Thursday, April 26, 2012


Heaven Scent Farm commented on my blog from yesterday and guessed I was working on a hydroponics project.   Very close.  I'm building an aquaponics system.  Someone else guessed a wine fountain:)  I'll have fish in the hot tub.  Right now I'm thinking catfish.  The water from the fish tank will be pumped up into my gardens.  The plants, which will be growing in just water and pebbles, will feed on the nutrients from the fish waste.  The vegetables will take what they need and clean the water and provide more oxygen for the fish.   The water will drain from the gardens back into the fish tank.  It's a recirculating ecosystem.  Cool huh?  I can't wait till I have it up and running so I can explain it to you better with pictures and video.  There are lots of videos on Youtube of aquaponic systems and I got many ideas from there.

It rained much of today but I still got a few things figured out.  First I built a frame out of 2x6's for the top of half of the hot tub.  Two kiddie pools will sit on top this frame.  These will be grow beds for vegetables.  There will be at least 3 more smaller grow beds off to the other side of the hot tub.  It's going to be interesting trying to figure out how many plants it's going to take to support a fish tank this size.  I think I'm going to need more grow beds.

Using a hole saw I removed a 3/4 inch circle for the drain.

I made a bell syphon out of a 2" piece of pvc which is a few inches taller than the drain pipe.  I notched out the bottom with my dremel so water can enter.  Near the top I drilled a hole and put a piece of 1/4 inch tubing which I fastened down near the bottom with a zip tie.  The pvc is capped at the top.  When the water level reaches the top of the drain pipe it will quickly drain the grow bed.  I tried mine out in a small plastic container and it worked beautifully.  That was exciting.

So the bell syphon is placed on top the drain pipe.  You can see a marker line which shows the level of the pipe so I'd know when the water should start rushing out.  On top the bell syphon I will put a larger piece of pvc which I drilled holes in to act as a filter so no gravel or other sediment will get into the syphon. 

In the second picture you can see I started cutting and gluing together the pipe which will feed water to all the beds.  I'll include some ball valves so I can control the water flow from the pump to the beds just in case some are getting more than the others. 

This is a fun project. 


  1. Awesome! I am mostly a lurker but this is very intriguing. Thanks for the shout out. Can't wait to see the final product.

  2. Wow...what a project...not as large scale as the brick oven, but way cool...don't forget to leave room for you teo to use the hot tub!