Instructables
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Picture of Building an Aquaponic System
Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. In aquaponics, the nutrient-rich water that results from raising fish provides a source of natural fertilizer for the growing plants. As the plants consume the nutrients, they help to purify the water that the fish live in. A natural microbial process keeps both the fish and plants healthy.
 
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Step 1: Acquiring the Materials

Picture of Acquiring the Materials
To build this system you will need to construct two grow beds, two fish-food growing tanks, a fish tank, as well as a stand to elevate the fish food tanks.

To build the grow beds you will need:
5  8' 2x4s
1  4'x8' sheet of 1/2'' plywood
4  8' 4''x4'' posts
8  3/8'' carriage bolts with washers and nuts
555' sq. of pond liner
2'' deck screws
small grade pea gravel
2' permeable bags (coconut fiber bags and vermiculite)

To build the fish tank and fish-food tanks you will need:
2  55 gallon drums (plastic)
1  little giant 200gph submersible pump
2' sq. of metal mesh filter
8' of 3/4'' flex hose
small grade pea gravel
1  1'' 8' PVC pipe
6  PVC fittings
2  90 deg. PVC fittings
1  'T' PVC fitting

To build the stand you will need:
Scrap steel (we used 3'' steel pipe)
Welder
Grinder
Spray paint
lmaccaskill3 months ago

This is fascinating -- as far as it goes, but leaves us asking a lot of questions as you see by the other comments below (some of which are four years old and still unanswered).

My questions would be: Since your setup is indoors, how do you get enough light to grow vegetables and the duckweed and algae to raise the fish?

How much food can this system produce? Is this just a curiosity or could one actually make a serious dent in the food bills with a similar setup?

dondi22 years ago
do i need a heater to keep the fish water warm in winter?
vgreen893 years ago
I looked up rock bass online and it said that they are carnivorous... Are the fish in your system doing okay only eating the duckweed and snails from the tanks above?
OruKun vgreen893 years ago
If you grow tilapia and you run your system where the water is light green, not dark green mind you, and have the water at the conditions where they can survive. Theyll thrive well just on algae and nothing else, I believe the instructables said not to use carnivorous fish, you can but youll have to have a different set up where your also growing food for the fish such as smaller fishes. But why do that when you can use tilapia that can thrive only on algae. IF your state doesnt allow tilapia without a license. Then you can try feeder fish such as minnow and pan fish that thrive on plant matter. That way you can eat the pan fish or use them and the minnows for live bait. But to let you know nothing can grow as fast as tilapia till market size thats a herbivore, and simple to take care of.
agatornz4 years ago
looks great... i have a couple of white drums like that and was considering using them as they were with a lid on top - couple of questions;
-- dont quite get what you mean by having to cut a hole out of the fish tank to " allow oxidation" ?
--i am assuming only the bottom tank has fish in it>
-- what do you feed the fish>

cheers
EmmettO5 years ago
How many Rock Bass do you put in the lower tank? Do you start with more fingerlings and then thin them out as they get bigger?
Moralito5 years ago
 2 thumbs up!
thebriguy5 years ago
Really nice - thanks for sharing.