach for product management, farm size, physical and human resources, and regulatory requirements.
  5. Financial Strategy – This section provides income and expense estimates, expected profit and loss, sources of funds, and potential business risks to the success of the Aquaponics farming business.

Financial strategy for Aquaponics business plan

This section describes the approach you are taking in developing a financial strategy. The financial strategy is divided into below sections.

  1. Expenses (the expenses estimated for start-up and operation of the commercial Aquaponics farm business)

Develop a five-year projection on the annual expenses for the commercial Aquaponics farm business. The expenses include the marketing expenses, operating expenses, and human resource expenses discussed in the marketing, operating, and human resources strategy section.  Expenses should cover administrative expenses like the initial operating expenses, start-up expenses, site preparations, and other expenses.

  1. Income (projected income of the commercial Aquaponics farm business)

Develop a five-year annual income projection for the farm. Income must include receipts from sales of products and less any loss associated with spoilage or products that cannot be sold. Income should include donations, grants, and other sources that are anticipated to cover the operating expenses of the farm.

  1. Fixed Assets (anticipated fixed assets)

Fixed assets consist of land, buildings, vehicles, furniture, office equipment, computers, fixtures and fittings, plant, and machinery. Then, these items are depreciated over time for tax purposes. Develop a five-year projection of fixed assets.

Potential risks to the successful operation of the Aquaponics farm

Risk Management (potential risks to the successful operation of the farm)

You need to identify and evaluate the potential risks that can impact the success of the business plan. These have the potential production risks that are related to crop failure or unexpected low yield, marketing risk that is related to competitors’ actions, like lower pricing of the competitors and what can be done to minimize these potential risks if they happen.

In case if you miss this: One Acre Farming Model, Income, Profit, Ideas.

How do Aquaponics farms make money?

Apart from fascinating saving, recycling, and conserving, everyone wants to know about how the ways to earn from the Aquaponics yield. Let’s dive in to find the different ways to Aquaponics farms making money.

This is important as it shows you different methods that might be suitable for current or future strategy.

The main ways include;

  • Selling Plants
  • Aquaponics Classes
  • Selling Fish
  • Selling System

There may be other methods but these are the most common ones. Like any business, you need experience or need to involve someone who has the business acumen to successfully run a commercial Aquaponics business. Being a hobby grower and getting excited by the coolness of the Aquaponics system does not guarantee success, hard-headed business decisions based on experience and knowledge do. A lot of beginners with no business experience see their vegetable growing and fish-eating, but don’t realize they are slowly pushing the money down the drain.

How to start a commercial Aquaponics farming business

Step 1) First, gather sufficient information on how to establish and manage an Aquaponics farm business. Visit Aquaponics farmers within locality or state to gain their advice on how best to operate a commercial Aquaponics farm. Research the internet to gather more knowledge on Aquaponics farming. Visit your state’s department of agriculture and fishing to gather information on any registration requirements necessary before starting an Aquaponics farm business.

Step 2) Consult a qualified accountant to help you prepare a detailed business plan for the Aquaponics farm. The plan contains the financial forecasts of the Aquaponics farm, including projected cash flow statements, estimated start-up costs, and sales forecasts. Include a market analysis and marketing strategy that you will use to sell fish and plant production.

Step 3) Identify the area where you will establish the farm business. The location of an Aquaponics farm greatly affects the growth and development of the fish and plants. Choose a location where temperatures are neither too high nor too low. It should have sufficient light to ensure the plants get enough light for food production. Ensure that the area is free of harmful chemicals as these will kill the fish and plants.

Step 4) Acquire all the necessary materials needed for setting up the Aquaponics system. These mainly include fish tanks, pumps for pumping the water; growing medium for plants, grow beds on which the plants will be grown and fish. Consult an Aquaponics professional to help set up the Aquaponics.

Step 5) Register an Aquaponics farm to obtain the necessary permits and licenses. Register with your local state’s department of fishing since you will be operating farm for commercial purposes. Register with your state’s department of tax to get a sales tax certificate and a state tax identification number. Then, register with the Internal Revenue Service to acquire an Employer Identification Number to enable you to comply with federal tax requirements.

Step 6) Roll out your commercial Aquaponics plan as per the business plan. Continue consulting other Aquaponics farmers and professional resources regularly to seek their guidance on how to effectively and efficiently manage your Aquaponics farm and to gather current trends in Aquaponics business.

How to make Aquaponics farming business more profitable

Grow the plants that are costlier in the region to counterbalance the expenses of energy and resources. You need to do proper research on the seasonal prices in the area you’re going to build your Aquaponics system. You can yield profit from tomatoes and specialty crops such as yellow peppers and basil and other herbs that support such a greenhouse. But you have some limitations as you cannot grow any grain crops, such as wheat and corn, better suited for an open field. You can grow more food in less space as plants need less space while growing close to each other in Aquaponics or hydroponic greenhouses.

Other recommendations related to the fish in Aquaponics are;

  • Raise edible fish instead of goldfish or koi
  • Take into main consideration the fish to food ratio
  • Best fish to raise in Aquaponics system is the native and local one which will do well with the climatic conditions and each other
  • The combination of high-priced plants and more food in a smaller area helps soothe the pain from the initial cost of the greenhouse with the potential for a higher profit. Unfortunately, the cost isn’t a concern for farmers.

The cost of setting up an Aquaponics farm

The cost of setting up an Aquaponics farm approximately Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh. While the cost of setting up such a farm is higher than conventional farming that the operational cost is much less because there is no need for fertilizers. An Aquaponics farm also uses 90% less water than a conventional farm.

You may also check this: Cold Storage Subsidy, Loan, and Business Plan.

Commonly asked questions about Aquaponics farming business

Is aquaponics farming profitable in India?

Aquaponics can be very profitable in India as growing healthy crops in the field is a big deal here due to rain scarcity, pests, and chemical treatment used.

What is cheaper aquaponics or hydroponics?

One argument that prospective growers might hear is that the aquaponics system is a cheaper system to operate than hydroponics. Though fish food is cheaper than nutrient solutions, it is used in greater amounts and has to be paired with other supplements for nutrients that aren’t obtainable in the feed itself.

Does Aquaponics need sunlight?

Even if you plan to grow outdoors, your plants require full sun. Take care that the aquaponics system gets sun throughout the day. If you plan to grow plants during winter months or if you want to grow inside, you will need to provide plants adequate light.

Do I need to change the water in aquaponics?

One of the most frequently quoted benefits of an aquaponics system is that, unlike recirculating aquaculture (and hydroponics), there is no need to change the water and so aquaponics is more water-efficient than aquaculture or hydroponics.

Are aquaponics vegetables healthy?

Aquaponics grown vegetables are bigger and healthier than when plants are grown in soil.

In case if you are interested in Terrace Hydroponic Gardening.


  1. Hi Jagdish,

    Thank you for sharing details of aquapronic.

    I would like to understand in detail on this type of farming. Can you let me know if there are any classes that one can take to learn more about this farming style pls?

  2. Thank you for the excellent honest and down to earth article. I have just retired but still quite fit and enthusiastic about new things. Modern hydro farming is fascinating. I am already committed to start my roof top green house for Aquaponics. Would like to expand after more knowledge, experience and confidence.

  3. I wish to set aquaponic system in a metrocity in an area of 6000sft is it feasible what would be the cost of infrastructure required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here