Large Scale DIY- How to Barrelponics Aquaponics’ Set Up
This is ‘The Green Cabby’ and today we are going to be walking you through, an inexpensive aquaponics set up so that you can provide food through fish; also through green for your family without ever having to clean a fish tank or without ever having to fertilize your plant. We did an amazing concept, they are using it in countries all over the world, they are using it in the hood, they are using it in the suburbs, and they are using it everywhere in the country that you can think about. The great thing about this it’s upcycling, these are barrel from an old car wash that fish soak in, these have been well cleaned up. But you see how worn they are, we were able to pick these guys up for $2.00 a piece from a local car wash. We can also find it free on Craigslist all over the place.
We are going take a 2 barrel aquaponics system here, we also found some free lumber on Craigslist; the great thing is Craigslist has a free or barter section that has free stuff all the time. They have almost anything you can think of for free and we pick up a bunch of free lumber for free; to show you how to quickly and easily convert this into a food producing unit. For about $40.00 bucks, you can produce 50-100 pounds of fish a year for your family; plus you can produce lots of fruits and vegetables through aquaponics growing. First of all, in our fish tank you are going to need a pump, that you can pump your water up to your grow beds. I just want you to hear the ponicspump $4,600.00, they are 400 Gallon per hour per pump, and we got this one on Amazon. This is the most expensive part that we have, I got it for $26.00 on amazon.com and then you are going to need some 1 Inch & ¾ Inch pipe.
The queue numbers for all of this, in the box below, I pick this up at Home Depot for about 6 bucks, we are able to pick up all the piping and connections; that we need to make wonderful food producing opportunity for our family. The tools that you will need is, you will need a standard drill, that you plug in and you will also need a little jig saw; that we will use to cut out some of the pieces out of the barrel. You will also need 2 holes saw; the 2 hole saw that you are going to need are1 ¼ hole saw and 1 ¾ hole saw. Like I said, we are going to have the numbers in the box below, so you can just run to your local Home Depot and pick them up. We got the 1 inch uniseal and we also have some ¾ inch uniseal; we are going to show you how it hooks up to the system, quick and easy and it gives you the ability to grow the system so you can have more barrels, so you can add a filter or you can add a sub tank later on if you choose.
What we are going to do first is if we go ahead and cut our first barrel; in half and if you see on the top they will be 2 bump holes. So, what you will do is just cut along the seam of the barrel, this is where we actually keep seal together. We are just going to our jig saw and we are going to cut along the seam, that we have 2 growing beds out of 1 barrel. What we are going to do, we are just going to go ahead and take our jig saw and we cut along the seam of the barrel; so that we have two equal halves. So, we got the first half cut; now we are just going to flip it over and we are going to do the same thing on the other side. We got it cut in two, and then go to the top to get the last part of it done, super quick and easy.
Now we have it as you see, we have 2 grow bed, now what we are going to do, is we are going to mount these two to a wooden frame. We will have all the dimensions in the box below, in one corner we are going to have bell siphons, so that when the water fills up, the bells can actually watch it suck it back down and put it back into the fish tank; after it is already nourish the plants that are inside. That’s the first step, let’s go on to the next one; now that we have the 2 grow beds cuts, we are going to have an upright barrel this is going to be our fish tank. What we are going to do is we are going to cut half of this barrel open; so we have an access attach to be able to get the fish and be able to feed the fish and all that good stuff.
This is going to be all a giant fish tank and here at the top we will be able to take our fish, our net will be able to pull them out; we will be able to feed them or anything that we want to do. What we are going to do is, we are going to get our drill; we are going to drill our hole in here and then we are going to take our saw and cut out half of the top of the barrel. We got a little knot in there, we are going to go ahead and cut it out, and we got good access point. We will be able to access the fish and what we are going to do, we are going to go ahead and clean this up with the file. File down the edges, so that we can clean it out and be ready to insert water and fish. We are back now and we are going to be creating our frame for our 2 barrels; on top for the grow beds and then what we are going to do is, we are going to connect that frame to a base, that will be resting over our wonderful fish tank here.
We have our hose here that we are going to raise it over our fish tank, that we have the ability to have our fish tank below pop up the water into the grow bed. Then we will be ready to go with these two barrels and we got our long board that’s 70 inches. Then we are going to cap them off at the end with 27 inches and that will give us the ability; to mount them to the side and mount them to the front. Now if you want to have each set of long; you are probably going to do 71 ½ Inches of long board since you have … We are just going to ahead and drill these together with screws; so that they are held in the center on all sides and are going to be ready. Into the frame we are putting 2.5 inches wood screws we got one side down; now we are going to flip it over to the other side.
As you see here we use some boards to prop up our frames, that we can mount, screws into the grow bed, we are going to put 1 inch screws along the edges; as well as 1 inch screws across to each other. We will have a little bit of cohesion here, but it’s all going to be about the 3 sides of stability. There we have it, we have it connected with our top frame and now what we are going to do, we are going to connect the upright frame; so that we can have our fish barrel underneath and we can set up our plumbing. Now we are going to start attaching the vertical frame to this frame here, we will have the grow bed raise up the ground, so that we can have the fish tank underneath and the water pumps up with our pump.
Right here we have our frame we are using a 2 X 6; because we are able to get a free off the price list. When we use the 2 X 6, we see 2 X 4, 4 X 4, whatever you want to use; we got one leg we are going to go ahead and do the rest and show you the finish product. We have our 4 uprights done now, we are going to put cross braces in between that they have the ability; that can keep them nice and sturdy. So they don’t wobble, so don’t they fall because; they are going to be holding a lot of weight. We brace up the edges, so that we go ahead and screw it in straight. Now, what we are going to do is we are going to …and we will be ready to install our plumbing and bottom fish tank.
Once again, we have our clamps on so that we can go ahead and rest our boards and go in and apply …where it needs to go. We got the bottom frame connected, what we are going to do is we are going to flip it over and show you; what it looks like with the fish tank underneath and a frame in place. What we have here is our setup, we are going to have our grow beds on top and it’s a little bit taller. But I’m a taller person, so I wanted to be able to have enough clearance, be able to have my piping and later on install a sub-tank, as well a filter so this is going to be a basic set-up.
We will have the pump that runs up here with the plumbing to distribute water, and the water after the bell comes through will feedback into the fish tank. Next, what we are going to do, we are going to find our bottom spot of the barrel, we are going to use a pen, we are going to let it roll and what it’s going to do it’s going to find the absolute bottom of the barrel. So that when the water is draining out through your uniseal, we are going to be using 1 inch uniseal; and to do the 1 inch uniseal you are going to need 1 ¾ inch or 1.75 hole saw to go ahead and drill that. Once this reaches the bottom, what we are going to do is, we are going to mark where the bottom is so that we know where we are going to drill and when we are putting in our uniseal.
We are going to take our hole saw and we are going to go ahead and drill the spot in here; so that we can start putting the bell siphon and the plumbing to go back down to the fish tank. We have our first hole drill here, right there, so we go ahead and make sure that the hole is clean; and if you see here it’s got a nice clean edge. What you are going to do is, you are going to slide your uniseal and when you put in the pipe; it’s going to expand so it gives you a water pipe seal, it’s very nice this makes it quick and easy to plump and you don’t have any leaks with your aquaponics system, quick and easy.
As you see it takes out the little piece right there, make it a nice clean cut and what we are using, we are using the …saw. We have seen on videos where some other people use it as a …hole saw. It leaves a real rough cut edge so I just wanted to show you that, right here on the other side view uniseal. Like I said, what it will do is, it will expand as soon as we slide the pipe down in there so that you will not have any kind of water leakage. What you want to do is, when you are working with your pipe is when you are working with your bell siphon that your bell siphon leaves an inch below where the gravel is going to be; so that you don’t have any pulling on the top, which will grow algae and it also allows mosquitoes to pull.
You just want to make sure that your pipe is sending at least an inch below, that it has the ability to drain, but you are not getting any standing pool water on the top. We got it right where we want it, now the great thing about this is now that we have our stand pipe ready to go. We actually have the ability to start plumbing and put in the stuff where it needs to go. Right on the bottom we are going to put a ninety degree elbow, to make sure that we can start that siphon. You got your ninety degree elbow and then you will run yourself off that; so that you can dump it right back into the tank. We are going ahead and put the other standpipe, we will be right back.
Now we are going to make some of our basic connections, we got our 90 degree angle in the 1 inch. Basically what we are going to do, we just are going to try fit our connections make sure that they …tight fit right there; we got our 90 degree which we are just going to run our pipe fit this way. Don’t forget our 90 degree, we are going to run it right here right back into our fish tank, which is quick. We are going to plug in our pipe and find out where we can run this, right about there, connect your other 90 degree in the middle here. So you run it down, s it runs right into your fish tank. We are going to run the plumbing the other way, we can also run it into our fish tank.
Once again we are going to try and fit it, now as you see we have our pipe coming down in our 90 degree angle, coming back down in our 90. Same thing with this one here coming down in our 90 degree angle, going right back down into our fish tank, down there in the bottom. Next we are going to go ahead and put our 400 gallon an hour pump inside of our fish tank. So to connect your pump to your PVC what you are going to take, is you are going to take 1½ male by ¾ PC adapters and it’s actually going to screw right in there. When you are done with that make sure this fit tight, you can actually run your PVC right into your pump; straight up so that it’s going to provide your water up top, very nice, quick simple and easy. You don’t need all kinds of crazy connectors to do it.
Once you got your PVC running up, you are going to put your key on there, put your key on top just like so and what you are going to do is; you are going to run your 2 sets of water going each way. We went ahead and connected it in our barrel; we drilled a hole in the top so that we could get the chord and the pipe through the top of the barrel. So that in the front you can access the fish here, we have our down sprouts that are going in the fish tank and then what we have, we have our PVC pipe. This is allowing us to put water in there, you can actually adjust the 90 degree elbow up or down; to adjust the flow rate so that you can have them draining at opposite times. Now, what we are going to be working on, we are going to be working on the bell siphons. So we are going to go ahead and show you how to do that; but now you have a one barrel you have water coming up it’s going to be filtering to beds. It’s going to filter through the beds and use the solids and the nitrates to actually fertilize the plants so they can grow up super tall and wonderful. So create your siphon what you need, you going to have your pipe with a cap at the end, what you are going to do is cut some holes in it; like so the water can flow through and this will give you the ability to create suction.
We went ahead and cut our standpipe a little bit, and we put a bigger hole at the bottom; because the slits were actually getting debris caught in them. I know you probably won’t have too much of a problem when you have rocks in there; but we just want to make sure it does not get clogged. What it’s going to do is the water is going to come in; it’s going to raise up and as it pushes the air bubble, it’s going to come up and it’s going to actually start sucking in from the bottom inside, your water is going to stop wherever the last silt is.