This low-cost vertical aquaponic system can grow leafy greens, herbs and raise fish for a small family year round, and it fits in a 5’ by 3’ space.
Author:Engineering for Change(Engineering for Change) Engineering for Change (E4C) is a forum to connect, collaborate, problem solve and share knowledge among a growing community of engineers, technologists, social scientists, NGOs, local governments and community advocates, all dedicated to improving the quality of life around the world. Sean Brady, the aquaponics projects coordinator at theCenter for Sustainable Aquaponics and Nourish the Planet in Loveland, Colo., showed us how to build a system from scrap he found around the greenhouse. We published a version of this how-to guide at engineeringforchange.org, and it’s one of the good ones, so we’d like to share it with Instructables, too.
What it is
A vertical aquaponic system grows vegetables without soil in columns above a fish tank. By growing vertically, you can produce about twice the amount of plants as you can with a hydroponic system of the same area. One five-foot tower can produce more than 200 heads of lettuce per year. And it uses a small fraction of the water needed to grow crops in soil.
The system puts fish waste to work as fertilizer for crops. A small pump draws nutrient-rich water from the fish tank to the tops of the vertical columns. The water trickles down through the roots of the plants, gathering oxygen from the air as it falls back into the tank. It releases almost no waste and, because it’s soil free, there’s no need for fertilizer or most pesticides. Also, if you do it right, you won’t have to clean the fish tank much.
See on instructables.com