Hydroculture/Horticultural aquaponics/Instructional hints and tweaks

Here are additional hints and instructions for building aquaponics related projects.

Common toolsEdit

  • drill bit
    • A hand socket screwdriver and a drill bit will work as a hand-drill
  • hole saw or gardening clippers
    • with guiding drill works well for smaller hole saw sizes with a hex-bit hand screwdriver; gardening clippers are as capable of making as neat of holes as a hole saw; for an electrical drill a short guiding drill may slip easily
  • For advanced projects
    • pipe cutter, pvc primer and cement

Safety precautionsEdit

Some tools can be dangerous if misused or if extra care is not taken. Razor blades are more dangerous than kitchen knives, and should always point away from the body including fingers when used. It is important to read handtool safety and General Hand and Power Tool safety (OSHA) before continuing.

Common materialsEdit

Leca pellets.jpg
Led lamp.jpg

All component materials should be nonhazardous/noncancerous.

Watertight sealsEdit

To make a watertight seal: put one o-ring on the male connection, place through hole in plastic material. Then, on the other side of the plastic material, add another o-ring, and screw on the female connector to the male connector. Corresponding components must be of the same size. Connection must be snug. Check for drips.

Threaded fittings with o-rings can reduce or eliminate the need for pipe cement. If the desired threaded fitting is not available in PVC form, galvanized or brass fittings will connect to PVC fittings. Any metallic connector should be non-lead. PVC primer and glue can also be used.


Add a second tote solely for the fish. (leave the lid off of this tote). Obviously both containers are to be at the same level. Run a tube with required o-rings and connectors between totes. Place halfway between bottom and water level, in case of a failure, not all of the water will drain out. Make sure this setup is watertight and ready before adding fish. Water will transfer passively. A second air pump and a aeration stone is required in this setup.

To make this system even fancier, have a pipe with a diameter enough for fish to travel between both totes.

Alternatively like in typical aquaponic systems, use a pump to periodically transfer water between totes.

Other tweaks include: having separate timers for the air-lift pumps, water pumps, and lighting. Running DC made components on solar power is another tweak.