Instructables

Convert rain barrels to fish tanks for aquaponics

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Have you been reading about aquaponics but don't know where to start?  Well, I have.  So, when my girls caught some tiny trout at a fishing derby I decided to slap together a fish habitat.

Aquaponics is basically growing plants in fish water.  So you need - fish -- water -- and plants.

This instructable only covers the fish and water.  
  1. Catch a fish
  2. Get a bucket
  3. Fill with water
  4. Get a pump
  5. Put the pump in the water
Right now we have lots of rain, so we are using the access to water the gardens.  However, this is only viable as long as it rains every few days.  Plants should be added to build a closed loop.

For  the whole system, the best book on the topic is by Sylvia Bernstein

Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together

Notes:  
  1. The fish were caught at a private club, normally fish this small would be thrown back.
  2. This includes some pictures of a dead fish  -- 'fish-topsy'

Warning -- find better instructions -- 4 weeks latter I have 2 out of 6 fish remaining.

 
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Step 1: Go fishing

I live in Maynard Mass.  There is a yearly fishing derby for kids at the local Rod and Gun club.

Here are some tips on fishing - 
  1. Fish eat early and late -- go as early as you can
  2. Fish eat in the shade
  3. Fish like to be in running water, so fish near an inlet or outlet
  4. Fish can hear
  5. Fish can see
  6. Fish eat flies, so fish where there are bugs on top of the water
  7. Fish eat worms
  8. Canned corn and raisins are easy to put on hooks, so is white bread in a little ball.
  9. Get short fishing poles, the kind with the button

Here is Molly catching a fish:


Step 2: Catch fish

Picture of Catch fish
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Here are the fish.  We brought them home in a 5 gallon bucket.

Two fish I could not remove the hooks.  One died.
Jobar0072 years ago
This is a really cool idea. It is a good idea for collecting fish with the one exception listed below.

I would like to stress though that you examine your rules and regulations for transporting live, "wild" caught fish in your state or country. For example, it is illegal to transport live, "wild" caught fish in the State of Oregon in the USA without a permit. I've seen many game wardens ticketing people as they started to drive off with a livewell full of fish. Buying fish at your local pet store and driving them home doesn't count.
marc.cryan (author)  Jobar0072 years ago
Yes, thank you for pointing this out. You should also check zoning and building regulations.
marc.cryan (author) 1 year ago
marc.cryan (author) 1 year ago
http://domestic-engineer.maynard-ma.com/blog/

to make a side see through you could also cut a viewing hole and then using a large o-ring (depending on how dig your hole is) and some plexiglass or lexan and bolt it down then seal up all the leaks
Momma_Bear2 years ago
Obviously it isn't easy to instruct a little kid and take the video at the same time, but I admire the calm voice you used throughout. I've never caught a fish on my first cast!
I agree, you are great dad...
bnutmeg2 years ago
Gun club -> shooting -> fish -> barrel

Just sayin'.
marc.cryan (author)  bnutmeg2 years ago
Yup
awesome! i love the video of molly whining while catching a fish. :)