How to Grow Mint in Aquaponics System

Among the herbs and vegetables that thrive in aquaponics systems, mint stands out as a versatile and aromatic addition. Its refreshing flavor and myriad culinary and medicinal uses make it a popular choice for home gardeners seeking to elevate their aquaponics setups. 

In this blog, we will discuss how to grow mint in an aquaponics system, from understanding the nuances of mint cultivation to mastering the intricacies of maintaining a thriving aquaponics ecosystem.

Introduction to Mint as a Versatile Herb for Aquaponics Systems

Mint, with its refreshing aroma and distinctive flavor, is known for its versatility in culinary, medicinal, and aromatic purposes. Mint belongs to the Mentha genus, and encompasses various species and cultivars, including spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint, with each offering its unique flavor profile and health benefits. Whether used to garnish cocktails, flavor dishes, soothe digestive issues, or freshen breath, mint holds a cherished place in kitchens, herbal medicine cabinets, and gardens worldwide.

Why Grow Mint in Aquaponics Systems?

Growing mint in an aquaponics system presents several advantages. 

  1. Mint is well-suited to the nutrient-rich environment provided by aquaponics. It  thrives on the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium supplied by fish waste. 
  2. The controlled conditions of an aquaponics setup ensure optimal growth for mint plants to flourish year-round with no soil or extensive maintenance. 
  3. By integrating mint into your aquaponics ecosystem,you can enhance biodiversity, attract beneficial insects, and create a harmonious balance in your system.
  4. Growing mint in aquaponics not only yields an abundant harvest of fresh, flavorful herbs, but also promotes sustainability and self-sufficiency in home gardening endeavors.
How to Grow Mint in Aquaponics System

Varieties of Mint and Their Characteristics

Mint encompasses a diverse array of species and cultivars, each possessing unique characteristics and flavors. Some of the most common varieties include:

  1. Peppermint: Known for its intense, cooling flavor, peppermint is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint. It features dark green leaves with reddish veins and grows vigorously in various climates.
  2. Spearmint: With its milder flavor compared to peppermint, spearmint is popular for culinary and medicinal purposes. It boasts bright green leaves and a pleasant aroma, making it a versatile addition to dishes and herbal teas.
  3. Chocolate Mint: This cultivar offers a unique twist with its chocolatey aroma and flavor. It combines the refreshing qualities of mint with subtle hints of cocoa, making it a delightful addition to desserts and beverages.
  4. Pineapple Mint: Featuring variegated leaves with creamy-white margins, pineapple mint exudes a sweet, fruity fragrance reminiscent of its namesake. It adds a tropical flair to culinary creations and herbal infusions.
  5. Lemon Mint: As its name suggests, lemon mint imparts a zesty lemon aroma and flavor to dishes and beverages. Its bright green leaves and citrusy notes make it a refreshing choice for summer drinks and salads.

Growing Requirements of Mint

Mint thrives in moist, well-draining grow media with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. It prefers partial to full sunlight but can tolerate some shade, especially in hot climates. Mint is a perennial herb that spreads vigorously via underground rhizomes, so it's essential to provide ample space or grow it in containers to prevent it from overtaking your garden.

Setting Up Your Aquaponics System for Growing Mint

A.Choosing the Right Setup for Growing Mint

When selecting a setup for growing mint in an aquaponics system, several factors should be considered to ensure its optimal growth and productivity. 

  1. Choose a system size that suits your available space and gardening goals. For smaller-scale operations, a compact countertop or balcony aquaponics setup may suffice, while larger systems can be installed in backyard gardens or dedicated indoor spaces.
  2. Consider the type of aquaponics system, such as media-based, nutrient film technique (NFT), or raft system, based on your preferences and expertise level.
  3. Ensure adequate sunlight exposure or artificial lighting for photosynthesis and plant growth, as mint thrives in well-lit environments.
  4. Plan for proper ventilation and air circulation to prevent humidity buildup and ensure a healthy growing environment for your mint plants.

Components Required for an Aquaponics System

To set up an aquaponics system for growing mint, you'll need several essential components to create a balanced ecosystem for fish and plants. These components include:

  1. Fish tank: A container for housing fish, such as tilapia, trout, or goldfish, which provide nutrient-rich waste for the plants.
  2. Grow bed: A planting area filled with a growing medium, such as gravel, clay pellets, or coconut coir, where mint plants are cultivated and roots can access nutrients from the fish waste.
  3. Water pump: To circulate water from the fish tank to the grow bed, ensuring continuous nutrient delivery to the plants.
  4. Aeration system: To oxygenate the water in the fish tank and promote healthy fish growth and metabolism.
  5. Plumbing and tubing: To connect the various components of the aquaponics system and facilitate water flow between the fish tank and grow bed.
  6. pH and nutrient monitoring equipment: To regularly monitor water quality parameters and ensure optimal conditions for both fish and plants.
  7. Optional components: Depending on the system design and specific requirements, additional features such as a biofilter, sump tank, or supplemental lighting may be incorporated to enhance system efficiency and plant growth.

Establishing the Necessary Environmental Conditions for Growing Mint

Once your aquaponics system is assembled, it's essential to establish and maintain the necessary environmental conditions to support healthy mint growth. 

  1. Ensure the water temperature remains within the optimal range for both fish and plants, typically between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C). 
  2. Monitor and adjust the pH level of the water to maintain a slightly acidic to neutral range (around 6.0 to 7.0) suitable for plant nutrient uptake. 
  3. Provide sufficient lighting for plant photosynthesis, either through natural sunlight or artificial grow lights, ensuring mint plants receive at least 6 to 8 hours of light per day. 
  4. Maintain proper water circulation and aeration to prevent stagnation and ensure oxygenation for both fish and plant roots. 

Planting Mint in Your Aquaponics System

1.Preparing the Grow Media

Before planting mint in your aquaponics system, it's essential to prepare the grow media to provide a suitable substrate for the plants' roots. Common options include gravel, clay pellets (hydroton), or a combination thereof. Rinse the grow media thoroughly to remove any dust or debris and ensure it is clean before use.

2.Transplanting Mint Seedlings or Cuttings

Mint can be propagated from seeds, but it's often easier and more reliable to propagate from cuttings or root divisions. To transplant mint into your aquaponics system, follow these steps:

  1. Select healthy mint seedlings or cuttings from a reputable source or your existing mint plants.
  2. Carefully remove the seedlings or cuttings from their nursery pots or containers, taking care not to damage the roots.
  3. Create small holes or depressions in the prepared grow media of the aquaponics grow bed, spaced according to the desired planting density.
  4. Gently place each mint seedling or cutting into a hole, ensuring the roots are covered with grow media and the top of the plant is level with the surface.
  5. Firmly press the grow\ media around the base of each mint plant to secure it in place and provide stability.
  6. Ensuring Proper Spacing and Arrangement

Proper spacing and the arrangement of mint plants are crucial to promote healthy growth and prevent overcrowding. Mint plants have a tendency to spread rapidly via underground rhizomes, so adequate spacing between plants is essential to avoid competition for nutrients and space. Aim to space mint plants at least 12 to 18 inches apart to allow for sufficient room for growth. 

Additionally, consider planting mint along the edges or borders of the aquaponics grow bed to prevent it from encroaching on other plants or obstructing water flow. By ensuring proper spacing and arrangement, you can optimize the growth and productivity of mint in your aquaponics system while maintaining a balanced and harmonious ecosystem for all your plants and fish

Peppermint in Aquaponics

Maintaining Your Mint Plants

1.Monitoring Water Quality Parameters

Regular monitoring of water quality parameters is essential to ensure the health and vitality of your mint plants in the aquaponics system. Key parameters to monitor include:

  • pH level: Maintain a slightly acidic to neutral pH range of around 6.0 to 7.0, as mint plants prefer slightly acidic conditions for optimal nutrient uptake.
  • Ammonia and nitrite levels: Keep ammonia and nitrite levels low, as elevated levels can be harmful to both fish and plants. Nitrate, the end product of the nitrogen cycle, serves as a valuable nutrient source for mint plants.
  • Temperature: Maintain water temperatures within the optimal range for mint growth, typically between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C), to promote healthy plant development and metabolism.
  • Oxygen levels: Ensure adequate oxygenation of the water to support healthy root growth and prevent anaerobic conditions that can lead to root rot.

2.Providing Adequate Light and Temperature

Mint plants require sufficient light for photosynthesis and growth, so ensure they receive at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. If growing indoors or in low-light conditions, supplement natural light with artificial grow lights to provide adequate illumination. 

Additionally, maintain ambient temperatures within the optimal range of 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C) to promote vigorous growth and prevent stress-induced issues such as wilting or leggy growth. Avoid exposing mint plants to extreme temperature fluctuations or drafts, as they can adversely affect plant health.

3.Pruning and Harvesting Mint Leaves

Regular pruning and harvesting are essential for maintaining the health and productivity of mint plants in the aquaponics system. To promote bushy growth and prevent leggy or sprawling growth habits, pinch off the tips of mint stems regularly to encourage lateral branching. 

Additionally, remove any yellowed or damaged leaves to maintain plant aesthetics and prevent the spread of diseases. When harvesting mint leaves, use clean scissors or pruning shears to snip off individual leaves or stems as needed, leaving at least a third of the plant intact to ensure continued growth. Harvest mint leaves in the morning when their essential oil content is highest for the most potent flavor and aroma.


By growing mint into your aquaponics setup, you not only enjoy the satisfaction of cultivating fresh, flavorful herbs but also contribute to environmental sustainability and self-sufficiency. Mint's versatility in culinary, medicinal, and aromatic applications makes it a valuable addition to any aquaponics garden, providing a multitude of benefits beyond its vibrant foliage and enticing aroma.

Whether you're a seasoned aquaponics enthusiast or a novice gardener seeking to explore new horizons, growing mint in an aquaponics system offers endless possibilities for culinary delights, herbal remedies, and sustainable living. So, roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and let the refreshing aroma of mint guide you on your aquaponics adventure. Happy gardening!


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