Indoor/Outdoor Terrace Aquaponics
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > DIY


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-19-2014, 11:26 PM   #1
TyrannosaurusSex
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 122
Default

Indoor/Outdoor Terrace Aquaponics


Hey guys!
I've learned a lot lurking on projects in this subforum, so I thought I would share a project I'm working on now.

I live on the 16th floor of an apartment building in Manhattan, New York. We have a nice terrace area where we have kept a container garden for some time. Soil gardening is fun and all, but as an environmentalist, water waste kills me. I am completely through wasting thousands of gallons of water a year watering plants and doing water changes in my planted aquarium. After doing some research, I decided to give this "aquaponics" thing a try!

Here is an abridged explanation of aquaponics:
- Plants grow in a gravel bed.
- Water is circulated from a fish tank, into the gravel bed, and then back into the fish tank.
- As the water passes through the gravel, bacteria breaks fish waste down into nutrients that plants can make use of.
- Plants use nutrients.
- Fish don't have to swim in their own waste as much.
- Plants make food
- Fish look pretty (and are perhaps eaten).

Here is the work I've done so far:


For budgetary reasons, all cuts were made with a crappy little hand saw.


Of the 5 vices I own, only one of them is not being used for essential decorative purposes. I had to improvise.


Oops, ran out of saw. Had to use jigsaw. Was not a pretty cut.


That drill has no reverse button, so there's no going back


Sturdy enough to stand on!


8" deep cement mixing tray. Optimal aquaponics grow bed depth: 12". Oops.


At least it looks pretty.


Still working on the plumbing. My 50 gallon aquarium is hiding behind that wooden board. You can see two PVC pipes running up to its top. I'll have to drill a hole into the side of my (glass) tank at some point. Not looking forward to that.


Here is the plumbing without the tank. Of the two pipes running up to the tank, the left one is the inflow and the right one is the outflow. I don't want to take any risks with siphons, so the outflow is going to come from an overflow box drilled into the side of the glass tank as soon as the diamond hole saw I ordered online comes in. I'm also waiting for some regular hole saws blades to come in so I can punch out a hole for the bell siphon (grow bed drainage).

I still need to find a good cheap pump.


Let me know if you have any questions!
TyrannosaurusSex is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-20-2014, 01:56 AM   #2
jasa73
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (21/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 333
Default

Thats really cool! First, awesome patio for Manhattan.

What kind of plants and fish are you going to keep (and eat?)
jasa73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2014, 05:29 AM   #3
paronaram
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 99
Default

Very nice, clean work!
I like it!
How did they let you slide with project like this on the 16 floor terrace?

I have small 32G aquaponics too, but it's not connected to my tank
paronaram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2014, 06:57 AM   #4
AGUILAR3
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
AGUILAR3's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Los Angeles 626
Posts: 752
Default

Very nice.

Instead of running the plumbing to an existing tank indoors through the window, why not set up a tank under the stand? All you would need is a small pump in the bottom tank running to the top tub.
AGUILAR3 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2014, 10:52 AM   #5
stealthypotatoes
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
stealthypotatoes's Avatar
 
PTrader: (21/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Queens, New York
Posts: 743
Default

What did you use to stain the stand?
stealthypotatoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2014, 01:22 PM   #6
TyrannosaurusSex
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasa73 View Post
Thats really cool! First, awesome patio for Manhattan.

What kind of plants and fish are you going to keep (and eat?)
Thanks!

It's a bit late in the season, so I'm just going to stick with leafy greens (kale, chard, watercress) and maybe some snap peas. Next season I'll plant some heirloom tomatoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paronaram View Post
Very nice, clean work!
I like it!
How did they let you slide with project like this on the 16 floor terrace?

I have small 32G aquaponics too, but it's not connected to my tank
It's a great co-op

PVC is cheap!
The one thing I'm worried about is carbon. I'm pretty sure my tank is going to be outgassing CO2 like crazy. I might have to downgrade to low tech. When I tear the tank down to drill the outflow hole, I think I'm going to go dirted just for the extra dissolved organic carbon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AGUILAR3 View Post
Very nice.

Instead of running the plumbing to an existing tank indoors through the window, why not set up a tank under the stand? All you would need is a small pump in the bottom tank running to the top tub.
If I were keeping food fish, that might make sense, but I can not for the life of me understand why people keep pet fish out of site with their aquaponic systems. Environmentally and economically, it makes no sense to use fish as a source of fertilizer if you're not going to get some kind of (visual or food) utility out of them as well. Fish food is more expensive and environmentally problematic than normal fertilizer, so it really doesn't make sense.

That's why I'm hooking it up to my normal tank! I have the fish anyway - why waste their wastes?

The aquarium you see pictured above is just a sump to keep the water level from changing in my viewing tank. I might use it as an aquatic plant nursery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthypotatoes View Post
What did you use to stain the stand?
Minwax Wood Finish and Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane (clear satin). I wish I had used matte, but they didn't have any at the hardware store near me.

It's too early for me to vouch for either of these products.
TyrannosaurusSex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2014, 02:01 PM   #7
mistergreen
No more Bow ties
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 13,891
Default

I miss nyc first off.

Cool setup but You'll lose a lot of heat and cool air in the summer going through the window. I'm not sure how you'd remedy this.

Also don't leave glass tanks out in the winter specifically if it has water in it. It'll crack from the ice. I'd just use a plastic tub under the stand.
mistergreen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2014, 02:30 PM   #8
TyrannosaurusSex
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New York City
Posts: 122
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
I miss nyc first off.

Cool setup but You'll lose a lot of heat and cool air in the summer going through the window. I'm not sure how you'd remedy this.

Also don't leave glass tanks out in the winter specifically if it has water in it. It'll crack from the ice. I'd just use a plastic tub under the stand.
It's my home and I hope I'll never have to leave.

I'm just going to drain the whole system and put my aquarium back on the filter in the winter
TyrannosaurusSex is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012