Aquaponics With Existing Aquarium




Simple to build using existing aquarium.

Step 1:

First we took an existing aquarium and placed a table and small storage tub beside it.

We used a bathtub/sink drain and found a hole saw to match and made a hole in the tub.

Step 2:

Next we placed the sink drain into the tub with rubber washer on the outside.

Step 3:

We cut two short pieces of PVC. One about 2 inches and the 2nd long enough to reach inside of the fish tank.

We also place the hose coming off the pump inside of our PVC so there would be no leaks.

We got the 158 GPH pump at Harbor Freight on sale for $7.99 and the hose at Lowe's.

Step 4:

We used a "wire" pot and cut out the center.

Put the hose through the pot and pushed the pot into the drain to prevent the rocked from entering into the pipe.

Then we run the hose to one corner and filled with lava rock, that we pre-washed, and tested for leaks.

Step 5:

We got our hose/pipe connected at Lowe's in the yard sprinklers for 25 cents.

The pipe and coupler came from the same section.

We put 5, 1/4 inch holes in the pipe and had to enlarge then to 9/32.

Make sure the pipe is level or all the water will run out the end.

Now we are ready for planting.



    • Weaving Challenge

      Weaving Challenge
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest

    4 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    great idea. does this work in place of a filter for the aquarium? Could you also grow plants in the top bin (or would that defeat the purpose) with the nurtrient-rich water?

    1 reply

    We grow all the plants in the lava rocks. It does not fully replace the filter but we change the filter a lot less often. Floating plants could also be grown in the aquarium.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This looks really neat! The fish fertilize the plants and the plants and lava filter the water? ( I watched but didn't listen - sorry if you explained it all in the video)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Yep, pretty much. I did not go into saying how it works. I just wanted to show a simple way of building one.