Introduction: Aquaponics for 10 Gallon Fish Tank


I've been super interested in sustainable agriculture but all the truly self sufficient systems I've seen are with 1000 gallon fish tanks or higher. That's why I'm experimenting with different designs to try and find something that I can share with my neighbors too. Feel free to leave a comment on how you think it can be improved.

Step 1: Step 1: Obtain Materials

The following materials are from Amazon, and the rest can be found at any Home Depot or Lowes.

50 GPH Submersible Water Pump

Netted Cups


2 inch PVC pipe

2 inch PVC caps (count 2) 1/2 inch OD and 3/8 inch IN tubing (Fits the specific pump listed above)

90 degree elbow 1/2 inch

I had some Hydroton left over from my larger system, but if that is too expensive, a better option is coconut coir or rockwool (keep in mind rockwool is basic so it may disrupt ph if not neutralized. I also definitely recommend using black opaque tubing so that algae doesn't take over the system

Finally for construction, you're going to need a two inch circular drill bit, a 3/8 inch drill bit, and a 1/2 inch drill bit.

Step 2: Step 2: Drill Holes Into PVC and Attach Caps

Next, cut your PVC and glue on the caps so that it rests perfectly lengthwise on the rim of your fish tank.

Using your 2 inch drill bit, drill in 4 holes onto the pipe so that your netted cups fit in them.

Using your 3/8 and 1/2 inch drill bits, make a hole on either side of the PVC respectively.

Step 3: Step 3: Assemble

Attach your pipe onto your pump and into the hole, securing it with a zip tie. Screw the elbow head into the second hole, and you're all done!

Place it on top of your fish tank.

Step 4: Step 4: Place Plants Inside Holes

Fill your net pots with Hydroton or your choice of grow media, and make sure you have adequate sunlight or a grow light for your plants. I had an old lamp lying around so I bought this grow light bulb to go with it.

Cover the top of you tank with Styrofoam or make your own cover to prevent light from getting inside and causing algae growth.