Aquaponics is a system where the waste from the fish supplies the nutrients for the plants. The plants then filter the water and return it back to the fish. This system is fairly simple to create, but watch out for the little things that could mess it up.
- 5 Milk jugs
- Black tubing
- Expanded Clay
- Cart Structure
- 1x4 and 4x4 wood
- Zipties, Hot glue, X-acto knife
- Gravel + Fish + Leafy plants
Step 1: Overall Structure
Using an old cart, I took off the top shelf and the materials inside. Unluckily, my tank was about half an inch off of being able to fit inside. By placing 4x4s on the bottom shelf, this allowed the tank to sit nicely on top. The cart added a handle and wheels to my design for ease and mobility.
Step 2: Milk Jugs
Using an x-acto knife, cut the bottom of the 5 milk jugs off. Then cut holes in the lids fitted for the tubing of your choice. I cut the tubing to 11 inches and hot glued the two together. I then cut some small metal grids and hot glued them to the opening of the jug so the expanded clay would not fall through.
Step 3: Back Wall
Using a metal grid as my back wall, I attached the 5 milk jugs using zip ties. I screwed in the wall to the cart frame by using two 1x4s and also placed the wall behind the 4x4s on the bottom of the cart. Add the expanded clay to the milk jugs along with the plants.
Step 4: Pump Shield
This is a very important step to the process because this plexiglass makes sure the pump will not suck and kill the fish. Measure and cut the plexiglass to fix your tank and using a fairly big drill bit, screw holes for water flow. Attach the plexiglass to the tank using silicone glue.
Step 5: Pump System
Make sure you have a pump that will pump to your desired height. Using another piece of tubing as a converter, I hot glue gunned two black tubes to the pump. Algae will grow much more easily in clear tubes, so make sure you use black. Using a T for a tube and make a circle with slits cut into, I created a sprinkler system for a more evenly distributed water amount.