Optional Equipment and Growing Supplies

Why doesn’t the optional equipment come with the system?

Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® are complete system packages and include all of the components in the aquaponics loop: all tanks, filter tanks, tank stands, grow beds, plumbing, pumps, valves and the aeration system. There are additional items that some people need and others do not, depending on their climate, crop choices, infrastructure, etc. Those items are listed here, along with suggestions on growing supplies that you will use over time.

Plant Grow cubes

Each hobby system comes with a starter pack of rockwool grow cubes. Commercial systems do not include grow cubes.
You can purchase cubes by the sheet or the box.

1” cubes = 200 cubes/sheet
1.5” cubes = 98 cubes/sheet

Our Home Food Production systems use the 1.5” cubes.
Our Commercial systems use the 1” cubes.

How many boxes do you need? Look at the annual production of leafy crops and determine what size supply you need for a given period of time, for instance, 6 months. Learn more/Buy Now

Fish Food

Nelson and Pade offers a premium fish food designed for use in aquaponics.  It provides the nutritional needs for an omnivorous fish, like tilapia or blue gill.  All ingredients are sourced as non-GMO. The proteins come from fish meal, fish oil and ground peas.  We offer both starter diets and grow out feed.  Learn more/Buy

Water Testing Equipment

There are several key water quality parameters that you’ll want to monitor regularly in your aquaponic system. During start up, you’ll monitor frequently and over time, as your system becomes established, you can monitor weekly, or as needed. At a minimum, you should have test kits on hand for: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Dissolved Oxygen (DO) is another critical factor and is best tested with a DO meter. We offer two options, a DO meter kit and a DO Pen. Learn more/Buy Now

Seed Germination

We recommend starting all plants from seed in an aquaponic system and it is most efficient to start the seeds in a smaller germination system than in your main culture system. A seed germination system is included with all of our commerical systems.

For Home Food Production Systems, we offer seed germination kits, which include the grow tray, a clear dome lid, a heat mat and a thermostat. Each kit holds one sheet of 1.5” Rockwool cubes (98 cubes). You manually water the cubes in these trays with water from your aquaponic system.  Learn more/Buy Now

Inline Water Heaters

Maintaining proper water temperature will keep your fish healthy and enhance plant growth. Plus, when the plant root temperature is in the right range, you can let your air temperature drop to lower than normal levels. In a greenhouse, this saves you energy because heating the water is more energy efficient than heating the air because of the heat loss factor in the greenhouse.

Our inline water heaters are electric, 220v and are available in sizes ranging from 2kw – 8kw. They are designed for continuous flow. The size of the inline heater you will need depends on your climate, crop choice, other environmental control and the size of your system.

The inline heater installation kits (sold separately from the inline heater) includes the plumbing and valves you need to make a heater loop, so that you can install it inline, but still have the capability to by-pass it for maintenance. Learn more/Buy Now

Hydronic Heating Systems for Commercial Systems

For heating the water in larger commercial systems, we offer a hydronic heating package that includes the hydronic tubing, plumbing and manifolds. In this system, hot water flows through hydronic heat tubes. The heat is transferred to the system water. It is very efficient and the hot water can come from a boiler using wood, natural gas or propane as a fuel source.

Fish Tank Windows

We can put windows in the fish tanks of any of our systems. Windows allow you to see the fish swimming, monitor their behavior and feeding habits. People love to watch fish so having windows in your fish tanks will make it more enjoyable. Our window kit includes the window, hardware, silicone and instructions. We cut and drill the holes in the fish tanks so when you receive it, you follow the instructions and glue the window in place. We don’t ship tanks with the windows glued because jostling in shipment cause the seal to break. Note: windows in your fish tank will require regular maintenance to keep them clear and free of algae or debris.

Fish Nursery Systems

Our commercial systems each have either four or six fish tanks (depending on the model), which are stocked using a staggered method (one tank every 4 or 6 weeks when using tilapia). We recommend stocking the tanks with 50 gram fingerlings. If you can purchase 50 gram fingerlings, you don’t need a nursery. If the fish you will buy are smaller than stocking size, you should start them in our nursery system. This is a very efficient method of starting with fry (very young fish) and growing them to stocking size. Our fish nurseries are complete aquaponic systems that include plant grow beds so you get get some early plant prodcution even before your commerical system is operating. Our fish nursery systems come with an inline heater to maintain proper water temperature for your young fish.

If you are just building your greenhouse and aquaponic system, you can get a jump start on the start-up time by setting up and stocking your fish nursery first.  When planning where you will put the nursery, remember that the plants in the grow beds will need sunlight or grow lights. Learn more

Fish Purge Systems

If you are raising fish to eat, we highly recommend a purge system. Using our purge system and purging techniques, your harvested fish will have a clean, fresh taste. The meat will have a firm texture. With any farmed fish, if you don’t purge them, you will likely be disappointed in the quality. If you are raising ornamental fish, like koi or goldfish, you don’t need a purge system.

Our purge systems are available in multiple sizes so you can pick one that best meets your harvesting and marketing plan. The purge systems are stand-alone aquaculture systems with a single fish tank and filtration components to keep the water clean and fresh, resulting in the best tasting fish. Learn more

Monitoring Systems

Our monitoring systems provide you great comfort in knowing that everything is ok in your aquaponic greenhouse, whether you are there or not. We supply the sensors and system to monitor all of the critical factors in an aquaponic system and if anyone of outside of the set point or not working, the monitoring system will contact you. Available in web or phone based versions, for 24 hour monitoring.
Learn more/Buy Now

Media Beds

When using the ZDEP® system, you can expand and diversify your production with media beds in your greenhouse. This allows you to utilize all fish waste from the ZDEP® filter to grow more plants and a more diverse crop selection. In the media beds, you can grow beans, peas, broccoli, beets, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and other crops. This is a great option for farm market sales, where you want a variety of crops and sell direct to the consumer. Media bed modules can be added to any ZDEP® system or can replace some or all of the leafy crop growing system.

Grow Lights

Plant grow lights are used to extend day-length in a greenhouse or to provide 100% of light for plants indoors. Grow lights must provide the right spectrum and intensity of light for plant growth. We only offer grow lights that we have tested, over time and that have demonstrated substantial increases in plant growth. Currently, we offer LED and High Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights. The LED lights cost more upfront, but less to run. The HID lights cost less upfront but more to run. Learn more/Buy Now


Controlling the environment is a key part of success in aquaponics. We offer complete greenhouse packages to house our aquaponic systems. The greenhouses we offer use high quality materials and each is designed to meet your local climatic conditions.
Learn more