Aquaponics setup

Prototype of a small aquaponics setup will be made with collected money.

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This project is about creation of small and relatively simple aquaponics system. Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (growing fish in an artificial way) and hydroponics (growing plants soillessly). When you think of aquaponics, think of a pond with fish and plants. Fish waste and rotting organic matter is producing ammonia and ammonium, then bacterias are converting those products to nitrites and then to nitrates. Nitrates are assimilated by plants and the water is purified, so a stable ecosystem is the final aim. Once the initial prototype is collected and proven as working, it will be presented at one of biggest Bulgarian universities, where physics and IT engineering is taught. And there is a lot of physics and IT involved – temperature, pH, NO2-, NO3-, NH4+ and other  levels are to be monitored and processed.

PURPOSE: To create an indoor aquaponics system with readily available items from hardware shops.


1) Installment of pipes (this is the most crucial moment)
– purchase of pipes and fittings
– purchase of pump
– purchase of some power tools, if such are needed
– installment of siphon and its adjustment, so it may work properly.

2) Purchase of all additional hardware
– lighting subsystem (LED pipes for grow-bed illumination)
– UPS subsystem
– propagation subsystem
= propagator (propagator, heating mat, vermiculite, hydroponics pots)
= lighting
– hydroton (LECA) – 25 liters
– heaters for fish tank
– air pumps
– transportation table (table with wheels to move the whole system around)
– food for fish (PANTO Karpfengold K28, based on totally on plants), 25 kg
– initial fertilizer for plants (see-weed based concentrate for initial start of the plants)

3) Loading the system with water, fish and plants

4) Empty aquaponics system assembly for presentation in Dec. 2014.

The frames and containers from Ikea – Bulgaria were bought. Here is a list of the parts (URLs are from IKEA.COM, not from IKEA.BG, but the prices in BG are a little bit higher than on American site.

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