Paul Nickerson

My Aquaponics System!

In Aquaponics on October 14, 2010 at 12:16 am


Frontal View, The Long Hose (Right) Actually Feeds Into Grow Bed (See Upper Photo). It it currently being used to circulate water for the fish.

I have finally taken some pictures of my hydroponic system. As you can see in the pictures, it is comprised to two tanks: the fish tank, and the grow bed. The lower tank houses my goldfish, which provide the majority of the nutrients needed for the plants that will be placed in the grow bed. The water is pumped, through a piece of 3/8 x ¼” plastic hose, into the grow bed.

The grow bed has two outlet hoses. The lower hose is made of the same hosing, allowing a slow, steady drain of water from the tank. The cascade of water from this outlet helps to aerate the water for the fish. This will help drain the bed when the pump is turned off.

The upper drain (Black) is a piece of ¾” plastic pipe, which allow a larger, faster drain back into the fish tank. This allows the grow bed to maintain a consistent water level. This water level will act as the ‘soil line.’ I had to add a small piece of lightweight, plastic tubing to the end of the upper drain to keep the water from splashing as it pours into the fish tank.

The entire cycle will be put on a timer, and will run every fourth hour for one hour during daylight hours. This is not a set cycle as it will depend on how the plants respond to the treatment.

Inside the fish tank, I have places a small rock sculpture, and some stacked pieces of PVC piping to act as housing for the fish. Many of the parts I used to build my system are recycled, or are mickey-moused. My goal was to build this system as simply, and inexpensively as possible.

My Parts List:

2 Tanks- (1) 6 Qt Sterilite Storage Box ~$2

(1)16 Qt Sterilite Storage Box ~$3

3/8 x ¼” Plastic Hose ~$4

Kwik Seal ® Caulk $2.87

Upper Drain- DANCO Spray Hose Guide ($1.99. An actual drain is around $12)

Pump- 106 Gph, Salvaged from an old fountain, Salvation Army, $6 (Shop smart! I also used the pebbles, and stone statue from the fountain in my fish tank.)

Upper Drain Pipe- Scrap Section from Home Depot

Plastic Splash Tube- Packaging from disposable plastic-ware.

Fish- $.28 feeder fish.

Growing Medium- Fish Stones ~ $6

Timer: I have not yet purchased, but I believe this will be the most expensive part at ~$10


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