Pura Vida Culture



New Backyard Garden

Aquaponics Unit in Back Yard

This is a home scale aquaponic unit that I installed in our new backyard. It is a pretty cool unit because you can really get the jist of what is going on, as well as keep a good eye on the fish at the same time. I repaired an old 150 gallon fish tank by supporting it with some treated 2×4’s and plywood. It is a gravity feed system that operates with one pump that pumps water up into the top 7ft x 4inch PVC unit. 3inch Holes are drilled every 10 inches along the pipe where different vegetables are growing.


The water exits the first tube and splits into two hoses. One hose brings the water into a food grade cement mixer filled with clay hydroton balls, the other hose runs to a second 7ft x 4inc PVC tube. The second PVC tube is tilted slightly down like the first one with vegetables every ten inches. The tube drains into another grow bed filled with river stone and pebbles connected to a home-made bell siphon.

1st Grow Bed

The first grow bed and the second one both drain back into the fish tank on their own with rather simple bell siphones I created by using two old water bottles and two glass mason jars. The sound that the water makes as it exits the 4″ PVC tubes to drain into the 3/4″ hoses gives the system the effect that it is alive while the water is pumping.

River Pebble Grow Medium

The system acts like it is is breathing, I have since fixed the sound a bit however it is still fun to look at it as a live unit itself. Breathing and flowing water from the fish to the plants like blood through its system.

Check out some more images:

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  1. Dad IIMay 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Wow Ricky, VERY cool setup you’ve made.

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