First-year Aquaponics project

In our first year Plant Science class, we were all given the task of building an aquaponics project from scratch. Aquaponics is different from Hydroponics in that fish are involved and the fish waste that is produced is used by the plants as fertilizer.My classmate and I wanted to design something that could be used in a store-front window of sorts. We had seen somewhere else use a bathtub and pretty watering cans filled with plants, so we decided to create our own. The blue bathtub was donated by one of our instructors, and we found plastic watering cans we could drill holes into so they could hang from the rack above. We used many different sizes of PVC pipe and elbow joints, as well as a pump, and finally used spaghetti pipe to flow the water from the tub into the plants.

One thing that was hard was the amount of cleaning this big tub required as well as the spaghetti tubes. Every Friday we emptied the tank, put the fish in a bucket, and cleaned it out, filling it with clean water. We also had to repetitively disassemble the spaghetti tubes and clean those. Most fish in these systems are kept in darker environments versus the bright LEDs that were above the plants, but they did come out and play when it was breakfast time.

And yes, every plant you see is grown from seed: basil, lettuce, nasturtium, beans, and sweet peas.