The first thing I did for the Aquaponics set up was look for a design online. I researched how to set one up, and different methods for DIY Aquaponics/Hydroponics. Once I decided on a method, I found a cheap, used Aquarium. Here are the parts I have for you to set up a similar Aquaponic system:
Aquarium; gravel bed; water heater; floating planter device; hyrdoton (clay pebbles); fish; plants; air pump; hoses; net pots; light for your plants; stand or place to put your aquarium; water test kit; nutrient solution for the water
Let it sit about 24hrs in order to dechlorinate it. Tap water will have some level of chlorine. Also, you can use dechlorinating formula usually found in the fish section of the pet store. Before you put any plants in it, make sure to check the pH. Before you add fish, you need to do some cycling – there are several ways to do this. I recommend you look up ways to cycle you water with or without fish. This takes a few weeks usually. I recommend cycling without fish and then once the system is ready, you can add your fish safely. Once you’ve completed the cycling, ensure the water level is about 1/4″ into the net pot. Check the level daily to ensure the water is touching the roots. Add your nutrient solution accordingly.
As you can see, I added some aquarium plants. There are three types and also, I got the moss balls from Amazon that I think are super cute.
For the floating platform, I had to get inventive because I didnt want to spens the time to build up a shelf-like platform. Imstead, I bought a rubber mat that is larger than the opening of the aquarium. I measured the size of the pot from under the lip of the pot. This diameter is what I used to cut holes in the rubber mat. The reason for this is so that I can slip the pots down the hole in the mat, and the lip catches and keeps the pot floating its bottom in the water while the top is above the mat.
Below you can see the set up almost all full. I am waiting for the water to sit out for 24hrs to dissipate the chlorine before putting it into the tank.
Above, I also put in the air bubbler with a volcano decoration that I think looks pretty spiffy. My cat likes the set up so far.
I ordered a clip grow light online and clipped it to a small post and angled it down to the plants. I leave it on most the day – when I leave for work and when I get back I will shut it off.
Here you can see the final product with a couple fish. I will keep posting updates as my aquaponics system gets more settled in.