JAN 2012
Aquaponics disaster and update
After starting the Aquaponics in Sept 2011 the plants grew fantastic before a really bad Aphid attack took over. I tried everything including a non chemical method of Garlic (boiled) mixed with a little Olive oil and spayed all the plants. The results were disastrous killing most of the plants and most of my fish. So mid Dec I gave it another overhaul and clean out and replanted again and added some new fish stock. Fingers crossed....

The system as of Jan 2012 doing well

Newly added fish stock
Replanted System in Dec 2011

Dec 2011 just before it all collapsed 

System planted Sept 2011

Cool Time Capture video

AUG 2011
Time for an update and major makeover of the aquaponics system.
I must say I am very happy with the results from my first year of a small aquaponics system.
The production has been consistent and maintenance basic, no major problems and as far as investment no more expensive than buying pots /soil and fertilizer for my balcony garden.
I do wish I could have located some perch to place in the tank as I would be eating them about now! maybe Ill try and get some this season. but the goldfish have got massive, there's one black one that I call the shark its so big.

Anyway time for a  clear out, one problem i have created by over planting to many big root plants like the bell pepper (capsicum) tomatoes, celery is the roots have clogged up the system to the point that the flush cycle has failed, so now armed with a bucket and kitchen colander i will remove all the plants then the stones, clean and replace and retest flush cycle.

Then its time for some new plants for the summer season
I think I will will go for 1 in each container of Cherry Tomato, Parsley, Coriander (cilantro), Zucchini, Lettuce.

A big thanks to my fellow Urban Survivalist Dan over at The Urbivalist, who kicked my butt for not keeping more regular with updates. Check out his great blog for some great daily survival tips and info.
A clogged up system

all washed and ready to go again

MAY 2011
Just did a update on YouTube of my aquaponics system
As you can see it has come a long way in the 7 months since I started this project, I am so happy with the results and the production it has given.
It really is no effort to take care of, just feed the fish and watch it grow, thats it!
Have been getting a problem with Aphids and lost a really nice Bok Choy, have tried garlic and olive oil but dose'nt seam to deter them , I am trying to find a supply of Lady bugs here in NSW.
anyway enjoy the video

MAR 2011
 Well its been a few months, and I got to say its been pretty stable, had a pump die on me but have redundancy  built in so was no big deal.
As you can see the plants are doing great, they seam to favor that we are now in the cooler months and thriving.
 Most of whats growing was from seeds than I just dropped into the grow beds in no order or pattern.
the result is an amazing jungle assortment of plants.
My goldfish are double the size of when I placed them in.
no blockages or block bell siphon to report, water seams to be very clean and full of the right nutrients.
Plants Growing
Green Bell Peppers ( capsium)
Cilantro ( Corrianda)
Bok Choy
Mixed Lettuce

After trying several methods of food production I think Aquaponics is a must in garden growing.
If I had a yard I would concentrate on bigger and more Aquaponic systems than any other form.

SEPT 2010
I have just made 2 new videos on Aquaponics.
the first one shows my working system and the 2nd one shows how to make and set up the aquaponics system along with information on the Bell Siphon

SEPT 2010
Finally got my aquaponics system up and running.
it was quiet a lot harder than i was expecting to get it right, but at the end I should have keep to the golden rule KISS " keep it simple stupid"
Dont use cheap plastic storage containers, they shatter very easy at the bottom
Dont make the grow beds to shallow,  22cm high is ideal for small system, I used 2x 35LTR
Get a good strong Tank for the bottom and get it colored to keep out light, I used a large patio flower container 105LTR
use 1/2 inch (13mm) and 3/4 inch (19mm) garden irrigation hose and fittings is more practical and cheaper than plumbing fittings on such a small system
use 2LTR soda bottle as filter grates around bell siphon
I made my bell siphon with  60mm pipe, and silicone a piece of 1" on top to make handling easier
make sure you allow about 2" gap above overflow pipe and inside top of siphon.

anyway heres a few pictures, I will publish my video soon.
I am now going to regulate the PH of water ect before adding some fish
Small pump and filter, I use this to filter the tank and pump to my green wall hanging garden, available from  $17.85 from Hong Kong on ebay! (Click Link)

Air stone, I am using 2 of these,available from ebay each $6.50 Free shipping from Hong Kong (Click Link)

Air Pump with back up batteries for power outage, available from ebay $29 including postage from Hong Kong (Click link)

Expanded Clay pebbles, (You can use gravel ) but I prefer these clay pebbles they are so much easier to work with, purchased in Australia from ebay 50 LTRs $22 (Click Link)

This is all the plumbing I needed!
13mm irrigation pipe, 2 x 13mm Flow control taps, 1 x 13mm T joiner, 2x 13mm End caps, 13mm tube, small pond pump (350Ltrs per hour)
2x 19mm tank fitting, 2x 19mm tank fitting extenders, 2x pieces of 20mm tube, 2x 19mm Corner connectors, 2x  60mm plastic pipe, 2 x 60mm end covers, 2x 2LTR soda bottle, 2x 35LTR plastic containers (Grow beds) and ix 105Ltr garden grow box ( Fish Tank)
My fittings I got online from Ebay in australia but are readily available in Bunnings, Home Depot ect

Bell siphon = 60mm wide x 165mm long, cut out groves either side to allow water into siphon and a hole just above to break cycle, allow about 2" from top of overflow pipe to top of inside of bell, the overflow height should be about 2" lower than the layer of clay pebbles.

my tank set up and including my green wall garden

some plants in place with netting at end for cucumbers

looking down from above

their is no need to sprinkle the water like this you can just have a pipe feeding in, just a personal choice

my green wall filled with clay pebbles and strawberry plants gives me additional grow beds by using vertical space.
My set up with fish tank underneath

I purchased the Aquaponics made easy DVD from Murray Hallam, $33 plus shipping this is very good look into aquaponics and recommended set ups
AUG 2010
I did some work on setting up my aquaponics set up! after watching the DVD i learnt the basics, I did break one rule of having a too small set up, but my experiment is for small spaces so will go forward and see what happens.

My 2 grow beds above the fish tank.
i used two plastic under bed storage containers from a KMart, they were $16 each and are 35Lt's, the fish tank is a 120 Lt's plastic storage bin cost about $22

I built a wood frame around the fish tank to support the grow beds, including a chook (Chicken) coop.
the wood was from an Ikea futon bed that was recycled.

I driled a 1" hole in bottom of grow bed to add a bell syphon, to flood and drain system, I wanted to see if I could create my own version using plastic bottles, I will update latter once the silicon seal is set.

Pumps are very expensive and i wanted to keep the cost low so I went for a cheap filter /pump combo that sprinkles water on surface and filters, this was $17.85 from Hong Kong on ebay!
I also picked up a small aquarium pump at the garden center for $15

JULY 2010
Got 2 x 80ltr  containers today to start my aquaponics system.
I have never done anything with this before so I ordered the DVD from Murray Hallam's Aquaponics made easy
I placed them where i will start this project in my conservatory filled with water and added some plants i got from the pet store.
I will post as i proceed with this and after I watch the DVD but I hope to have some Jade perch going in my tanks.


  1. Great stuff. I really like your set up. How long did it take you to get all this together?

  2. Awesome project - just proves you don't need a big garden or any garden come to think of it. Good luck with it!


  3. I am also a movie blogger and I like your blog too much the colors and themes are really nice.
    Do visit my blog aquaponics
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  4. great info dude thanks for sharing

  5. For the better and healthier diet there is Paleo Diet Recipes
    and to make your farming better and more cheaperAquaponic is there.

  6. Such a revolutionary idea to allow people to grow food in an urban environment with basic household and recyclable parts. Have you looked into a system that doesn't require an electric pump? Maybe using a capillary or ram-pump type system to push the water back up to the top of the chain?

  7. Great! A complete guide towards building your own aquaponics system.Thanks!

    Please visit my aquaponics blog too.

  8. Great Article! I am browsing on Aquaponic and have found your article very informative.!

  9. I am absolutely new to Aquaponics and am enthusiastically pursuing information available to start a commercially viable vertical farm.

    The information provided by you is great.I understand you are growing strawberries, please advise which other plants can be grown in a green house environment.

  10. Nice home Aquaponics System

  11. f whats growing was from seeds than I just dropped into the grow beds in no order or pattern. ...

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Good job! It is very informative and awesome post.

  14. Hi every body,
    I used to have big problems on how to build a vertical aquaponic system , but am getting in better mind now. Here's a good site I found that really helped. It gave me great methods,and showed me what I was doing wrong before...there's even lots of free articles on the site...

  15. HI,
    What is the feasibility of a commercial aquaponics system...

  16. Wow... What a very thorough and interactive walk-through of your experimental aquaponics set-up. This is the cleanest way to grow: No pesticides, naturally filtered and reused water... Aquaponics growing is 100% organic through and through. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Thanks, all the images made it super easy to follow along the build.

    A question; there are apparently different hydroponic systems, which one is the easiest to begin with if you're a newbie?