Introduction: Indoor Aquaponics
I'm building an indoor DWC Aquaponics setup using an old aquarium . Aquaponics is a great way to enjoy fish as well as grow a garden without soil. This is especially good if you live in an urban environment or don't have access to soil.
I'll document all of the steps here on instructables so you can can build one too. Please note this is a work in progress so the steps may be temporarily incomplete but I'll be updating daily until it is complete.
Step 1: Getting Started
To get started first pick out an area in your house that gets decent sunlight. This will be the location for your aquarium / aquaponics setup. I've chosen my office as the location so I can enjoy and care for my fish and plants while I work day to day.
If you don't already have an aquarium go to the store and pick one up. The one I'm using here is a small 10 gallon tank. You can use any size, but 10-20 gallon tanks work best and take up the least amount of space.
Fill up your aquarium with water and treat water (if necessary) with a tap water conditioner that will dechlorinate the water and make it safe for fish.
Step 2: Aquarium Setup
Once you have filled you aquarium with water you will want to get a filter setup. Fish love clean water so make sure you start filtering your water as soon as possible.
I've also added a volcano aeration decoration. While the volcano is not required an air stone of some sort will be necessary for your fish and plant roots to receive a proper amount of oxygen.
It is also helpful to add gravel at this stage. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the gravel before adding into the water. The gravel will house beneficial bacteria and the fish enjoy a better environment.
Step 3: Adding Fish
Before adding fish its a good idea to let your system cycle a few times through your new filter. It will give beneficial bacteria some time to develop and allow for the water to get a bit cleaner.
When choosing some fish make sure you choose fish that will have enough space in the aquarium and will not eat your plant roots. I went with a small school of tiger barb and also added an albino rainbow shark. These fish were mostly chosen for aesthetics but will do well in the system.
Step 4: Floating Raft
Once fish have been introduced into your tank and the environment is stable, you can look for a lid or some floating media in order to hold your plants up. My recommendation is to go with Extruded Polystyrene as a float. You will also see this abbreviated as XPS.
This material fairs very well with water and wont deteriorate into small pieces that your fish may eat.
Step 5: Cutting the Raft