If you are new to this series please check out my first post on this project here where I discuss my motivation and goals for this build.
All in all this was a pretty simple build and took me about an hour to complete. Following the instructions from the video I first cut the jug below the first indentation with the utility knife. I placed the rocks in the bottom section then set it aside. Next I made a hole in the cap of jug for the bulkhead and sealed it with hot glue. This was also done with the utility knife but if you have a hole-saw it would be quicker and easier. Following that I made the bell siphon and media excluder for the grow bed using PVC pipe. Check out the video below if you have questions on bell siphons.
I then wrapped the outside of the grow bed in black duct tape (to prevent algae) and filled it with lava rock. Finally I cut the tubes to length for the pump and drain then began cycling the system.
Once I was confident there were no leaks in the system I added the fish, plants and a lamp to provided additional light. Eventually I put both the pump and lamp on timers for automation and the process has been running smoothly since.
Keep an eye out for my next posting where I’ll go over what I’ve grown, what has worked and what hasn’t. Until then feel free check out my materials list for this project below. All in my materials ran just shy of $70 with all prices were rounded to the nearest dollar at the time I bought them.
5 gallon water jug $7 from Walmart
Aquarium pump $9 from Amazon
PVC tubing $12 from Amazon
2 electric timers $8 from Walmart
Floor lamp $3 from Goodwill
Plant stand $3 from Goodwill
PVC pipe $6 from Ace Hardware
PVC bulkhead $3 from Ace Hardware
Lava rock $10 from Home Depot
5 goldfish $3 at Petco
Black duct tape $1 from Dollar Tree
Hot glue gun
Cordless drill with bits