Introduction: Aquaponic Cart System

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This gravity-driven, indoor aquaponic system can be built in an hour. It uses the Nitrogen Cycle to aid in maximum plant growth. This is a symbiotic relationship that benefits you in two ways-You grow edible plants & you can use edible fish, as well. Beneficial bacteria break down the ammonia & fish effluent, converting it to nitrites & nitrates that can be absorbed by the plant roots.

Step 1: Plan With Measurements

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This is the initial plan, but can be adjusted to specific measurements needed. With these measurements, total cost of system is around $200-$250, using all new materials.

Step 2: Framing

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Start with the 2x3 ft rectangle, framing the bottom.

Step 3: Bracing

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Add bottom(floor) braces & front, lowest shelf brace.

Step 4: Bottom Shelf

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Add front shelf legs & screw shelf pieces on to them.

Step 5: Middle Shelf

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Add middle shelf legs & attach shelf pieces.

Step 6: Top Shelf

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Add top shelf legs.

Step 7: Top Shelf

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Add top shelf pieces.

Step 8: Inner Braces

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Add braces that attach the shelf legs of different shelves together for stability.

Step 9: Inner Shelf Braces

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Add shelf/tank braces.

Step 10: Inner Shelf

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Add back shelf for optional 2nd tank(bottom tank collects sludge, top tank has the fish).

Step 11: Make It Mobile

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This completes the shelf construction. Add 4- castors, and wheels(2"-3" rubber wheels work best).

Step 12: Grow Beds With Plumbing

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Add totes with holes cut(for plumbing) in the totes & cut lids for plant baskets & PVC pipes. Aquarium caulk is used around plumbing, to seal it from leaking.

Step 13: Adding the Tanks

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Add 1-2 tanks/aquariums(5 &10 gal), small pumps(lift must be between 3 & 4 ft. for best results), aquarium gravel & any live aquatic plants.

Step 14: Choose Your Greens

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Add seeds or seedlings(leafy greens work great)& fish(FYI-Japanese shubunkins are very hard to kill and produce the needed ammonia to kick of the nitrogen cycle).

Step 15: Light It Up

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Add/attach plant lights/bulbs for maximum indoor growth. Within 4-6 weeks you can be producing enough salad items to feed a family of 4. Enjoy!


seamster (author)2015-12-02

This is a great looking system. The cart looks perfectly sturdy too. Should last for years! :)

Austin ESS (author)seamster2016-01-13


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More by Austin ESS:Indoor Aquaponic Food Production SystemIndoor Aquaponic/Hydroponic Food SystemAquaponic Cart System
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