For the Mason Jar contest I decided to try Aquaponics. My kids always wanted a Betta fish, so I thought why not try it in a Large Mason Jar as a Aquaponic system. Plus I had read a blog in which it said never fear failure as they are pillar to success and with every try one gets better at what ever they do. So I went on my quest to make my first Aquaponic system to grown wheat grass. I must say it is so exciting to see the wheat grass grow. For the last one week my house has been a buzzing place with all my neighbor's kids come in to see,"how does the fish poop feeds the plant" and "how plants grown in water". I get featured or not this has been one of the best DIY I have ever done. Sidharth my son measures the length of the plant and Mahi, my six year old observes the fish 3 times a day and they are so happy to introduce Mr.Betta to every one who walks in our house. She is the one who told me to put a pond snail that will eat the fish poop.
Thank You !! Instructable for giving me the opportunity to find my creative side.
Step 1: What You Need
1. Air Pump
2. Bubbling airstone
3. Clear pipe that will go with the Airpump more than 3 feet.
4. Organic Wheat grass seed
5. Clay pebble as your growing medium.
6. Plastic net cup to fit your mason Jar. 3.75 inches wide is what I am using.
7. Mason Jar -1 gallon (Some people suggest having 2.5 gallon at least for betta tank) This is a controversial topic. Since Walmart and Petsmart, and other licensed company sell smaller than one gallon, I will leave it to your love for betta to select from what is adequate to what is desirable. This debate is endless.
8. Beta Fish and Betta fish food
9. Stone for fish bed.
10. RO water to fill the water
11. Microbe-Lift Nite-Out II Nitrifying Aquarium Bacteria- I have used one drops
12. Decoration (optional)- since it is my first time I did not want to use any additional stuff.
13. 2 Large Led Candles(optional)
14. Pond snail.
15. Beta heater- Based on comments I incorporate this in my system. Thanks to all the folks for there suggestions.
Step 2: Assembly
1. First start with cleaning and drying all the stuff with water.
2. Run the pipe through the net pot and the end of the pipe attach it to air stone. Remember to leave extra lenght of pipe inside the jar as we will need to pull the net pot our to feed the fish with out pulling the air stone out of the pebbles.
3. Now Place the air stone and betta heater in the bottom of mason Jar and cover it with stone that were washed with cold running water. Bettas like warm temp of 80 degree.
4. Fill the Mason Jar with water and insert the Betta fish. Remember to put fish food as recommended and also mix in the Nitrifying Aquarium Bacteria liquid drops in the water. I have used 2 drops for one gallon water.
5. Start the air pump and check that it is working and adjust air bubble stone nicely under the aquarium stone so that it does not floats up. Adjust the speed as well at this time. I have kept mine close to minimum.
6. Now cover the mouth of the mason jar with the net pot. Be sure to check the size so that the net pot sits on top and not not sinks in the jar.
7. Make sure that half of the net cup is covered with water. If it is less fill in more.Also betta like to come up to the surface to breath. so make sure there is gap between the brim of the jar and the water level. I see my betta come up many a time.
7. Cover 3/4th of the pot with clay pebbles.
8. Wet the wheat grass seed with water for 30 min and put them over the clay pebble. Soaking the seed help them to germinate faster. I have used organic seeds.
Step 3: Wait, Watch and Enjoy
Place the system where you would like it to be. I have kept mine in the kitchen island and this has helped me monitor the system properly and has a light always on
I have used Led Candles to hide my air pump and also to add lighting effect to the system. Since this is my first time I did not use any decoration inside the jar so that i have less things to worry about. I chose betta fish as it is strong fish it can survive hard condition making it easy for new DIYers of acquaponic. Similarly for seed I have used wheat grass as it is easy to grow them and they grows very fast . One can see the seeds germinating in 3 days. I feed the fish once a day.
I plan to change the 1/3 of the water every week. Today is day 9 of my system.
Once u are done growing wheat grass pull out the wheat grass roots and remove the clay pebbles. Add the new clay pebbles and cover the top with seed that u want to grow.I am also learning as my aquaponic system grows, so please feel free to leave me a comment on how to improve it or what I need to do differently. Thanks you all for the valuable input. I have learnt a lot about Betta from the comments .