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

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

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!