Aquaponics systems can be very complex – and then they can also be very simple. In fact, did you know that you can quite easily build your very own small Aquaponics system – for just a few dollars? It actually uses stuff that you probably already have in your house – and then puts it together to make your own little home Aquaponics system! Think about it – a self cleaning fish tank, and a self watering plant – what else do you need!
Now we’ll first start with what you need for this…
Tools and supplies:
- A coffee pot
- A 6 ¼ inch tall flower pot with a hole at the bottom
- A small water pump (you can get this at most fish supplies stores)
- A 9 ½ inch long ½ inch wide PVC pipe cut into 7 inch and 2 ½ inch sections
- A ½ inch wide PVC elbow attachment
- A low wooden box
- A 14 inch knitting needle
- Regular aquarium tubing to connect to the water pump
- Something like a block of wood, or something else that you will use as support. This has to be a little shorter than your coffee pot.
- A little bit of wire meshing to cover the hole at the bottom of the flower pot.
- Some super glue
- An old used washer
- Some PVC cement
- Plant sapling of choice.
- Fish of your choice – choose a fish that works well in an Aquaponics system.
- A mixture of pea gravel and marbles to fill the pot up to about 60%.
- A few extra rocks to place in the coffee pot.
Step 2: Now take the knitting needle and remove the top with a pair of pliers. Now use the same pliers to squeeze flat the exposed end.
Step 3: Take the metal ring from the coffee pot and slip it onto your flower pot from the bottom to the top. Bring it up as high as it will go.
Step 4: Slide the flat part of the needle under screw of the metal brace. Use your screw driver to push the screw in just enough to make an impression. Now use a hammer and a nail to make a small hole here. The hole should be just wide enough for the tip of the screw to fit, but not enough for the screw to go through easily.
Step 5: When tightened in place, the screw should hold the needle snuggly in place and be a steady handle for the pot.
Step 6: Now take your electric drill to drill a small hole (wide enough for the knitting needle to go through near the open edge of the wooden box. The picture shows 2 – but you just need 1.
Step 7: Next up, place the coffee pot near the hole. Now slide the knitting needle into the hole. The set up should be such that the flower pot is suspended over the opening of the coffee pot – with the hole at the bottom of the flower pot being well over the coffee pot mouth.
Step 8: Now check inside the box, and mark the spot where the knitting needle is touching the box.
Step 9: Take the needle out and use super glue to attach the old washer around the mark. This will keep the needle from sliding around freely inside the box.
Step 10: Now fit together the PVC pipes – do not cement them together just yet. The 7 inch pipe will be vertical, along the assembly, whereas the 2 ½ inch part will be vertical over the flower pot. Use the block of wood to prop it up as you see here.
Step 11: Now place the small water pump inside the coffee pot and attach to it the aquarium tubing.
Step 12: Mark the point where the tubing hits the PVC pipe. Drill a hole here which is wide enough for the tubing to go through.
Step 13: Now take the PVC assembly apart and pass the tubing through it, like so. Once done, cement the PVC tubing together. Snip off any excess tubing protruding out at the free end.
Step 14: Now place it all back in place, fill enough water into the coffee pot to cover the pump. And then turn it on to see that the entire plumbing works.
Step 15: Place the wire meshing over the hole of the flower pot to stop gravel from falling though.
Step 16: Finally fill up the flower pot with the pea gravel and marbles and place your plant in it. Also add the rocks to the coffee pot and fill with a bit more water. Now place your fish in the water and turn on the pump. You could also paint the whole set up to look nice!
And now, just so you can see exactly how it is all done:
Check out all the details of how this under $10 small Aquaponics system is made on Youtube! And once you have seen it – get together all your stuff and start constructing!