Introduction: DIY Aquaponic Vertical Farming System With Air-Lift Pump

Did a project combining

- Hydroponic system;

- Aqua-Culture system;

- Air-Lift Technology;


- Recycle + Reuse + Reduce of waste (Soda Bottles) into useful Grow Beds,

- Vertical Farming arrangement that saving foot print in limited space while "catch" more sunlight;

- Being able to use/install in high-rise apartment;

- Reduction of solar heat gain into indoor;

- Decoration as indoor green wall/space/curtain;

- Low water usage relatively compare to soil gardening;

- Low energy usage relatively compare to using water pump;

- Two possible resulting crops (Fish & Vegetables); and

- Most importantly, it is a SUSTAINABLE System!

Below are the pictures of the DIY Aquaponic Vertical Farming System with Air-Lift Pump.

A video can be found in my recent Instructables Post.

Step 1: Materials Used

- Tools : Marker, Tweezer, Pen knife, Scissors, Plier & Wire cutter;

- Aluminum wire (dia 2mm, to secure the soda bottles);

- Chain (can be plastic or SS type, to hold grow beds);

- Cloth hanger (to hang the whole system);

- Fishes & fish tank (to provide water & fish poo for the plants);

- Aquarium air-pump (4W 2 air output, to provide air both for the fishes as well as the air-lift system);

- Rubber air hose/tubings (dia 4mm for transporting air to both the fishes & the air lift system);

- Air terminal connector T-Joint with adjustable lever (1 input with 3 outputs);

- Aquarium filter wool (for mechanical filtration of the fish poo water before cleaned water returning back to the tank);

- LECA Balls (as a plant growing media in the grow beds);

- Used/Recycled soda bottles (DIY as grow beds);

- Vegetable seeds (quality organic leafy edibles' seeds)

Step 2: Preparing the Grow Beds

- Using a sharp pen knife cut an opening for planting (50mm width along the bottle length) along the bottle length;

- Also slit few holes for water drainage (at the bottom part of the bed - along the bottle length), as well as 2 holes for aluminum wires to be used for hanging (top part of grow bed - near the base of bottle).

Step 3: Shield Roots From Light

Use any opaque tape to tape/cover the base of the grow beds for shielding off sunlight to the roots, hence reduce algae growth.

Step 4: Aluminum Wire Hook on Grow Beds

Use the aluminum wire to secure both the bottom & the neck of the bottle to be hung on the chain.

Step 5: DIY Air-Lift Pump System

The details of the air-lift pump system can be found in my YouTube video - DIY Air-Lift Pump (Version 2).

Step 6: Final Assembly for System Commissioning

Assemble all the prepared materials, fill up LECA Balls in the grow beds, hook-up the air-lift pump and plant some edible seeds to be ready for full commissioning.

Step 7: Enjoy Fruits of Labor

Once the system has set to run 24/7, you just need to add the following 2 things to the fish tank;

1) Fish food; and

2) Water!

Let the fish do the job of supplying nutrients to the edibles and in a month or 2, you may harvest your fruit of labor!


RebeccaC167 (author)2017-05-26

Where can you buy the air terminal connector with t joint in singapore?

adolimi (author)2016-02-19

....and did you measure how many liters/hour are pumped?

Lim San (author)adolimi2016-11-15

The amount of water flow using my 4W air-pump, I did a measurement filling up a 600mL bottle from the water flow back to the aquarium takes 10min45seconds. That work out to be about 0.93mL/s.

adolimi (author)2016-02-19

Very nice project, thank you for sharing.

Did you experiment the higher you can pump water this way?

Lim San made it! (author)adolimi2016-11-15

Thanks for viewing.
I've not test on the highest limits it can lift. But currently it lifted from floor level up to 2.1 m.

20160319 111937 (3).jpg
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-11-26

Cool project. Thanks for sharing


Thanks for viewing & glad you like it... cheers!

About This Instructable



Bio: Enjoy the therapeutic time with plant/gardening, without the need of any reason/
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