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How To Build A Basic Aquaponics System

How To Build A Basic Aquaponics System

A Basic guide on how to build your own Aquaponic System. This system is based on the Barrel Ponics and the S&S setup and was built by me in the summer of 07′.

Step 1: Three parts of aquaponics:

Aquaponics is made up of three main parts. First there are fish, second there are plants, and third there are bacteria. Bacteria are very important to the balance of the whole system. They live with the fish and the plants. Fish are what help the plants grow, and the plants work with the bacteria to keep the fish happy.

Step 2: Cut container into three:

Here we have a 275 gallon liquid storage container used for storing many different substances. I have gone ahead and cleaned it out with regular water, marked it where I would like to cut it, removed it from its cage, and gone ahead with a skill saw and cut it into three separate portions as seen here. I have then gone ahead with a hack saw and cut the cage into two portions as well: a top and bottom. I have then gone ahead and fastened the top with zip ties to the bottom and also rotated the top portion 180 degrees, allowing me to have extra space in the back for where I would like to have my reservoir to sit on top to complete an ebb and flow cycle.

Step 3: The reservoir:

Here is my reservoir. I have gone ahead and added regular water out of the hose, and I have spent the last two weeks trying to grow algae because I did not know what was in the containers. By growing algae, it assured me that before adding anything into the system it is able to grow what I would like it to grow. This is a good container for aquaponics because if anything happens, the water will spill right back down into the bottom area where the fish are stored.

Step 4: The Fish:

Seeing here I have two types of fish: goldfish and carp fingerlings. This has now completed the fish portion of the aquaponics system. I have gone ahead and purchased a basic goldfish food found in most stores. I feed them twice to once a day in order to keep them alive.

Step 5: The plant life:

The plants in the system I have kept real basic. I've added lettuce, basil, marigolds, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini. Seen here is a root system from a lettuce and basil cutting taken ten days ago.

How the system works. Water is pumped continuously through this closed-loop system. It exits through these two drain holes coming from the grow bed after the reservoir is completely filled, and empties through a self siphoning system. Water goes up this black pipe from the pump, a little of it trickles into the reservoir, and when the reservoir is filled, it empties into the grow bed.

Step 6: Thanks for watching.

Ready-to-harvest cherry tomatoes. These cherry tomatoes were on the vine for about a month and a half before they were ripe and ready to pick. I have jalapeno peppers shown here which have about two to three more weeks to go before I will pick them. Thank you for watching and have a wonderful day.